Ricochet News

Support local, shop online at The Corner Store Port Elizabeth

May 13, 2020
Support local, shop online at The Corner Store Port Elizabeth

Port Elizabeth - Wasting time in traffic or in a queue while shopping for groceries is fading into the past thanks to the convenience offered by online platforms such as The Corner Store - a new online grocery shopping service based in Port Elizabeth.

The Corner Store could not have launched at a better time. Global events have forced people to stay at home, away from shopping malls and to minimize contact even with physical money.

According to Matthew Watkins, the brains behind The Corner Store, the platform started out as a way to give small local businesses a cost-effective platform to create their digital footprint.

“We realized that many businesses were not getting the exposure they needed due to lack of online presence and with the world changing as rapidly as it is, many businesses need to adopt a more e-commerce friendly approach to stay relevant,” he explains.

“We also want to give consumers an easier way to support local businesses and the best way to do that would be to simulate a big supermarket-like setup where you could get everything under one roof.

“We practice complete transparency between the stores and the customers, customers have access to the business address, email address, and phone number of every store on our site. They also have the option to submit a query to the store directly for special requests or questions.”

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He adds that The Corner Store delivery system is also a massive plus for their customers.

“For a delivery fee of just R40, our customers can order as much as they want from as many stores as they want and have it delivered right to their door and depending on product availability from the stores, we deliver within 24 hours,” Watkins adds.

“This is a crucial service during these times where standing in ques or being in crowded places poses a huge health risk.

“We are extremely active on social media and are constantly posting updates and advertising our store on our Facebook page and our friendly team is always available to answer any questions you may have. We value and appreciate every single like and follow we get!”

Still, The Corner Store is not leaving its community behind.

“Our next move is to assist a local NPO with donating food parcels to those in need during this dangerous time,” Watkins describes.

“A customer can donate R100 which can buy a food parcel that we will deliver.

“We are massive on community and supporting local. Small to medium businesses are the lifeblood of our economy and they have been very hard-hit during the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown regulations, many of them not qualifying for the relief plans the government has put in place and our community support for these businesses is absolutely crucial and what better way to support local than by shopping with us!”

Click buy and support vendors at The Corner Store

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The Wildside Craft Meats and Deli is loved by many – including local entrepreneur, Graeme Lund.

“This is one of my favourite butcheries in Port Elizabeth,” he describes.

Tucked away in a mall shopping centre on the corner of Melsetter and Buffelsfontein Roads in Mount Pleasant, Wildside Craft Meats and Deli has plenty to offer.

“The quality of their meat is fantastic, the service is excellent and they are really well priced. In my experience they offer the lowest price on biltong in the city. Make no mistake, their biltong is not cheap,” adds Graeme.

“It is in fact excellent (I am a frequent customer) and it is less pricey than almost every butcher.

Apart from the usual Butchery wares they also sell some of the best pies around. I am a huge fan of and pop in at least once a week to buy a pie.

“Soft drinks, hand-made ice cream, top quality breads and braai spices and sauces are also on display. The fridges are packed with a great range of sosaties, wors, ribs, prime cuts of steak, bacon as well as cured meats, cold meats and South African specialities such as Karoo seekat.”

The Wildside Craft Meats and Deli are open during the lockdown period for walk in customers (via a sanitation station at the door) as well as for deliveries through The Corner Store.

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Mr Mustard Beard Oil & Beard Care is among the many products you can purchase at The Corner Store.

“Our beard oil was created after I tried numerous brands and couldn’t find a product that was exceptional in quality, certified organic, supporting local and reasonably priced,” explains Mr Mustard, the PE-based bearded artisan mustard maker behind the brand.

“Mr Mustard Beard Oil & Beard products are small batch hand-crafted in Port Elizabeth. We only use 100% pure, cold pressed, natural ingredients. Where many products claim to be organic, most of our ingredients are certified Organic.”

He says rather than buying in bulk from overseas, their oils are sourced locally, fair trade and certified organic where possible.

“It is our aim to produce exceptional quality products at a reasonable price. I am passionate about the bearded life and the bearded revolution! Every product is good for beard as well as skin and used by myself,” Mr Mustard adds.

“Whatever your style, all the oils and nutrients your hair and follicles need to grow well are contained within our oil and balm. A good beard oil should encourage growth, absorb well and benefit your skin too. Our oils also make fantastic shaving oil, tattoo oil, and haircare oil.”

Mr Mustard Beard Oil & Beard Care products include: Beard Oil, Beard Balm, Beard Wash, Sandalwood Beard comb, Gift sets. No petrochemicals, no parabens, no synthetic fragrances or colorants are used in the products and they are against animal testing.

“We have one fragrance because it is the best beard oil we can create; all essential oils are chosen because they are great for beard and skin. We can make a Fragrance-Free Beard Oil on request.”

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Launched in 2017, the Green Fairy is another vendor at The Corner Store. It was launched by Veronica Charles after years of experience in the natural and wellness industry. She wanted more natural, chemically-free aromatherapy based products to use for herself and her family.

The Green Fairy, as a business, just grew from there.

“Green Fairy believes that natural, plastic free and aromatherapy based products should be the new ‘normal’ and that these products should be more easily accessible to the public,” says Veronica.

Almost all of Green Fairy products are handcrafted by Veronica herself. This is because she believes that lowering your footprint is part of helping the earth and therefore sourcing her raw ingredients and products as locally as possible.

The Green Fairy loves supporting small local businesses as well.

“My goal as a local business is to keep things as local as possible,” she adds.

“The more we support our immediate community the more we enrich each other’s lives in more than just a monetary sense. Having handmade, local and small businesses that have ethical principles that help to care for communities and the environment as a whole is the ultimate goal.”

Enjoy a 10% discount on all Green Fairy products over the next two to three months.

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You can also get your Plantation Tonic products at The Corner Store. Established in November 2017, the craft tonic maker has grown into a household name.

“All our products are made from real ingredients. Nothing is artificial. We love what we do and want our customers to experience fun and enjoyment when using our products,” explains owner Barbara Foot.

She is a trained pharmacist and the Plantation Tonic began as a way to supplement her income following a retrenchment.

“I am a gin-drinker and knew that gin was ‘a thing’. At one point I considered distilling gin. However, after considering the cost and admin involved, I decided to make something that went with gin – tonic,” Barbara describes.

“I started making Plantation Tonic concentrate. If you make mixers, you need a range. The range was extended to Lime Cordial, Ginger & Lime cordial and Rose Pelargonium Cordial.”

She explains that they are also big on sustainability. This means that all their products both in their contents and their packaging do not have a negative impact on the environment.

“As a result, all our products are locally-produced and where possible the ingredients are locally grown and produced. To me local could be my garden, my town, my province or my country!”

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Jenny's Home Deli is another vendor at The Corner Store. “Growing up in a home where cooking was the go to pass time must have been the foundation of my unwavering love for what I do,” says the owner, Jenny Nosworthy Johnstone.

“I originally started Jenny's Home Deli 3 years ago as a secondary source of income. Soon thereafter I was able to commit full time to my business - that is when thing began to take off. I am currently running a one woman show which I hope will grow steadily in the near future.

“I tend to be quite a snob regarding food which helps me maintain a high quality though selecting only Jenny's favorites ingredients.”

Jenny’s Home Deli services range from basic soups to homemade pasta dishes - as for those with a sweet tooth - anything from biscuits to wedding cakes.

“I absolutely love letting my creativity flow when designing bespoke cakes. Responsiveness and client follow ups are two traits I take enormous pride in,” she adds.

“Jenny's Home Deli strives to deliver food, cakes and service which in turn, result in life long customer's.”

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When the ice-cream craving hits, visit The Corner Store for Il Gelato’s flavourful ice cream. Gelato is ice-cream made the Italian way right here in Port Elizabeth!

Il Gelato’s story goes back to 2009, when an Italian family, skilled in the art of gelato making, set out to offer the best ice-cream that South Africans have ever tasted. With traditional gelato recipes, they have spent the last 11 years perfecting the flavours and creating new, local flavours. Their secret recipe won awards in Italy, proving their Gelato ice cream is one of the best!

At Il Gelato, the same level of passion for flavour-creating is applied to business ethics. With an uncompromising dedication to customers and community, they operate efficiently to ensure the highest standards of quality are achieved with reliability each day and every day.

The current owners, husband and wife, Tony and Kirsty Kruger, are extremely ambitious go-getters and passionate about what they do. Coming to South Africa from the United Kingdom, they strongly believe in giving their clients quality over quantity.

"When we first tasted Il Gelato two years ago it took our hearts," says Tony, “and that is how we knew we were going to be in the ice-cream business.

“With an uncompromising dedication to our customers and community, we operate efficiently to ensure the highest standards of quality are achieved with reliability each day and every day.”

Gelato is superior to regular ice-cream and has half the fat content of regular ice-cream. No vegetable fat is used, only fresh milk and cream from local Jersey cows.

“Our flavours are made from 100% fruit juice or pulp and whole ingredients that we bake, squeeze, crush, chop or blend ourselves in our factory,” says Tony.

“We don't use off-the-shelf powder ice-cream mixes, no whey, no preservatives, no additives, no GMOS. We don't cut corners. We never have and we never will.”

As a result, the Italians believe Gelato is healthier than a sandwich and Germans believe it is a super food, due to the fresh milk, cream and fruits.

Il Gelato has since introduced a healthy range of ice creams.

“Our Vegan, Diabetic and Banting ranges are specifically made to achieve the correct results for each. Time and effort have gone into researching these products to make sure these products are acceptable and true,” Tony adds.

“We are proud to present these products to the market. We are also able to create or tailor make flavours to your liking. For all our options available, we only use fresh produce from local farmers/suppliers, always making sure we have the best quality for our product.”

Port Elizabeth is also the only place where you can sample their amazing Il Gelato Bubble Waffles.

“Our machines are imported and make an incredible, new, delicious and mouth-watering experience for your customers,” Tony describes.

“We have created ‘Magic’ in our waffle mix, by adding secret ingredients and all the toppings, Bubble Waffle mix and homemade sauces can be bought directly from us.”

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Established in 2019 by Anthony Jacobs and Kurt Van, Just Coffee is another proud vendor on The Corner Store.

After noticing that there was definitely a gap in the market for an easy-drinking affordable coffee, they started ordering raw beans from UTZ and Rainforest Alliance Certified suppliers and roasting the beans locally in Port Elizabeth.

Following their development of two blends – filter and espresso – they started selling direct to the public and soon they were hardly able to keep up with the orders.

“Our coffee is simple and straightforward and doesn’t profess to be anything than Just Coffee,” the company says.

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As the name suggests, Bantilicious is a gluten and sugar free, low carb, diabetic friendly and banting-approved food and treats made in Port Elizabeth. You can sample their wares by placing an order on The Corner Store.

“My husband, Jaun, and I left the corporate world in 2013. We both felt God’s call to take vulnerable babies in crisis into our home and love and care for them as if they were our own,” remembers, Kim Taljaard, the owner of Bantalicious.

“Realizing we also needed to put food on the table, we combined our love of cooking and our passion for feeding and our confidence in the benefits of low carb, gluten and sugar free food and Bantalicious was born.

“We are the proud parents to two foster children who are severely mentally and physically disabled and have therefore chosen to work from home.

“In partnership with Khulisani, we have also incorporated a training program into the Bantalicious bakery for mentally and physically disabled people, providing them with training, income and a sense of self-worth.”

Kim adds that they love what they do.

“We love connecting with people and seeing the joy our food brings to them when they realize they can eat food that is delicious and affordable even under the most restricted of dietary requirements.”

In February this year, they opened a shop in Main Road, Walmer, Port Elizabeth, called Yumm.

“It a small but well positioned retail space for me to sell my product, Bantalicious along with other specialty foods like vegan, vegetarian and diabetic friendly food not just the banting food our bakery produces. It’s a space where other women like myself can showcase their product and in so doing meet the increasing need for food with specific dietary requirements,” Kim describes.

“We have seen God’s hand in every step we take and so were very excited when Matthew from The Corner Store, gave us the opportunity to retail our Bantalicious products in his online store.

“I do believe we were the first to sign up with him, and what a wonderful opportunity it is for us to expand. I believe it to be the way of the future and so convenient both for us and the consumer. I am really excited and looking forward to a very bright future for this wonderful online store.”

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Through The Corner Store, you can also order from All Berries - a small business based in Port Elizabeth specializing in berries. It is the brainchild of the husband and wife team of Nick and Elrene Hart.

“The idea was to offer the best quality products to our customers straight to their door and promising good, friendly, and safe service even during lockdown,” says the couple.

“We have built up wonderful relationships over the past year and are continuously looking at other products at competitive prices that our customers enjoy. So, we will keep our customers posted on new additions!

“Our frozen berries are all year round available and are sourced from the foothills of the Outeniqua Mountains (perfect climate producing export quality), while our pecan nuts are from the Northern Cape. Our raw organic honey, filled with all the necessary goodness, is straight from the Sundays River Valley.”

Their berries are picked at the peak of ripeness and blast frozen to lock in all the goodness.

“Berries are a great source of antioxidants and offer a nutrition punch to any balanced diet. The honey provides antibacterial and antifungal properties while pecan nuts provide anti-inflammatory benefits, helps with weight loss, and reduce the risk of heart diseases. This only being a few of the listed health benefits,” Nick and Elrene note.

“We believe in our products and the benefits they provide and are currently expanding our business to the rest of the Eastern Cape. The All Berries motto is; quality products and good service at affordable prices straight to your door!”

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Another amazing vendor at The Corner Store is Buttercup Bakery. They specialize in artisan pizza bases, baguettes (French & rye), garlic bread, roosterkoeks, rye bread, ciabatta bread, bagel, Panini’s, Portuguese rolls, hamburger/hotdog rolls, whole-wheat rolls, croissants, cinnamon buns (plain and choc chip).

This family bakery that loves to feed families. It was established in 1961 by Louis Allyson and in 1969 was bought by the Britos Brothers and David Bernstein. It underwent a name change – from The Cake Shop to Buttercup Bakery – inspired by a bakery in Australia that enchanted Manual Brito.

In the late 1970’s, Bernstein took full ownership of the Buttercup Bakery and there have always been number of Bernsteins working there at any given time since. Steven, the Master Baker and youngest son of David, started helping out in 1985, whether it be as bread slicer, carrier of crates or assisting drivers on their deliveries.

“He joined permanently in 1989 – his first responsibility was the making of Cornish and Steak & Kidney Pies – from scratch. Don’t you just love how, when working in a family business, you invariably start at the bottom?” notes Olivia, his wife – now fondly known as ‘The Baker’s Wife’.

“David and his wife, Zelda, retired or rather semi-retired (you can’t really give up your passion entirely, can you?) in 2010 and that’s when I joined.

“Together we carry on the tradition of producing high quality products with great passion! When you have a love for food and flour in your veins, what choice do you have? The products we offer now have changed immensely from 1980 (haven’t most things?) and we concentrate on producing and developing the best yeast lines imaginable.”

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The Corner Store is also the place to get your healthy meats courtesy of another proud vendor - Romeo and Vero Vegan Meats. Their vegan meats are a vegetable-based, non-animal derived meat substitute.

“With more than 5 years in the vegan meat industry, our chef has taken great care to select the right combination of organic ingredients to make our meat stand out from the rest,” explains the butchery.

No chemicals have been used to make their meats; they are made from natural ingredients such as plant protein (in the form of mushrooms), gluten-free flour, olive oil, under 5% soy, and herbs and spices to create a guilt-free, healthy meat substitute for the entire family.

“Our meats are gluten-free, preservative-free and free from any animal-derived products," says Romeo, the chef behind it all.

Romeo's meats also have the added taste and texture advantage, because they taste, smell and have the texture of actual meat!

Their aim is to change lives by promoting a healthier planet.

“We support a sustainable way of living, free from slaughter, zoonotic disease and inhumane living conditions that animals are exposed to every single day.”

When you choose Romeo & Vero’s vegan meats, you help spread the message of sustainable living!

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The Corner Shop also stocks products from the Mustard deli - a handcrafted, homegrown business based in Port Elizabeth.

“We create artisanal wholegrain mustards, jams and deli products with interesting flavors,” says owner, Anthony Vieira Da Cruz.

“In 2014 we began specializing in mustards and at present we have more than 30 mustard flavors including our sugar-free range.

“Signature mustards are roasted garlic and balsamic, spicy jalapeño, honey and whiskey, tequila and lime and our bacon, onion and whiskey jam is legendary.

“All our products are made in small batches with quality ingredients and contain no preservatives, colourants, bulking agents and flavourants.”

The list of vendors on the website is expected to continue to grow so continue to support them.

Reviews from The Corner Store shoppers

“Some lekker local products & suppliers, great service - helpful and quick response to queries, easy ordering & payment, speedy turnaround time. Definitely on my list for next grocery order. Great way to support local!” wrote Sam Venter on theirFacebook page.

Beth Buchanan added; “Excellent service, delivered within 24hrs.”

Want to buy something and support local? Head over to The Corner Store website:www.thecornerstore.co.za and register your free account today! Call 081 789 5959 or email admin@thecornerstore.co.za.

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