Perspective is a strange thing. Depending on the day of the week, nay, the hour of the day, your view, attitude or general perception of how things are faring can change. Particularly as a small business owner – The ups and downs never seem to cease.
As I write this, we, The Munching Mongoose, are fast approaching the official 3rd birthday for our little company. As I said above, in some respects it seems like I have been doing this for my whole life and within my very next thought, it feels like I am still fumbling my way through things and that this is all still so new. The reality is that 3 is a pretty big number for us – We know that there is still so much ahead of us, so much for us to learn and even improve on, but we are now moving out of our “Terrible Two’s” and are becoming fully fledged toddlers.
This little business is very close to my heart and means so much to me. Primarily started with my family and children in mind (Ben was only 6 months old and Sophie wasn’t even on the radar yet when we started), means that Maningi the mongoose is essentially a part of our family at home and the upbringing of my kids. From an idea and a conversation over dinner three and a half years ago, it is surreal to think that we are now where we are and are heading where we are going.
The very first boxes were packed in my little lounge at home and delivered in the back of Tamryn’s bakkie. I think this, and glass milk bottles all over our kitchen counters wore thin for my lovely and massively supportive wife Rebecca quite quickly, and so we moved the “operations” into our garage. With a few structural changes and additions, we setup the best sterile and cooled space that we could. This was our home for a good few months (in between still trying to run other businesses). My neighbours must have thought that we were up to some nefarious activities every time the garage door opened and all they could see was silver insulation from floor to ceiling. This combined with refrigerated vans coming and going at the break of dawn… I would love to know what they thought we were up to. We in fact dubbed it the “serial killer’s lair” – Dexter had nothing on us.
Eventually we decided that this little venture was worth backing and we took the plunge… Commit to the business 100%, pay rent and find a new home – The Burrow V2.0! For the past two and a half years we have happily called this space home. During this time, we have set up some decent infrastructure, cold rooms, our own refrigerated transport and reasonably decent packing facilities and procedures as well as online systems.
More important than all this though is the incredible team we have built. Sure there were a few hit and miss trials, but ultimately we have started to grow an amazing team – Gracious, Kerry, Emanuel, Morgan and so many others that have contributed. Our Munching Mongoose family! A friendlier, more dedicated bunch you will not find. A haphazard group of scallywags we are, from so many different backgrounds, but we love what we do, we work hard, but we don’t take ourselves seriously at all. We laugh a lot – mostly at my expense, but I suppose that is easy to do, so fair enough! We even dance from time to time, although that’s what I call it – Gracious describes my “abilities” a little differently and says “if the music is going this way (Gracious points to the left), then Brad is going this way (Gracious points to the right)”. I honestly could not be prouder, happier and more thankful for the fact that I have these guys around me everyday.
So as 3 years approaches and we continue to slowly, but steadily grow as a business it is now time for another change. We are so excited for what lies ahead, both in terms of ideas and visions we have for The Munching Mongoose, but also for the move we are about to make. In The Burrow V3.0, we have found a home on the most serenely beautiful organic pomegranate farm, only a few kilometres from where we are now. Move aside Western Cape wine farms, we are going to spend our days surrounded by the orchard and nature. We just know that this will translate into how and what we are doing, and that hopefully all our mongaggle members will feel the benefit of this coming through in what we deliver to their homes.
So here is to putting on our big boy and girl shoes and heading out to stomp in some puddles, laugh louder, play harder and be the best little mongooses we can be for everyone out there that has been kind enough to support us. You have allowed us into your homes and to become a small part of your family’s lives, and most importantly hopefully also enjoyed and benefited from what we have delivered to you. We will always endeavour to respect the trust people have put in us, will continue to work hard and love what we do and are so thrilled to keep being a part of our combined journeys towards a happier, healthier and more sustainable life.
Happy Munching everyone – You are all awesome!
In celebration of our birthday month, we’re running a little competition, where you could WIN a R1000 voucher towards a delicious meal at The National Eatery & Speakeasy, in Parktown North. Here’s how to enter: In your boxes and bags this week, you’ll find a little Maningi birthday magnet, which we’d love for you to pop on your fridges. We’d also love it if you took a photo of some of the goodies in your box, or of your family, or of a home-cooked meal, with our Maningi birthday magnet in the pic, and shared it on social media (and don’t forget to tag us and a few of your friends!) Every Maningi magnet pic shared (where we’re tagged), gets you an entry into the competition – so share as many pics as you want!
Competition closes 30 September 2017. Competition is only open to active Munching Mongoose customers.