From left: Sebastian Hills, Sales Director at Staycold International; Chef Ingrid Joubert, National Dealer Sales Manager at Staycold International with winner Riëtte Strydom, Food Developer of Oja! Farms; Lena le Roux, Managing Director at Staycold International and Jannie Cloete, Owner of Oja! Farms.
Who is the winner?
On the 25th October, STAYCOLD International announced the winner of their Underbar competition, Oja! Farms, located in Middleburg, South Africa. They were chosen from the 54 entrants received and were voted as the most deserving winner. The Staycold team envisions the Underbar will assist the winner to further evolve and prosper.
What do they do?
Oja! Farms is a family business run on Leeuwpoortjie, a commercial farm. They have soya and strawberry crops, a processing plant developing new ranges on a regular basis and still have their maize and cattle fields which are their roots.
Oja! Farms have developed a dry roasted soya bean, that has a nutty taste and is healthier than other beans. Rich in vitamins and minerals, soya is an excellent food supplement and the highest and most economical complete protein available globally. Oja! Farms opted to set up this soya plant on their farm to help with the current economic environment in South Africa.
Visit their website www.ojafarms.co.za to find out more and also see all the different recipes on how to prepare their dry roasted soya beans. To educate the market, they also do demonstrations to allow people to sample their products.
Riëtte Strydom, Food Developer of Oja! Farms with Owner Jannie Cloete at NAMPO demonstration.
Why did Oja! Farms win?
To break the negative connotation of soya, Oja! Farms have to do many demonstrations to get people tasting their tasty roasted soya beans. They explain and show how they have not extracted the oils like most companies do and have kept the beans whole. For these demonstrations, they often do not have enough fridge space to store it in. The Underbar fridge will help them keep food fresher for longer and enable them to cook extra for the old age homes they support. This plant has also created jobs and offers a range of well-priced soya products both wholesale and direct to the end consumer.
Lena le Roux, Managing Director of Staycold International, said when this entry came in, they saw a good parallel between Staycold International and Oja! Farms. Le Roux commented: “We resonated with the sustainability of Oja! products and the value add they drive, so well done on all accounts Oja!”
Riëtte did a demo and once everyone tasted the samples, they all saw soya in a very different light and thanked Oja! Farms for this enlightenment. Also it shows just how one great South African company supports another great South African company, by supplying and helping each other.
What did they say?
Riëtte Strydom, Food Developer of Oja! Farms was excited and thankful to win this competition and commented: “The Staycold Underbar will help us when cooking food for demonstration purposes that we do to break the negative connotation of soya, to keep the food fresher for longer! Thank you Staycold!”
After the factory tour, Jannie and Riëtte said they were much better educated on what Staycold does and stands for. Winning this Underbar helps with their goals – to offer bulk, affordable and highly nutritious options to the country.
How did the handover take place?
Riëtte and owner Jannie Cloete were invited to the Staycold showroom and factory where the congratulations and acknowledgement was given of their win. The Underbar has been delivered to their farm in Middleburg and is already been used by Riëtte and they were thankful and already impressed with it, as to the shelf space etc.
Riëtte then did a demonstration to the Staycold team, and her and Jannie, the fourth generation of farmers at Oja! Farms explained how and why the negative connotation has arisen around soya. Its because the western world has always extracted most of the oil out of the bean to sell elsewhere and soya seen in food has many added preservatives. But this is a whole bean that contains high value protein and is cheaper, its just the way you prepare it and roast it, that makes all the difference. So Oja! Farms leaves in its 18% oil. Soya and quinoa they explained, are the only plants that have all 9 amino acids in, which is what makes it a whole protein!
Riëtte Strydom doing a soya cooking demonstration for the Staycold panel at Staycold’s factory
Jannie says the way Oja! Farms prepare the bean, they leave in its 36% protein content, its 18% oil content and its 17% fibre content, making it a very nutritious, low GI, preservative free whole food. He also illuded to its many health benefits.
Riëtte cooked and served these soya bean food samples in front of the team. She served soup, babotie, chakalaka and enchilade samples and even ended with their chocolate coated soya nut products. All were blown away by each and every taste and were even keen to order for their own consumption on their Oja! Farms website www.ojafarms.co.za!
Once Oja! had done their demo, it was then Staycold’s chance to demonstrate how they manufacture these durable units from stat to finish. They were then taken on a factory tour led by Chef Ingrid Joubert, National Dealer Sales Manager at Staycold. Chef Ingrid was very instrumental in conceptualizing this Underbar competition, spreading the word, was one of the panelists sorting through the entrants and was able to walk them through the factory.
Chef Ingrid doing a factory tour with Riëtte and Jannie
Afterwards, both Riëtte and Jannie commented on how impressed they were with what goes on in manufacturing the units. They said they saw the dedication and loyalty with the workforce, which is something not found often, as they have experience of this at their farm. Jannie also said he expected to see five or so units being made a day, so he was amazed by the actual size of the operation and his words were: “The tour to the factory was absolutely mind blowing!.” They also saw and were impressed with how the units are quality checked all through the process.
Why this Undebar competition?
STAYCOLD launched this competition in June 2022 to encourage all chefs and restaurants to draw on Chef Bertus Bassons’s https://bertusbasson.com wisdom, that buying proper equipment saves them money in the long run. This as featured in his In Die Sop programme https://www.dstv.com/kyknet/af-za/program/in-die-sop where he also gifted a Stycold Underbar to Café Zest, located in Gordon’s Bay https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ClrnNc4Pkg4, to better assist them to prepare food in their kitchen.
Who else entered?
Of the 54 entrants received, there was a wide variety of food outlets that had heard about this competiton through the media, dealer network, word of mouth, seeing it online etc so interest spread. Entries from George, to Fish Hoek to Germiston, to Mooi Nooi, Ermelo, Kei Mouth to Polokwane etc came in since the competition launched in June 22. Outlets included hotels, restaurants, dealers, catering companies and even through to service technicians who know and rate Staycold. The Staycold panel carefully considered and ranked each entry, with the winner decided and called on the 25th October. The handover took place on the 28th November 2022 at the Staycold factory in Parys.
What is an Underbar used for?
The Underbar is used primarily in a kitchen’s prep area or a front-of-the-house bar area. It’s a prep station used by chef’s or a work top refrigerator. It serves the role of a combination refrigerator, equipment stand and preparation area. They are best for use as a work space or for holding countertop equipment.
How is Staycold’s Underbar different?
What sets Staycold’s Underbar apart, is that its built with Staycold’s pioneering principles of quality, efficiency, performance, reliability, and durability; uses natural refrigerant gas so is better for the planet; has a 304 stainless steel top making it more durable; has LED internal lighting; has good temperate regulation inside the unit with its Digital Thermostat, uses less electricity and it comes in under the market related price.
The competition launched and ran successfully in the second half of 2022. This following Chef Bertus Basson gifting a Staycold Underbar in one of his In Die Sop establishments he helped, that was aired on 1st June. This led to Staycold also paying it forward in the same way, to help this industry that has been hard hit over the years. Riëtte and Jannie were happy to win this Underbar, to help with their soya bean demonstrations. People can then see, understand and taste how and why the soya beans they grow on the farm and their process to leave them as whole as possible, is different. Oja! Farms are giving the nation a cost effective and very nutritious offering. The Staycold team wished them well after the handover, and said they hoped to see Oja! Farms as a household brand soon!
Riëtte Strydom, Food Developer of Oja! Farms with Owner Jannie Cloete receiving their Staycold Underbar at Staycold’s showroom in Parys.