Nothing beats tucking into a slice of hot, homemade bread with a generous slather of butter or yummy sauce to dip it into. Elaleni-based mother and daughter team, Annie and Angela Batchelder recently started a ‘side hustle’ that has quickly grown into an exciting (and yummy) business venture. We’ve tasted the goods … and we are sold!
Food and cooking have always been an important part of the Batchelder home. “We grew up in the kitchen. There was always music on in the background and we all got involved in whipping up amazing meals and trying new recipes. As a family, cooking is definitely very much part of who we are,” says single mom and qualified chef Angela. With a fun play on their surname, Batchelder, Ang and her mom Annie recently launched their home-based industry business called Today’s Batch. Having grown up in Durban, Angela qualified as a chef after school and then went overseas where she spent the next 14 years as a head chef on yachts. She returned to South Africa three years ago and is now a single mom to her 7-year-old daughter. Annie is a self-dubbed ‘serial entrepreneur’. She started a lampshade business, a sun hat business and a sports management business and has been organizing the well-known Amashova cycle race for the past 30 years. When Angela returned home she joined the Amashova team.
“With events being put on hold for the past year and a half, cooking became a welcome distraction,” says Annie. “My mum, Annie and I have always cooked together and friends were always asking for a bottle of our chilli or marmalades, so we started making enough to have on hand for friends and family when they came around. During the KZN riots, when bread wasn’t available, we started making enough sourdough bread for our neighbours. Before we knew it, we were struggling to keep up with the 65 loaves we had pre-ordered every week!”
Since then, the Today’s Batch menu has grown substantially and they now have an offering of over 17 products … and it’s still growing. The logo and look and feel of the brand are simple, clean and elegant and the name, Annie says, was a no-brainer! “We want to show how easy it is to put a few things together and make a show-stopping harvest table that will cater for even the fussiest eaters. It’s a great way to entertain that is also affordable.”
The signature Jalapeno Coriander Sauce is a definite must-try on the menu. With a mild bite, it can be added to almost anything. “It’s definitely become one of our hot favourites. It came about when we were trying to taper down our original chili sauce for a friend who couldn’t handle the heat.” The sourdough bread is absolutely delicious and Annie and Angela have one or two new ideas up their sleeves, which they’ll be launching at this year’s annual Christmas Country Fair at Collisheen Estate from 25 to 27 November. For now though, their range (which, apart from the chili and sourdough, also includes marmalades, chimichurri, kalamata olive tapenade, spicy chili mayo, jalapeno mayo, melt-in-your-mouth pecan biscuits and pickled veggies) is available to order via whatsapp or through their social media pages.
Details: Whatsapp: 082 367 9263, @todays_batch
Text: Leah Shone | Photographs: Robyn Rose Photography