‘Most women keep beautiful things in their handbags. I keep truffles!’ laughs Gail Galvin, aka The Truffle Lady.
It’s true that many people would regard a handbag hoard of truffle oil and mustard a tad, well, unusual – but then, Gail’s passion for edible fungi is anything but ordinary.
Her business came about through pure serendipity. Friends introduced her to truffle dealers who recognised that her bubbly personality made her a perfect representative for their scrumptious products in South Africa. Gail, too, saw the synergies – ‘I’ve always been drawn to beautiful things, and what could be more luxuriously delicious than truffles?’ she says.
But while the product may be glamorous, her job certainly isn’t. Gail oversees all aspects of the business herself, from delivering products (sometimes at bizarre hours) to stacking shelves with her merchandise, meeting with chefs to explain her offering and overseeing issues related to imports.
She’s also expanded the business, so that in addition to truffle condiments, she imports premium grade truffles (‘from harvest to your plate in 48 hours!’). At the same time, she’s applying her love of food to experimenting with ingredients and innovating niche products, like her banana energy bars.
‘It’s hard work, but I’m living my dream. For me, the greatest pleasure in life is sharing time together, preferably over a table laden with wonderful food, as the sun turns everything golden … and my products are definitely a part of that lifestyle!’
• Visit thetrufflelady.co.za or phone 083-287-9494.