Born in South Africa, my farming background goes back many generations to the 1800s, beginning with Charles and Samuel Crookes, sons of George Crookes who were one of the first of our family to set sail from Liverpool, England in the summer of 1860 on a ship named the “Rydal” and dropped anchor eighty nine days later in “Port Natal” South Africa.
This was to be the start of many generations of dedicated farmers working and producing from the land. Growing up on beef and sugar cane farms in Swaziland, Malawi and later Natal, I acquired a passion and respect for South African farming traditions and food produced from the land.
Terri’s family emigrated from England to South Africa when she was nine. When we met, she was eager to return to her English homeland with Roxanne and Atlanta and after three years we took the leap of faith and set our compass for the shores of Britain.
Terri and I see The Biltong Man as a starting point for a new generation of our family becoming involved in the food manufacturing sector based in the UK.
We began our journey in Reading Wellington Country Park living in a forty year old South African army tent lent to us by concerned friends. This is where we earned our first British Pound. Yes, I (Glenn) worked as the Boat House Manager and Terri in Reception overseeing the campsite bookings.
After deciding to leave sunny South Africa, our family moved to the UK in 2001. Not realising the massive costs involved in relocating across the seas as well as spending the majority of our money on a flight and quarantine for Crystal, our beloved Maltese poodle, not that I had a choice in the matter, being outnumbered by three girls!
As Terri’s roots are from the North East we decided to relocate to County Durham, in the heart of Weardale to be near her family and start to build a secure future for our daughters Atlanta Skye and Roxanne Kiai. We had many ups and downs along the way but our determination, hard work and passion for bringing some South African tradition to the UK market has lead us to the beginning of The Biltong Man’s journey!
And WHAT a journey it’s been… the thing we missed most from South Africa, apart from the fabulous weather, was good old homemade tasty BILTONG! After sampling everything that resembled Biltong from London to Scotland we resigned ourselves to the fact that if we were ever to experience the taste of delicious Biltong again we would have to bring out the secret family recipe book, blow off the cobwebs and dust off the past to create our own chapter in The Biltong Man book!