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SA snack a success

I was looking for a product to sell and I enjoyed making biltong

In a city full of South African expats, making a career out of selling biltong-making machines sounds like a top-notch idea.

Colin Turnbull, originally from Johannesburg, South Africa, has done exactly that. He set up The Biltong Factory, an online business that sells everything you need to make your own biltong.

“I was looking for a product to sell and I enjoyed making biltong so that’s where the idea came from,” he says. He says owning his own business is a welcome change from when he first started out in the UK in 2001 as a car salesman, and had to discuss engines and go on test drives.

"Selling cars was difficult, especially because I was working up north in Wolverhampton at the time and there is quite a strong, broad English accent there,” he says. “But I was in sales and when I came to the UK, I had to start at the bottom.”

Nowadays, Turnbull deals with lots of fellow South Africans who are missing their favourite snack.

“South Africans are my main customers and there are so many of them here in the UK,” he says.

“But I also get interest from a lot of British people who have perhaps visited or lived in South Africa and want to make biltong.”

The UK’s craze with cookery has also helped the business.  “Making biltong is also like a hobby for some people, it’s like brewing their own beer at home,” he says.

For more news about SA expats, visit the South African Times website.

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