Sun International’s The Maslow has partnered with Gugu Mlipha, founder of Gugu & Daughters Farming near Walkerville in Gauteng to provide vegetables and other fresh produce for use in the award-winning hotel’s kitchens.
The pioneering farmer will also be growing specific plants and Asian ingredients at the request of The Maslow’s new Executive Chef, Jason Millar, to support the hotel’s Lacuna Bistro’s new menu.
Mlipha has already spent considerable time with Chef Millar to understand what sort of vegetable cuts are required to ensure optimal consistency and quality in line with his requirements.
“From the moment we met Gugu, we were impressed by her energy, commitment and passion for her work. Her willingness to explore growing new vegetable and fruit varieties to meet our needs is inspiring and shows her commitment to service excellence, and continually growing and diversifying her business. We are immensely proud to be part of contributing to the continued growth of Gugu’s Farm,” says Jason.
Mlipha’s story is an inspirational one of a woman’s determination to rise above circumstance and pursue her dreams. From a humble street hawker in KwaZulu-Natal, she has through sheer hard work and commitment, grown to become trusted supplier of quality fruit and vegetables to one of South Africa’s largest supermarket chains, a large East Rand hotel, and other companies. She provides a value-added service and also has a refrigerated truck to assist with deliveries to her customers.
“It was my love for the soil, and for watching things grow that got me going, and it is what keeps me going,” says Mlipha.
According to The Maslow’s General Manager, Johan Scheepers, the partnership with Gugu & Daughters Farming not only demonstrates the hotel’s commitment to local enterprise development and community building, but is also aligned with its goals to promote meaningful and sustainable change in its supply chain.
“Under Sun International’s revised Code of Practice, The Maslow is working to ensure that 80% of products and services procured are from small, empowered, black-owned enterprises. Up-skilling and nurturing BBBEE providers in our supply chain will be emphasized to ensure sustainability,” says Scheepers.