We are so excited to see how the food industry in South Africa is changing, as the “real food” movement gathers more and more momentum. As it does so, it gives healthy eaters access to wonderful places that help us to indulge our love of good, wholesome food and ingredients. One such place is Jackson’s Real Food Market, owned and run by the innovative Gary Jackson, in Joburg’s Bryanston.
If you walk into Jackson’s, you see immediately how passionate Gary is about clean, healthy eating. The store provides a great selection of healthy food options that suit the various needs of his loyal customers. The shelves, fridges and freezers are full to the brim with delicious food and ingredients, catering for customers who are shopping to support a healthy lifestyle. Whether it’s gluten free, banting, paleo, low carb high fat, sugar free, vegan or simply organic and unprocessed that you’re looking for, you will find an extensive – and ever expanding – selection of products to choose from.
Where does Millstone fit in? Millstone is an important range at Jackson’s, as it ticks all of Gary’s boxes: It’s free of preservatives. Jackson’s sells the full range of our stone ground flours, which you’ll find next to a display of wood-fire baked, stone ground bread that looks too good to resist. We challenge any customer to walk out of Jackson’s without at least one of their artisan loaves!
Says Gary, “Our bread is made with only the basic ingredients needed to make bread – water, flour and salt. But most importantly, stone ground flour, a natural old way of milling flour so that you get the best quality from your grain. We use sourdough, which takes about three days to prepare, a slow fermentation that results in a Low GI bread that is easily digested. This is ideal for customers who have built up an allergy or intolerance to normal shop bought bread.”
At Jackson’s, they buy food based on taste, quality, nutritional value and price. Everything on the shelves is tasted and analysed and Gary strives to keep all of the award-winning local produce and products in stock. But these are not products sourced from big factories: Part of Gary’s philosophy is to showcase small, local real food producers. He says, “Supporting ethical suppliers is essential for the growth of the real food industry. All of our suppliers are committed to farming ethically and organically. We believe that labels such as free range or organic are meaningless unless you actually know the ‘story’ behind the product.”
Gary also believes in the importance of solid relationships with his suppliers. He says: “We create fair and transparent sharing agreements by doing ongoing, win-win partnerships, and we pay our suppliers within seven days of invoice, to assist with their cash flow. This can help start-ups to find their feet, as we pay quickly, on time, and we give them the space to sell their products. In turn, we get great quality products to stock in our store that suit our customers and our business and ethical philosophies.”
You can also take some time out to enjoy some of Jackson’s fresh fare on the spot in the coffee shop – choose from the delicious items on offer from the artisan baked goods and pastries on the menu, sit down and relax.
South Africa needs more entrepreneurs like Gary Jackson, whose vision, passion and support of ethical suppliers is just what the food industry needs. Judging by the way in which the business is growing, Gary’s objective of becoming a one-stop food destination store that enables people to eat cleaner, better and live a longer, happier life, is definitely being met.
Jackson’s stocks the Millstone range of stone ground flours, artisanally-made sauces, breads and dairy products, organic fruit and veggies and grass-fed, free range and antibiotic-free animal products. Individual ingredients address lifestyle choices such as banting, low carb, sugar-free, gluten-free, paleo, vegan and vegetarian, suitable for those who are opting to feed themselves, and their families, on wholesome food.
You can visit Jackson’s Real Food Market at Riverside Shopping Centre, 317 Bryanston Drive, Bryanston, Tel: 011 463 1598. For more information, go to www.jacksonsrealfoodmarket.co.za or look for ‘Jackson’s Real Food Market’ on Facebook.