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Interview with Brad Meiring from The Munching Mongoose
As you already know, we love supporting local entrepreneurs – particularly when they’re the kind that deliver beautiful farm-fresh produce to your door. So we asked Brad from The Munching Mongoose to tell us a little more about their inspiring story…
What are you guys all about?
We believe that integrity and honesty are the roots to long lasting relationships and we believe that family is so important. We are passionate about looking after you, your tummy and the environment – while having fun and not taking ourselves too seriously!
We are a couple of friends who share the belief that doing good results in, well, good! By doing good in our business practices and what we offer, we create an environment in which good will come to both us and our customers. This begins with how we live and eat, as well as the way that we interact with the world around us – people, plants, animals and communities!
What was your “uh huh” moment that made you pursue your idea of fresh produce deliveries?
The Munching Mongoose was born out of a simple idea – source and gather great food and make it convenient for others. My wife and I have always loved food, and when our first child, our son Ben, was born I had a rethink about what was important to me and what kind of a father I wanted to be, what type of a role I wanted to play in my children’s lives and what kind of an impact I was going to make. At the same time, a good friend, Tamryn Dicks, and myself had similar ideas about providing a service and products similar to what The Munching Mongoose now offers. After chatting and bouncing some ideas around we saw an opportunity to do things a little differently, offer an authentic, but more comprehensive and professional (rustic without the splinters) service to what was available and make it heaps of fun too. Knowing that such a service would greatly appeal to us, we figured that surely there would be other people, particularly health conscious busy people, who would enjoy the same. We then decided to give it a go. Now here we are over 3 years later, still super happy, passionate and excited about what we are doing… and laughing a LOT!
When did you realise that sharing tips and advice on healthy eating and living well was what you wanted to make a career out of?
I’m not sure that it is the dispensing of advice that I see as my career (or that I am in a position or even qualified to be giving such advice), but rather that I am passionate about family and living a happy, joyful and fulfilled life. If there is a way that what I do on a day to day basis can create this for my family and I and simultaneously offer the same to as many other families as possible, I think that is pretty amazing, and what I strive for. With The Munching Mongoose, it has always just had a “different feeling” to anything else I have done or been involved with. It has honestly always just been an absolute pleasure and joy to be doing what we are doing and building this business and working with the people I do. As a small business, it is not always easy, but we know that we are doing something really cool, a little differently and are truly making a difference to a lot of families. We are involved with such amazing people in all realms of the business, from our suppliers, the amazingly talented artisans, our passionate team through to our mongaggle members (mongoose family – customers), that it has, rather than being a single moment, been a natural, joyous and continuous progression to where we are now and where we are going with the vision for this company.
Your advice on ‘where to start’ for people who know they want to eat more healthily but are totally overwhelmed?
First and foremost, you should live a happy life so don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Perhaps start with just one thing. Cut back on one indulgence or add one additional “healthy” element to your eating as a start and take it from there. I believe it is all about balance. Don’t try and go to the extreme or change drastically, or instantly. Choosing fresh, seasonal (preferably organic) produce over processed food is a great place to start. There can also be no denying that laughing and eating great wholesome food with those most important and dear to you is a true remedy for the soul! Do that!
Tea or coffee?
Hmmmmm… time of day might dictate, but I think a good coffee will mostly trump tea!
What is your favourite indulgence of choice?
I do love me some chocolate!
Favourite quick fix recipe?
Pasta (even with store bought pasta when you don’t have time to make it fresh). It is so versatile and goes with pretty much any sauce or ingredients. Quick and easy, using any fresh and seasonal goods you have available, you can make an amazing sauce and it also means that you almost never have the same meal twice. If time is really tight, you can even just smother it in olive oil, salt, cracked black pepper, parmesan shavings and maybe a few basil leaves or other herbs from the garden. Yum and super easy
Advice for keeping a good work-life balance?
Do your best to find something that you love to do for “work” and then there is not as much need to try and balance things, as it is then just another cog in the wheel of your life and not something that you see as separate. Whatever it is that you choose as a career, keep in mind why you do it and for who. This way you will always remember to give enough focus and energy to them too. There is no point in working all the time to create a better life for your family if you then never have time to spend with them now.
3 foods you cannot live without?
Olive oil, fresh farm milk, free range eggs
What is your go-to snack on the run?
What makes you the happiest?
My family. My beautiful wife and our two incredible kids… and friends… a belly full of great food… lots of laughter around a noisy dinner table. Picture it – Wafts of incredible mouth-watering aromas, clanging of pots and pans, shouting, laughing, music, the sight of what seems like chaos, but is actually a well-choreographed dance – chopping and sauteing, tufts of flour in the air, the shift of a pan here and the ignition of a stove flame over there. Big hearty bowls of wholesome good food glistening with the generosity of love and olive oil… there is always olive oil and lots of it. Freshly baked bread broken apart and strewn across the table, crumbs and all. A mesh of arms and hands reaching and grabbing, exchanging plates and bowls each filled with different flavours. The glugging and sloshing of wine from bottle to glass and glass to mouth, some of which even adds to the tapestry of colours on what was once a white table cloth – Fewer things can be better than a good meal spent in great company!
Thanks Brad for chatting to us!
You can learn more about Munching Mongoose and how to get fresh goodness delivered to your door right over here.
And you can also help support Brad during his 94.7 cycle race to support the kids at Abraham Kriel, just click here to donate R25 for Pedal Push for Hope.