After our father became ill with cancer, to make ends meet our mother, Gilly Walters, held concerts for music lovers at our family home for up to 100 guests. With her passion for good food, our Mum created her innovative recipes to serve to her guests. At one of these concerts, Gilly tested her nougat making skills. The taste was great but the recipe was a flop! Not one to give up, our Mum went back to the drawing board. Our family kitchen became a constant stream of nougat to be tasted, pulled and prodded by anyone who stepped over the threshold. Eventually, after a year of false starts, Gilly perfected her well-loved nougat recipe and packed it into baskets to sell at the local farmer’s market. Such was the demand for our Mum’s delicious nougat, and later her nougat biscuits, that production grew fast. So, her sons jumped in to stir pots and help where we were needed. And that’s how Wedgewood Nougat began.
In 2019, Wedgewood celebrated its 20th anniversary as a family business, gathering new members along the way. Our nougat is still handmade on our farm and we work with the same passion and commitment that we always have, whilst creating exciting new recipes and all the while keeping a very particular eye on quality, just the way our Mum did.
Paul Walters (CEO and ‘Tea Boy’ – Wedgewood Crafted Confectionery)
Wedgewood is still a family business but the family has grown to include other members of the team. We have been joined by our wives and Ryan Hooker, a friend from school days, to keep us on our toes!
Gilly’s vision for culinary experimentation was ahead of her time. Her recipes continue to inspire the next generation of flavour innovators here at Wedgewood and our family now incorporates the many people who have joined the Wedgewood Team under her banner and give their life and passion to our brand. Although we all have different interests, we try to make a difference, whether it’s developing recipes, giving back to our community or finding ways to be more environmentally friendly. The Wedgewood Family is also our community of customers who have helped us build and grow over the years to a company that now employs over 100 very special people.
The Wedgewood Farm is a decommissioned dairy farm, not far from the majestic Drakensburg Mountains. This is home to our state of the art nut cracking facility, the Wedgewood Bakery and Makery and our Wedgewood Farm Shop. Gilly still grows a few organic veggies and as a team we are constantly experimenting with ways to keep our environmental foot print down; such as using our macadamia shells to fuel our hot water supply and extracting macadamia oil so that no nut or shell is wasted.
Hand Made Box Project
In 2021, we launched our very own Handmade Box Project that employs people with disabilities living in our local community. This idea was born from our need for beautifully crafted handmade boxes and a request from our community to find jobs for these previously disadvantaged people. These boxes form the foundation of our present gifting range that can be found online and in our Wedgewood Gifting and Hamper Emporiums. This project is based on our farm in the Midlands and offers our customers the opportunity to support a meaningful, solely locally produced gift. We are sure you will agree that these beautiful boxes are the perfect showcase for our handmade honey nougat, that was itself born from our mother’s drive to support others. The Wedgewood Handmade Box Project is growing. We now employ two full-time Handmade Box Project team members, Sli and Sphume, who can produce up to 100 handmade boxes a day in 6 artisanal steps. Sli and Sphume ensure the finest quality and a unique crafted finish. Each box has the bespoke touch of a message from them inside x
ONLY THE FINEST INGREDIENTS...
At Wedgewood we are passionate about finding the finest ingredients and looking after our planet and its resources. So we obsess over every ingredient that goes into our confectionery and we go to great lengths to find them. So, when our customers experience our nougat, they are assured that our honey comes from ethically harvested, sustainably managed hives, and our eggs come fresh from local farmers to be hand-cracked in our Makery, and we use 100% local farm butter for our biscuits, bought from farmers who we trust. Our confectionery is always made using the finest ingredients, no preservatives, no artificial colours or flavours…ever!
THE IMPORTANT THING ABOUT HONEY…
For the past decade, Wedgewood has been working to create sustainable beekeeping partnerships with African beekeepers and farmers, to ensure that the bees making our honey live happy lives and that the communities that care for them benefit from this valuable African resource. Wedgewood supports local beekeepers in the picturesque Northern KZN Rift Valley, practicing ethical beekeeping practices and using hives donated by Wedgewood.
Two years ago, we constructed our own bespoke nut cracking facility on the Wedgewood farm, to secure the finest nuts for our nougat. Our relationships with our partnering farmers have been so successful that we are now able to offer high quality nuts, surplus to our own needs, to other confectionery manufacturers for local and export markets.
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