Click on the “About us” section of the kitchen utensil retailer Yuppiechef’s website and you will get the long version and the short version of their history – just like asking a friend about their weekend, really. And that is one of the outstanding characteristics of this company: although it is hugely successful and growing, it also remains personable, friendly, approachable and above all – focused on the ultimate customer experience.
The Yuppiechef story starts in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa where Yuppiechef’s founders, Andrew and Shane, grew up. On finishing school, they headed to Cape Town and set up a web agency together but always dreamt of selling a product instead of a service and started experimenting with building e-commerce sites. A few twists and turns later, a chat with a chef, a eureka moment and a lifelong dream combined with the discovery that a suitable domain name had become available to produce just the right set of circumstances for the birth of Yuppiechef.com in 2006. Paul, an independent designer and school friend of Andrew’s, joined as the third Yuppiechef director in 2009.
When Yuppiechef got its first sale (from a non-family-member!) they were evidently so thrilled that they wrote a heartfelt note thanking their first real customer for supporting Yuppiechef. The response to their note was so overwhelmingly positive that they decided this would be a feature of Yuppiechef’s sales forever. To this day, each order goes out with a handwritten card thanking the customer for their support, and delivery is free anywhere in South Africa. And as Paul says: “We come from a century of bottom-of-the-barrel customer service and when you treat people well, they take notice.”
And take notice they do. Today, Yuppiechef has a slew of e-commerce awards to its name and is arguably South Africa’s leading e-commerce store, employing a team of over fifty at their HQ in Westlake, Cape Town, South Africa. 60% of Yuppiechef purchases are from repeat customers. They have a Pinterest board dedicated to photos that fanatical customers have sent in of their pets in Yuppiechef packaging. How many companies can say that??
We are also honoured that Yuppiechef has chosen to engage the South African food blogging community and enthusiastically support the Indaba from the outset, providing fantastic goodie bag items each year and regularly sending representatives to attend the Indaba. This year is no exception – apart from once again providing goodie bag items, Yuppiechef also generously donated ten R200 vouchers to be given away with every 5th ticket sold in our GET LUCKY ticket sales incentive. We can’t thank Yuppiechef enough for their support and enthusiasm and look forward to hearing Paul Galatis and Marina Pape speak at the 2014 Indaba!
Have you seen our funky venue for the 2014 Indaba? And have you heard that we will be auctioning off some truly amazing prizes in a charity auction to raise funds for the South African Guide-Dogs Association for the Blind, our chosen charity for 2014? Want to buy a ticket? Click here to register now. See you at the Indaba!
The 2014 Food & Wine Blogger Indaba takes place on Saturday 22 February 2014. If you’d like a nifty Indaba badge to display in your sidebar, please e-mail Colleen or Jeanne and we will send you the code!