5 minutes with entrepreneur, CANDICE ROBBERTZE.
Candice is the owner of Calorie Conscious, one of the largest health bakeries in South Africa. With a distribution chain of more than 500 clients, including Checkers, Spar, Food Lover’s Market and Dischem nationwide, it is clear that this dynamic businesswoman is busy building a health food empire.
Describe yourself in 5 words?
Dynamic, Go-getter, Inspiring Educating, Empowering.
What are you currently up to, career-wise?
I am the Managing Director of Calorie Conscious. I have moved my focus in terms of how readily available our product is to the market and I am currently working on new avenues to supply products to the public. I am also working on new ketogenic baked products that will launch soon.
In terms of my personal brand: My website is almost ready to launch. It is a lifestyle site that features various meal plans, training programs, recipes, wellness and lifestyle coaching courses, a variety of products that we produce ourselves and available to purchase. I am also doing quite a lot of lifestyle demos where I teach people alternative ways to cook, like for wellness days for example.
Candice Robbertze Foundation: Studying through the University of the Free State. This course will assist me to assist people when integration needs to take place in society. I believe that this will be a bonus for me with my philanthropic work, where I assist various charities and homes.
What was your childhood like?
I had an amazing childhood. I grew up Afrikaans in Pretoria, a tomboy with short hair. They called me Troepie! My parents gave us the right foundation, grounding love and support we needed. We are still very close to this day.
When did you first discover a love for the food industry?
I think growing up around food (butcher owning family) is where my love for creating dishes started, and why I decided to become a chef.
Who are you when you’re simply at home, on a Sunday afternoon?
I am exactly the same person that you see every day. The only difference is that I do not have shoes and makeup on. I love to spend time with my family. I am the mom that plays rugby, watches cartoons, cooks and bakes, draws pictures and dances the booty scooty.
Who do you admire within the South African food industry, and why?
Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen. He is South Africa’s first Michelin-star chef.
How do you deal with negative criticism?
I simply ignore it. Positive criticism I might still contemplate so I can better myself. But negative criticism has only one purpose, and that is to break you down. I don’t allow that in my life.
Who is your role model and why?
My folks – I learnt a lot about being an entrepreneur at an early age.
Where’s the most interesting place you have travelled to and why?
I travelled through Europe 3 times at the age of 19, on my own. I must admit I loved Prague, but one of my favourite places must be Budapest.
What motto or words do you live by?
Never give up.
We all know that the media doesn’t always get all their info correct, what is the strangest thing you have read about yourself that wasn’t true?
Ha-Ha – A couple of months before I received my Mrs. South Africa Charity title, I read that I was getting a divorce. Oh wait, there is more! That Reuben and I were entering a couples “Beauty Pageant”!
What is the most memorable tweet you have received or been tagged in?
I assisted a young lady with an eating disorder when she was 12. Just before she turned 19, she passed away in hospital (I believe she had pneumonia). Her mom wrote in a post about what an incredible role I played in her life, and how inspirational I was to her daughter. It would have been her 21st birthday today.
In your career, you get to meet a wide variety of people. Who was your most memorable?
This was before my career, but at high school I got to meet the high jump athlete Charmaine Gale-Weavers. She just made an incredible impression on me.
I am sure you have encountered a few fans along the way, what has been your favourite fan encounter?
Under the GROW Project I introduce families to living self sustainably through farming. The young girls said that they saw me on TV and that they wanted to do my hair in their salon. I sat on a big stone in the middle of nowhere whilst little girls were having a princess discussion with me and platting my hair.
Did you always see yourself in the food industry, or did you have different dreams as a child?
No, I wanted to become an air hostess. I suffered from motion sickness though and realized that flying definitely wasn’t the ideal job for me.
What has been your most challenging decision in your career thus far? What made it so challenging?
A big corporate didn’t pay us for 6 months. We didn’t have the money to go the legal route and in June 2014 I was forced to retrench 41 staff members. Two month later I had 40 staff members back in my employment.
Everyone harbours a pet peeve. What is yours?
People not being on time and people that break promises.
Final Question. If you could choose any superhero to play on a big budget Hollywood production, who would you play?
Black Widow. She brings a touch of class to the MCU balancing her S.H.I.E.L.D work. She is mysterious, originally a ballerina, she is flexible, dedicated, has amazing poise and a natural athlete. She is “bad ass” and wears black.
Frozen marshmallow Easter eggs.
Favourite TV show?
Favourite Travel Item?
Favourite Clothing Brand?
Guess jeans. They make pants long enough to fit me. And definitely Prada.
Favourite childhood memory?
Christmas at our house. The Robbertze family taught me that every event is a celebration of some sort.
Favourite holiday destination?
Locally Umhlanga and abroad Hong Kong.
Must have fashion accessory?
Nomination jewellery and a pair of hug sun glasses.