The Story of Bea's Health Rusks

Many years ago I found a lovely rusk recipe which my family and friends loved. My house was never empty of these rusks and I often used them as gifts for other people. Often I received a request for the recipe which I very willingly shared. Strange enough, every one who received a recipe, tried to bake them, but time and time again, the feedback came that their rusks just did not turn out the same as mine. Because it happened so many times, I came to the conclusion that I was given a gifting for this recipe.

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Beatra Westdyk

M.Sc. Home economics

My anchor in life:

"Trust the Lord with all your heart, soul and mind; don't lean on your own understanding, but in everything you do, put God first and he will direct you and crown your effort with success."

Proverbs 3:5-6

In July 2006 I entered a season where it felt like I did not have enough to give. Then I remembered my rusk recipe and I started baking rusks using the equipment I had and selling them to friends. It was not long after I started baking my rusks, that the owner of Franschhoek Spar asked me to bake for their store. Week by week, the orders grew and so did the feedback from people. Franschhoek Spar observed that my rusks drew people to their store.

People responded saying unusual things like “In 46 years I’ve never eaten rusks as nice”, “I’m getting addicted to your rusks”, “I taste a stroke of the artist’s palette in these rusks”, “I felt an anointing coming over me when I opened a packet of BEA’S RUSKS” or “I have ME and multiple Food and Chemical Sensitivity and it’s hard to find food I can eat. I discovered your rusks and they are great.” There is no bigger thrill than producing something that is a blessing to people. Not long after, a buyer from Checkers tasted our rusks on a hunting trip and approached us. We then decided that we want to bake rusks that are filling and nutritious, meal-type rusks.

Our definition of health is to use processed ingredients as little as possible to keep our rusks free from preservatives, colourants, etc. With every recipe we develop, we obey the golden rule “INGREDIENTS AS NATURAL AS POSSIBLE” and aim at LOW GI. We use real butter, stoneground flour, etc. and include lots of rolled oats, coconut, seeds, bran and dried apple. LOW GI or slow release of energy may help consumers concentrate for a longer period, it will take longer before they feel hungry again, it prevents the tiring effect of a drop in blood glucose and hyperactivity in children.

We also put strict regulations in place to maintain the quality of the product. We started baking in our home kitchen, but build a small factory on our premises which helps to keep overheads down. We are a family business with my husband (responsible for marketing and deliveries), 3 other full time workers and myself. We use the Willowbridge Slowfood Market for market research.

Our rusks are mainly distributed over the Western Cape, but we also courier or post rusks all over South Africa. We also bake for special needs, e.g. gluten, wheat, dairy or sugar free on condition that the client takes the whole batch. Rusks became our passion and as long as people enjoy them, we will bake them.

BEA'S RUSKS is more than a "luxury" item for tea-time in your home; it is part of your lifestyle. We want our rusks to be something you keep apart of your everyday routine. Our rusks are healthy, nutritious, wholesome and homemade.

Our rusks are healthy, nutritious, 

wholesome and homemade.

BEA'S RUSKS is more than just a treat with tea or coffee. It is breakfast-on-the-run, sleep-in breakfast in bed, a lunchbox replacement for the sandwich you did not have time to make, something to serve to unexpected guests, something to nibble on next to the fire when camping or in front of a fire-place, always ready treat for students, teenagers or even small children, a quick fix for diabetics when blood glucose drops, a shelf stable food for people in old age homes or those who just rent a room, the ideal addition to a picnic basket, “padkos”, a mid-morning snack for executives having a board meeting, something South African to take overseas, Mom's treat to send to far away children, a thank you gift, a gift to treat or just something affordable you can give to bless someone. I once had the thought that if you ever had a flat tyre, my rusks would not be able to help you fix that tyre, but then I realised, a cup of coffee and my rusks will bring some comfort which will make you feel better - that is what Bea's Rusks is for.

We have obtained the following:

CERTIFICATE OF ACCEPTABILITY FOR GOOD PREMISES (Regulation R918)

Every year Merieux NutriSciences do a General Management Practise (GMP) Health and Safety Audit
ALLERGEN STATEMENT POLICY who stipulates how we store the ingredients, the procedure we use when baking and how to clean in an effort to keep a high standard.