The story of Bea's health rusks

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 use 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.

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 the feedback from people. Franschhoek Spar witness 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 palet in these rusks”, “ I felt an annointing 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-tipe rusks. Our definition of health is to use ingredients processed as little as possible to keep our rusks free from preservatives, colorants, 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 help 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 spesial 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.

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." Prov 3:5,6

Beatra Westdyk

M.Sc. Home economics