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  • Writer's pictureSalome Posthumus

Foods of Tomorrow: Yesterday, today and beyond

There’s no doubt about it: Robyn and Deja are meat-lovers. More specifically, they’re Wagyu beef lovers. And now that these sisters have combined their business acumen, palettes and creativity, they’re taking the world of Wagyu by storm.

An idea born in the skies

The concept behind Foods of Tomorrow was born at 30,000 feet about four years ago. At the time, Robyn Kars was working in the cabin crew of an international airline. “Flying long-distance puts a tremendous strain on your body, and I was eager to develop something healthy and tasty to help me manage the toll of long working hours and a lot of time on my feet,” explains Robyn.

An unabashed apothecary and flavour-mixer, Robyn mixed together ingredients from across the world – which she accessed through her travels as a cabin-crew member – and developed a tea that would soon be the envy of her fellow crew. “I experimented with different natural ingredients and antioxidants, and then mixed and mixed until the taste was just to my liking. Once my colleagues saw the effect of the tea on my health and stamina, they wanted some too!”

The first leaves of what is now called Tomorrow Teatox were sold to crew members in zip-lock bags. But not for long.

Back on African soil

Soon after Robyn had mastered the unique flavour of Tomorrow Teatox, her family bought the farm Houmoed in Namibia with the specific goal of breeding Wagyu cattle. The Wagyu breed of beef cattle originated in Japan, and this beef is recognised internationally for its high grade of marbling and superb taste.

“We have always loved Wagyu,” explains Robyn, “but Houmoed gave our family an opportunity to combine our love of Wagyu with our passion for natural resources and values, and sustainable farming.” The farm soon became better known as King Wagyu, and is run by Robyn’s sister, Deja Nienaber, together with her feeding-expert husband Herman Nienaber and agricultural expert father, Fred Kars.

“For my family, King Wagyu was the beginning of a passion for Wagyu,” says Robyn. In addition to being CEO of King Wagyu, Deja is also a board member of Wagyu South Africa, Vice-president of the Namibian Wagyu Society, Founding member of Desert Wagyu and Protea Reserve Co (a Wagyu wholesaler that operates using a cooperative model). And with her background in the creative arts, Robyn played a key role in developing and promoting the Wagyu South Africa brand, and does creative work for a number of local and international Wagyu businesses and organisations – including Desert Wagyu, King Wagyu, Protea Reserve Co, Wagyu South Africa, the Namibian Wagyu Society and the World Wagyu Council.

And so the idea of Foods of Tomorrow was born. “My family and I believe in the natural goodness of Wagyu. And that means not just the beef, but also the power of tallow – which is the natural oil that comes from the fatty parts of the cattle. So we don’t just sell beef; we also provide a range of natural Wagyu-based products such as lip balm, body butter and body soap.”

A passion for Wagyu

Robyn and Deja’s passion for Wagyu is contagious, and they are working with some household names to take Foods of Tomorrow and Wagyu to new heights.

“Foods of Tomorrow is about Wagyu, everything that pairs well with Wagyu, and everything that can be improved with Wagyu. It’s a big concept, but Deja and I are not in it alone. Our current partners – and those who will surely follow – are helping us realise our very ambitious dream of introducing a new way of eating and living through Wagyu,” Robyn concludes.

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