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Small KwaZulu-Natal family business soars to new heights through deal with Shoprite 

| Supplier news

Since signing a deal with the Shoprite Group just over a year ago, Durban-based family business, TMK Foods has grown from stocking their Mediterranean Kitchen brand initially in five to now 15 Checkers stores in KwaZulu-Natal. 

The business was established in 2010 by former restaurateur Dino Constantinou (65), who created a range of Mediterranean dips, pestos and meze. Loved by locals, the business eventually outgrew Dino's home kitchen and moved to a small factory. In 2018, sons Alex, Michael and Angelo brought in their expertise to help expand the business further.  

“A friend told me about the Shoprite Group’s small supplier development programme. I contacted the supplier development division and sent some samples. Receiving a call from the retailer was beyond exciting,” says Angelo. 

Made from high-quality, fresh ingredients, Mediterranean Kitchen has quickly become firm favourites with consumers. Since listing in Checkers, TMK Foods has expanded its range from seven to 13 products that include humus, tzatziki, pesto, poppers, feta and more. Sales have also increased substantially from a few hundred units to thousands sold each month. While the products are now produced in a factory where they employ nine additional people, the family ensures they still retain their homemade and authentic flavour profile.  

“Our family business now has a fighting chance in an economy that is ever so difficult to trade in. By giving us access to Checkers’ extensive market, we can compete against national brands,” says Angelo. “Our dad is always so proud to see what he started go much further than he could ever imagine.”  

TMK Foods was shortlisted for the Group's 2023 Supplier of the Year Awards in the SMME category – an annual event that recognises and honours exceptional suppliers.  

“TMK Foods provides customers with a range of quality options in an otherwise niche category. This is the type of collaboration that provides retail solutions and fosters a diverse business ecosystem, driving both enterprises forward,” explains Maude Modise, who heads up Shoprite Next Capital, the business division dedicated to capacitating and growing commercially viable small suppliers.  

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