MARC CRISP FeaturedWritten by Roshen Prantice
Roshen Prantice recently caught up with Cathay Trow Yenana the business executive who has had a 30 year friendship alongside Mark Crisp the MD and visionary behind the Mark Crisp brand.
1. What brought upon the whole Crisp Kitchen idea?
The idea was born years ago when Marc was into the image industry with hair and make-up etc. He would normally be the go to guy and has worked with most of South Africa’s celebrities and while doing one of his commercials he saw the gap for food in the industry and there the brands of Marc Crisp was born.
2. Has Marc incorporated the image industry into his food and catering establishment?
He has because the Marc Crisp Kitchen is about the restaurant, the coffee bar and the catering aspect of business. What happened was with the catering aspect we cater for television productions and our clientele is from television and where we do a lot of our commercial catering and that was the gap that Marc saw in the industry so his kitchen serves as the place where we prepare the food for on location catering.
3. Is Crisp Kitchen a family business?
Crisp kitchen has got one sole owner and that is Marc Crisp, but Marc is very much about family so his brother is doing the bar and his sister also assists in the aspects of catering while the rest of the family helps in the other projects because they are a family of foodies.
4. What was the reason for the shift from Maboneng to Eldorado Park?
Part of the reason for coming back to Eldos is because Marc is originally from Eldos but he also wanted to strengthen the relationship with his family and also build his community. Marc wanted to look at the business this side and see how he could bring the oasis that he has to this community and maybe change the narrative about Eldorado Park. I also think he loves the spirit of the community and has received a lot of love and support from them.
5. Many people think that the food industry in Eldos is full, so has it affected you guys in any way?
I think there is a difference between what we do and the other food businesses this side. Our slogan is “taste Africa taste the world” so with Marc’s travels and all the people that surround him that have a lot of international travels Marc has incorporated all of this into his menu as well. Marc has taken old recipes of his grandmother and spruced it up with different flavors from the world like the morocan stuff so we try to bring all our experiences and travels into the pot of Crisp kitchen. So I think our experiences and tastes differ so we will always bring a global and African taste to our menu.
6. Do you still cater for television productions?
Yes we do, we currently working on my perfect family and also do catering for Isibiya, so it’s a very lucrative business and the industry is such that there is a lot of perfection needed and the Crisp brand is about that.
7. So what is the Crisp brand all about?
It’s about family, media and the food. So the Crisp brand is a lifestyle brand. Over 15 years ago Marc started MarcCrisp.com and this is part of the sub brands, so we have the kitchen brand, the catering brand on and off site as well as Marc Crisp foundation that handles the development aspect which handles a lot of community work such as fundraising, e.g. the Shannon project to raise funds for him to go to university and go into media., so Mark is very about building stronger communities and that is the basis of his brand.
8. What are the plans for the Crisp brand moving forward?
We looking at strengthening the brand and leaving a massive footprint in the television, film and commercial industry but most of all we want this brand to transcend and also move into different communities. We will also be starting a programme where we will be looking at local unemployed people from Eldos and who are at chef school so we can transfer skill and develop them in this type of sector.
9. What are the challenges you guys have faced?
The challenges we faced especially in the service industry is to get the correct mix of staff and suppliers. Marc also handles business development as well as looking for new clients and he is even the executive chef, so apart from business he also wants to add his personal touch to the food that leaves here.
10. Any words of encouragement for someone going into this field?
Stay focused, stick to your vision and remember it’s all about the brand because you only as good as your last meal that goes out so if it’s not appreciated then people will not come back, also remember to be prepared for the long ride it’s a 24/7 gig.
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