A family affair

A family affair

Owning and running a business with your family can bring you closer and be incredibly rewarding. The owners of three popular stores at the Ballito Lifestyle Centre – Cookin Stores, Sweet Peas and Wozza Meat Co – offer us some insight into what it takes to successfully run a family business. Commitment, trust, authenticity and a shared vision for the future are some common themes…


Home to the most exquisite and exciting kitchenware brands and culinary tools on the market, Cookin Stores is a store run with big heart.
From their humble beginnings in the Midlands to now having a large and busy store at the Ballito Lifestyle Centre, opposite The Market, the Cookin family journey began with husband-and-wife team Adrie and Rob Lauterbach opening their boutique kitchenware store in the KZN Midlands in 2010. Now, more than 13 years later, mom Adrie and son Jean-Pierre sit at the helm of this wonderful brand, with Adrie responsible for overseeing the staff, product selection, training, merchandising and accounts, while JP heads up in-store operations and e-commerce.
A self-dubbed ‘family of foodies,’ the Lauterbachs share a passion for quality kitchen tools and gadgets. Their goal, Adrie says, is to bring authentic, globally and locally renowned kitchen merchandise to their customers.
“Food awareness is bigger than ever and the market for cool kitchen merchandise continues to grow. We are witnessing a rise in global innovative food culture which is changing the way we experience, prepare and present food,” says Adrie.
Connecting with their customers is incredibly important to both Adrie and JP, as is ensuring that the brands and products they stock are as environmentally friendly as possible. They constantly research food trends and gadgets with the goal of inspiring and educating even the most inexperienced cook.
The best thing about working together as a family, Adrie says, is the fact that you are collaborating with people you trust and care about – and who foster the same professional and personal values as you. “There is a powerful sense of commitment with family. We are willing to put in the extra hours and share a long-term outlook and we stick together during challenging times.”
Working together can come with challenges, but Adrie believes the best way to avoid them is to keep within your defined roles and have distinct boundaries. You should also try to leave work at work, she says, and remember to set aside emotions when tough decisions need to be made.
“Working together has taught us so much about how we think and approach things as well as our professional strengths and weaknesses. Our favourite things to do together when we are not working are cooking, making memories around the dinner table, traveling and exploring.”


Founded by twin sisters Stacy Cheves and Che Peinke, Sweet Peas handcrafted clothing and apparel is all about locally produced, high-end fashion pieces that have a distinct international influence … and a little South African flair.
From modest beginnings, Sweet Peas started with just a small collection of leather sandals in 2017. Over the past six years the range has evolved organically to include a variety of footwear collections as well as a premium, ready-to-wear linen clothing collection.
With their flagship store situated at The Studios at Ballito Lifestyle Centre, Sweet Peas is now one of the most adored brands on the North Coast and Stacy and Che are undoubtedly the magic behind the brand.
“Our philosophy of ‘less is more’ drives us to continually refine and rebuild, ensuring versatility and longevity are always at the forefront of our decision-making,” says Che. “Sweet Peas spans across tailoring, outerwear, knitwear, footwear and accessories in modern silhouettes and natural fabrics, maintaining our fundamental values of responsible business and considered design.”
Che heads up the creative side, looking after the brand vision, website and social media, while Stacy is more involved in the analytical side, operations, invoicing, client queries and ensuring things run smoothly in the factory.
Literally ‘two sweet peas in a pod’ both Che and Stacy feel very blessed to be able to work together, knowing they have complete transparency and trust, as well as the same ethos and love for the brand and each other.
The fact that each sister plays a vastly different and significant role in the business means there is rarely any conflict. “We trust one another implicitly in each of our roles. We believe in each other and that the decisions each one makes is best for the business.”
Being born as identical twins means there is little, if anything, Stacy and Che do not know about each other, however, working together has taught them about their quite different strengths in the business world and how to compliment and play into one another’s strengths.
Living right next door to one another means that Stacy and Che spend a lot of quality time together outside of the workplace as well. “Family and friends are important to us, and we do try to unwind and spend leisure time with them. We don’t get much downtime though because we are always discussing work and conceptualising current ideas. Sweet Peas is definitely at the forefront of most of our conversations!”

The North Coast’s favourite butcher, Warwick Taylor (Wozza), started working in a butchery when he was just 19 years old – as a cleaner. In 2017, he and his wife Amanda started the phenomenally successful Wozza Meat Co brand, which now has three branches in Ballito and one in Salt Rock.
Growing up on a cattle farm in Underberg, Warwick unknowingly started his meat journey long before he stepped into a butchery though. “I learnt a lot about the meat industry right from the source, which ultimately birthed the passion I have for grass fed, natural beef today.”
A true ‘family affair’, Warwick’s wife Amanda (affectionately referred to as ‘Lovey’) played a key role in opening the butcheries. She handpicked the design elements for each one and continues to play a crucial role in decision-making within the business.
The couple’s son-in-law Richard is the hardworking and dedicated CEO. “A fantastic businessman with a brilliant mind for strategy,” according to Warwick, Richard joined the business before marrying Warwick and Amanda’s daughter, Jade – a professional photographer who now heads up the marketing side of things.
Enthusiastic, open and honest, Warwick says his family all ‘say it like it is’ and are great communicators, which means they get things done quickly and handle challenges really well together.
“Being in business with your family means you get to see a side of them that you otherwise would not have on a normal day-to-day basis. Having done this for a few years now, we have figured out whose strengths lay where and which tasks would be best overseen by each family member.”
So, what do they do when they are not working on or in the business? Braai … obviously! “We have three daughters, three sons-in-law, two granddaughters and a grandson on the way – it is a beautiful chaos! We are privileged to live right on the beach, so you will often find all 10 (and a half) of us on the veranda, braai sizzling, music playing, enjoying our family. What a blessing!”