Oh my, ManBox

August 30, 2016

CAUTION!  This posting will contain manly goodies and some drool-worthy links to the suppliers themselves.
Any self-professed foodie will enlighten you about the “best products” and the “tastiest treats” they’ve come across, these “recommendations” can be driven by own experience, “bribes” from the producers or a conglomerate of “popular demand” and favorable reviews on social media channels.

I set out to put together a myriad of foodie-driven treats for a MANbox – yes a box of treats, for a MAN.
What exactly do you gift a fellow with a wide range of interests and hobbies?  Socks and ties are just not appropriate for the man of the hour.

Let’s start off with the motive behind this elaborate man-gift.
A very special 4-monthiversary; yes, I am a grown-ass woman who revel in the idea of celebrating the man in my life – because it takes some guts (and patience) to keep up with a feisty, temperamental and passionate lass such as myself.

The objective was simple – gather and box up as many foodie gifts as possible in a week.  Now that seems fairly easy, doesn’t it?  There’s absolutely no point to the exercise if it looks like you went on a spree in a Woolies warehouse, gather things which will have some significance to the recipient.

And with the joy of internet shopping and courier service, this mission was set.

I used the beauty of my Instagram feed to determine who would be up for the challenge.

The MANbox contained the following items:
1. A packet of “The World’s Strongest Coffee” by Black Insomnia;
2. A Zestly gift box;
3. A pug-mug from Mantality.co.za;
4. A ZANG caffeinated chocolate bar;
5. A New Beginnings Castle Milk Stout toffee;
6. A gift hamper from Darling Sweet;

All of the items beared some significance by being either something fun or a new favourite.

The suppliers for the MANbox:

As intimidating as the statement of being the world’s strongest coffee, similarly is the black and white website, and even more so the stylish black packaging with no more than the logo and name.
As Black Insomnia states “a real caffeine infused kick in the face to the tired, the old, and the mediocre” and “sleeping is cheating”. Now who can resist a cuppa Joe that will knock your socks off?
Order your “fix” on their website: blackinsomnia.coffee or follow them on Instagram.

To accompany a manly strong coffee I ordered a very butch (but cute) Pug Mug from Mantality.co.za.
They claim to love manly stuff, and sell it too!
The online store features thousands of manly gadgets and gifts aimed especially for men.  I especially love the different categories and interest-specific groups for interests. To spoil yourself or your significant other, get the Pug Mug from Mantality.
Super efficient ordering and speedy delivery.

ZANG has miraculously combined caffeine with silky smooth chocolate.  Add some ZANG to your life with a caffeinated chocolate, available from supermarkets and food retailers.

The proudly South-African food items found in the Zestly – premium themed gift box – was innovative and intriguing.
Zestly was started by couple Gino Martini and Tamlyn van Rensburg. Entrepreneurs with a growing love for food and discovering new tastes. Both having day jobs at the time, Tamlyn, started selling sourced gourmet products to family and close friends.  They concept is novel and surely not the only “foodie boxes” out there, but the attention to detail and the funky products makes it worth the anticipation.
This Zestly box was filled with speciality tea, a spicy vinaigrette, nutty dukkah, sexy nut butter and home-made crunchies.  All the food products were packed in a beautiful paper box, sealed with a note saying “Hand-packed by Tamlyn”. Such a nice touch!
Different boxes are available every month, allowing you to subscribe and celebrate the arrival of your next Zestly-surprise (something they refer to as christmas all year round).

New Beginnings offer a specialty range of Belgium chocolates and sweets and only supply to small privately-owned establishments to maintain their personal relationships and monitor quality of their produce.
New Beginnings is a small-batch production taking place in Centurion and if you are in the Pretoria area head over to the Irene Dairy Farm’s shop to stock up on sweet treats.

The sweetest treats for the sweetest man had to come from the Darling Sweet team.
Not only is the produce amazing, but the team (especially Frits; co-owner of the business) is just as sweet.  One of Darling Sweet’s aims is to create employment for the Darling community, not only employment, but empowerment and career development – the staff complement has grown to 13 members!  Their production kitchen is housed in Darling’s original General Dealer’s building, which is one of the local architectural landmarks. It is there where the whole process of toffee making is done behind glass so that the public can view the toffee production process as well as taste and purchase their entire product range.
But if you are based inland, their products are sold at specialty food stores and various other stockists.  Nip over to their “stockists finder” on the website to find out where you can stock up on the amazing range.
During a weekend break-away to Dullstroom we stumbled upon the Honey & Salt toffees; what a treat!
I decided to indulge and purchase a Darling Sweet gift hamper containing (our own) selection of 4 boxes of toffees, a toffee spread and natural raw veldflower honey.
These people know how to deliver quality service!  And a quality product!  Frits, the packaging is beautiful and Hentie, well done on the flavour combinations.
Flavours of the artisan toffees include Red Wine & Chocolate (the full-bodied spicy aromas of red wine from the Darling region combined with the decadence of roasted cocoa nibs adds depth and mystery to a rich butter-caramel toffee), Bird’s Eye Chilli (a rich butter-caramel toffee with a floral zesty tang, infused with a hint of the indigenous African Bird’s Eye chili to add a zingy afterglow) and the Honey & Salt Toffee Spread begs to be slathered onto a decadent dessert to do justice to the rich amber colour and flavour.

Get your orders in for Christmas, everyone will have that one person they don’t know what to get, this is the perfect treat!

This has been a fun experience, and every day eagerly awaiting the arrival of the next parcel was equally as much fun for the entire office.  Gifts don’t have to cost a fortune and definitely don’t have to inconvenience your schedule.  Let’s support our Proudly South African producers, suppliers and artisans in their endeavours.

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