The Cape Town-based Oake, Woods & Co. (Pty) Ltd was established in 2022 when Eben van Tonder and Richard Bosman decided to join forces and create a unique company around unique meat technology.
Some of our current initiatives are:
- Tender Marbled Meat
- Oake Woods & Co. (Pty) Ltd – The Development of a Meat Fermentation Curing System
- A Sausages Range – alternative to the South African Russian
Two amazing projects!
The inspiration for the name comes from the legendary Oake, Woods & Co from Gillingham in the UK. William Oake was the son of the man who created the earliest industrialised bacon processing system called Mild Cured Bacon. The father was also William Oake! So, William Oake invented the famous Mild Cured bacon curing system that would become the Wiltshire Cure system and his son, William Oake of Oake, Woods & Co. progressed the thinking and developed the Auto Curing System.
The following chapters in Bacon & the Art of Living tell this story and show the progression of the first William Oakes’ invention of Mild Cured Bacon to Auto Cured Bacon of his son and later Wiltshire Bacon. In highlighting the international impact of the Oakes’ combined work, I also list chapters here which highlight the Vecht Curing System which relies on the Oake invention but expanded it internationally, to more territories than any other single person ever did.
- William Oakes Mild-Cured Bacon: William Oake develops the Mild Cured system which becomes the foundation for industrialised bacon production.
- Mild-Cured Bacon and the Curers of Wiltshire: What would later be called Wiltshire cure started off as Mild Curing, Invented by William Oake.
- Oake-Woods & Co., Ltd., Rapid, and Auto-Cured Bacon: Oake’s son, also called William, progressed the idea of mild curing to Auto curing. His method, relying on specialised equipment, makes it possible to expand the system internationally. An anecdotal story has it that the company offered the father of a lady who contacted me with the account, a position at their factory in South Africa. I have no record of such a factory ever existed, but the account shows that they at least seriously considered opening a factory in South Africa. The Oake family is one of the most important in the history of meat curing and inspired by this story and the contribution of the father and son to the trade, we used their name for our company. In a way, we complete the idea that existed in the minds of the Oake-Woods family so many years ago by creating international brands with a solid foot in South Africa!
- The Jewish Master Curer and the Prince of Ireland and What was the Vecht Curing method? tells the riveting story of how the master curer from Holland, Aron Vecht, used a progression of the system by William Oake to develop his own unique process. Vecht was quite possibly the biggest bacon curer by territories covered in history.
Progressing the work from past generations, inspired by their diligence and creativity, we are excited to bring new thinking to the market! Better products, better distribution!
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