When you have been in business for nearly 100 years under the same family it takes a huge leap of faith to make changes.
Take Mastertons Coffee and Tea Specialists – Port Elizabeth‘s speciality coffee roastery and pioneers in the roasting and blending of top quality coffee since their establishment in 1924. This makes them one of the oldest, if not the oldest coffee roastery in South Africa!
Who amongst us can remember popping into the roastery with mother/grandmothers who all wanted to chat with Jock whilst choosing their coffee for that special dinner party later that night?
Mastertons provided a personalised service to the many sleek coiffed housewives from the suburbs of Port Elizabeth and then expanded to selling on the shelves of our numerous supermarkets reaching those without the time or inclination to make that special trip to the roastery. Many is the PE ex-pat that still makes a special trip to Mastertons to stock up on a taste that is evocative of a special time in the family home.
The Longhair and I have become ‘slightly fanatical’ about our morning brew and if we do not have Mastertons in our cupboard will do without.
This month, Mastertons are releasing their newly updated packaging – a new look, but same great coffee! Their new 250g bags are distinctly “Mastertons”, and now feature a one-way valve to keep their coffee fresher for longer. Look out for each blend’s signature label, each telling a unique story to be found in every cup. Their coffee is currently stocked in a number of Spars and other retailers across the country, but predominantly in their home province of the Eastern Cape.
Fittingly for Heritage Month, Mastertons’ history spans the last 92 years of South Africa’s coffee scene, having been founded by Ronald John “Jock” Masterton, who was born in November 1897! At the age of 23, Jock came to South Africa from Scotland in 1920 after having served as an Officer in the First World War with the aim of establishing his own business. Jock had also spent time in Ceylon (modern day Sri Lanka) where he became a qualified Tea Taster, often sampling more than 400 varieties of tea in a single day. Returning to Port Elizabeth, he opened “The Tea and Coffee House” at 33a Queen Street (now Govan Mbeki Avenue) on 4 December 1924, and later moved to 114 Russell Road from where they still roast coffee today. When in Central, just follow your nose and you’ll be sure to find them! In 2015 Mastertons opened its coffee equipment store at 69 Parliament Street, which also houses their barista training centre.
In addition to this great new packaging, Mastertons will soon be releasing a new look website boasting an improved online shopping experience, so that even if you can’t visit their roastery yourself, you can still get their coffee delivered to your home. Mastertons also offers value added services such as barista training to their food services clients, a technical division specialising in coffee equipment repairs and maintenance and even has a fully kitted coffee vending trailer catering for large events and festivals.
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