Over the past 25 years, Middle Eastern eatery Anat and its founder Anat Apter have risen from humble beginnings to having more than 20 stores spread across South Africa.
“I never wanted to be in the family food business, but after falling on hard times, I heard my mother’s voice in the back of her mind saying that if I ever needed cash fast, I should go and sell falafel! So using my grandmother’s recipes, I did,” says Apter.
“In the 1990’s Bruma Flea Market was very popular so I decided to start there. There was a long queue of people trying to get a stall and I was right at the back of it. I stood on my toes and yelled, “Excuse me, Do you want me to sell falafel here?” The man in the booth waved me to the front of the queue and that’s how it all began.”
Initially, Apter only sold falafel, but slowly introduced shwarmas and other options for her customers.
“Since the beginning we decided to give our customers a choice; the choice to have their food, their way in our homemade-style pitas and wraps made fresh every day in our bakeries with recipes passed down from my family in Egypt and Israel,” she says.
Limited edition, SA-inspired pita
To celebrate her 25 years in business, Apter has introduced a limited edition, South African-inspired pita, with spicy mince and chakalaka, based on a winning submission for the #AnatPerfectPitaZA competition run earlier this year.
“Although our story is rooted in the diverse cuisine of the Middle East, I wanted that story to also include the rich heritage of traditional South African food,” continues Apter.
“South African cooking has so many different influences from Africa, Europe and the Far East and this rich combination gave us such an exciting culinary palate to work from.”
“I’m really excited to introduce this new pita to our loyal customers to thank them for their support over the last 25 years,” concludes Apter.