Sometimes, you just have to get up and bake something…

Tannie Alet had no real aspirations of wealth and prestige, or running a big business. She yearned for financial freedom and to spend more time with her family and friends. She got baking and the excitement and adventure of independence was liberating. It wasn’t long before she found her dreams rising like freshly proofed dough in the back of her modest kitchen.

With friends and family supporting her along the way she had no idea of what it would become but she put her head down and with a little bit of grit, batches of luck and her hands full of flour she managed to grow the business into what it is today… a delightful success. Not the normal adjective to describe success, and neither is she.

Image of Aletta Venter, founder of Alette's Rusks

Our recipe

In the early 1900’s on the stoep of “Die Handelshuis” in the Free-State town of Edenville, Ouma Deborah wrote down a recipe on the back of an envelope and was given a piece of a special sourdough culture from the Lalie Viviers. The recipe was mainly used for the enjoyment of Ouma Deborah’s family, who then passed the recipe to her daughter Alet who kept the recipe safe, unaware of the meaning this recipe will bring to her family almost a generation later.

It wasn’t until the late 1990’s that Henri Venter, her loving husband, nudged her on to keep baking the special farm-style rusks he loved so dearly. Soon after his retirement he encouraged Alet some more and they joined forces to invest his retirement monies to buy her an industrial oven, a mixer and employ their first two staff members. They moved from the kitchen to the garage, and there something magical happened.

Image showing the process in the Alette's Rusks Factory


Just like so many other small businesses, deals were done with handshakes, finances were done on scraps of paper, sometimes incoherently, and yes, rusks were baked imperfectly in those early days. Through trial and error, iterating between batches the recipes where perfected and constantly improved upon.

The only thing that was true, is that they were hand-made and morish. Quality was uncompromising and it was made with love and honesty by hard working people. That is true today as it was almost 30 years ago….

Image showing Quality and hard work in the Alette's Rusks Factory

Our Values

Today, Tannie Alet is the Chief Baking Officer, and is often seen meandering through the facility early in the morning, often on weekends too. Her success has always been the people that surround her. Her family, friends and staff are all there because of her. The company is the epitome of ubuntu, of; umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu.

She has built this business on the back of kindness, uncompromising quality, and grace. Every bite of every rusk is a reminder of what can be done when you get up and go do something.

Alette's rusks lifestyle shot