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Words: Tivania Moodley | Images: Supplied

Rayhaan Jhetam’s proudly South African start-up, Maverick and Jane, encompasses his passion for people and great food. His gourmet popcorn comes in a variety of delicious flavours and the company also caters for events and weddings nationwide. After a successful launch in Joburg, The Zone @ Rosebank in 2016, Rayhaan brought his business to Durban.

How did your business start?

My dream of building the business from scratch started years ago, which included travelling the world in search of the best corn as well as developing my own recipes for the unique gourmet popcorn flavours. We commenced our search for an ideal location as early as 2014, when we had fully built out the concept, which took approximately two years. We opened our first store at the Zone in Rosebank in 2016, with the second store in the Gateway Theatre of Shopping and the third in the Mall of Africa, both in December 2017.

Why did you choose this area to set up shop?

I love the mood and ambience in Gateway and my passion has always been food and people. This allows me to get the perfect balance. Furthermore, Umhlanga at large attracts a number of tourists from across the world. The casual, carefree vibe at the coast is amazing and makes for a perfect location for Maverick and Jane.

How did you find your premises?

I’ve always had my heart set on opening up a store at Gateway and the management team was very keen to offer me space. I waited patiently for almost two years until a spot became available. Once it was, the Gateway team supported me in making my dream a reality.

Why are the premises ideally suited to your business?

Gateway is such an awesome mall with cool things to do and eat, and the mall-goers are a fabulous bunch of people. There’s a great vibe about them, which creates a special energy in the air.

Who are your neighbours?

Several retail stores and food offerings. We’re close to Truworths, Circus Circus and Häagen-Dazs.

What are the shop rental/sales prices like in this area?

Normal retail rental prices.

How many people visit your business each day?

It’s difficult to keep track. It’s always bustling as people love popcorn.

Do you have any expansion plans?

Definitely. We have three stores to date and have a few more locations and other ideas in mind.

Do you operate online as well?

Yes, we have an active Facebook page and a website.

What’s your most popular item?

The Hazelnut Rocher gourmet popcorn is our most popular flavour. The Velvet Granitas is also very popular; this is our smooth velvet ice drink spun in exotic flavours.

For more information on Maverick and Jane Gourmet Popcorn, phone them on 072 234 1825 or visit their website.

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