Discussing eCommerce with Woolworths and Yuppiechef at Heavychef

HeavychefThis month Heavy Chef cooked up something amazing. The name might be a little misleading – there’s no food involved (usually), but all about how to “practice what you preach” and inevitably not trusting a skinny chef (i.e. you have to live and believe in what you teach). Heavy Chef aims to teach people about all things digital – from SEO to eCommerce.

Guest speakers at the March session held at the Deloitte offices in Johannesburg were Nikki Cockcroft from Woolworths (and a list of other organisations and credentials as long as her arm), and Andrew Smith, co-founder of Yuppiechef*.

These are two very different companies and the stories of how they came to do business online are just as diverse.

According to Nikki, Woolworths is working to becoming an omnichannel solution, leading to a completely seamless transition from one platform to the next, following the user where they go – whether it is the web, mobile, or tablet. I love how she said people should stop being sheeple: don’t build an app or be on a platform just because everyone else is. Find out how it is going to benefit you; build a strategy and adapt your technology around that.
Look out for the relaunch of the Woolies online shop soon.

Yuppiechef is a garage start-up made good. They don’t have the marketing budget a retailer as Woolies does, but because their mission is to delight the customer, they’ve benefited greatly from word-of-mouth marketing. Their customer service is superior to any other online retailer I’ve ever had to deal with (with the Sarie.com online store a close second). A testament to their dedicated following is their Hello Peter page, which has 270 🙂 and only 2 🙁 (those two make the people at Yuppiechef sad, but you have to admit that’s pretty remarkable). And they are proof that the small things make a big difference – they employ people to write the personalised hand-written notes that goes with every order. I personally love that they send you coins with knife orders and the cheesy jokes on the fridge magnets and in the magazine that I’ve gotten with my last couple of orders.

For me, Yuppiechef will always be synonymous with people who care. After I was retrenched I once tweeted that I should’ve ordered the Sweetly Does It Patterned Icing Rolling Pin, because I was planning on baking cookies as Christmas gifts for my book club, and it would’ve been so nice if I could give them super-pretty cookies. Yuppiechef tweeted back with a link, asking if that was the item I referred to. After confirming, they asked me to DM them my address and sent me the pink baking accessory. My cookies were a hit!  Every time I think about this, I get the warm and fuzzies, and I think that is what they hope to achieve with every order.

I enjoyed my first Heavy Chef encounter (although, a bathroom break between speakers wouldn’t have hurt) and will definitely attend more. Personally I don’t need to know about eCommerce at the moment, but it was interesting regardless, which is a win.

*I’ve had to edit every mention of Yuppiechef to eliminate excessive gushing about how awesome they are, but they really are. Fantastic! I promise.
Awesome Andrew also gave me three Mystery Vouchers to give away. To enter, you need to share with @SyllCity and @yuppiechef the link of the product you want most from their site with the tag #Syllichef. But be quick! Entries close at 10:00 on Friday morning (8 March).


  1. Carla Pegg

    I’ve never heard of Heavy Chef before… Sounds super fascinating! I just adore Yuppiechef too! I have tweeted you my favorite item on their website <3

  2. redsaid

    VERY cool contest! Are we allowed to enter more than once?

    • Syllable

      That won’t be fair – we all want everything that’s on the Yuppiechef site, but the point is to choose the ONE thing you want more than anything else 😉 Enjoy browsing!

    • redsaid

      Haha, no problem! I chose wisely.

    • redsaid

      Also, a coffee maker like this is something I have been searching for FOREVER in South Africa. A filter coffee machine that makes the coffee into a thermal carafe – or in this case, a cool (heh) thermal serving station – that keeps it hot and fresh for hours! If I don’t win, I’m going to save up for it, because I KNOW it will be worth every penny.

  3. Charlene

    So exciting! I adore Yuppiechef and spend AGES on their website staring at all the KitchenAid goodies. Tweeted my entry 🙂 I’m already following you & yuppiechef


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