Who is Andy Fenner?
A have a lot of exes. Ex advertising. Ex PR. Ex branding. Even ex property developer. Ex food writer. Current? Butcher & restaurateur.
What is your best childhood memory?
Eating white bread rolls stuffed with potato crisps on the beach with my family at a tiny seaside cottage, where we went every single year.
If you had a chance for a “do-over” in life, what would you do differently?
I would take university more seriously, or I just wouldn’t go. I sort-of didn’t do either. I mean, I went. But I just fucked around like a spoilt brat. I wasn’t paying for it and I acted like I wasn’t paying for it. I regret that. I would have learnt a lot more if I had just travelled for a couple of years. With hospitality, especially, personality, willingness to work hard and passion are worth way more than a piece of paper with some qualification on it. That said, if I did go back I’d study something totally different. I mean I studied ECONOMICS. For anyone that knows me…that’s hilarious.
What do you feel most proud of?
I’m proud of the fact that my wife and I can work side-by-side every day but still manage to go home, open some wine, cook some dinner and actually have a life. It took us a long time to realise that you need to leave work at work. If you don’t, the relationship suffers. So I’m proud that I’ve managed to keep my perspective as to what’s really important.
If you could only keep three possessions, what would they be and why?
Everything that means anything to me is tattooed somewhere on my body. Family, wife, dogs, career, goddaughter. They’re all there. I don’t know what else I’d need. My old man gave me a folding knife which I carry around every day. It’s even worn a hole in my denim. So, in terms of a sentimental possession, that’s a good one. An iPhone is a really boring answer but…yeah…I’d want one. Sorry, but I would. And my running shoes. Running is my therapy so I need them to keep sane.
What do you want your tombstone to say?
I want to go out, having at least made some kind of impact. I’m no wallflower, so admittedly I may polarise opinions. But at least I want to make a real difference, through what I do. So I’d settle for “Andy. He tried.”
What is Frankie Fenner Meat Merchants?
We are a butchery, dedicated to ethical meat. We buy carcasses from small, independent farmers and break the whole thing down ourselves, making sure to utilise every scrap. If an animal gives its life, it is our responsibility to make it count for something. I feel like meat – and agriculture – have been bastardised to the point that I simply could not take what was happening out there. FFMM is a company trying to get people to ask the tough questions. If they look at how they are currently buying, cooking and eating meat they won’t like the answers. At FFMM, we believe you will at least be able to make a choice about eating meat with a clean conscience.
What’s your favorite kind of coffee, brew method or coffee origin?
I don’t like milk in my coffee so I bounce between espresso and black americano. It’s quite a situational thing for me – I generally like espresso in the morning and americano in the afternoon. In terms of flavour profiles, I like lighter, floral styles with citrus, fruit and caramels. The deep, dark roasts aren’t my thing.
In which coffee shops are we likely to bump into you?
On my days off you’ll find me at Rosetta. They are hands-down my favourite coffee roasters in the city. And the country. They push progressive flavour profiles that are a bit whacky for most South Africans. I love their confidence to back their product and their processes. It’s place where I can indulge in a pourover too.
The House of Machines serve a mean coffee too. Ironically, their style is much darker, more “full on”. It surprises me because (as I said above) that’s weird for me to enjoy. But I do. I guess that’s a huge compliment to the way they package it. Hospitality really does go a long way.
For coffee on the run, Jason Bakery is tops. He’s open at 7am and has been banging out great coffee from day one.
What does a perfect day look like?
It’s Saturday and I have the day off. This never happens, so the story could end there and it would be perfect! But, yeah, if we are gonna play this game I would be up early. Trail run on Table Mountain. Home for a shower, quick trip to the park with my wife to play with our dogs. Lunch at Chef’s Warehouse. A walk around the city to check out some retail stores. You said it’s a perfect day so maybe I’m flush enough to grab a pair of kicks at Shelflife. I’d meet a few mates for beers at Power &The Glory. Dinner at Hallelujah. Bubbly to start. Then really, really good wine.