In early 2000, when her children were in High School, Ansie Vlok started to put her degree in Food Science to good use to develop products using the fresh produce from the farm.
At first these were sold from the office and everything was produced in her home kitchen. However, as the range of products grew, boxes and bottles soon took over the house and it became apparent that it was time to set up a separate shop and kitchen for the business.
At the same time, a building was underway which would become the farm’s trademark Castle. Originally intended to be a wine cellar, the growth in Valley tourism inspired Johan Vlok to change his plans for the building. Although the main construction took more than 7 years and was only completed in 2010, sections of the building were already in use much earlier and it was into one of these areas that Ansie first moved her burgeoning business.
In 2006 the present shop, ‘Die Winkel’ and kitchen were opened and Ansie hit full production capacity. All the products sold in the shop are produced on-site and 95% of these were made from products grown on the farm itself.
For a brief period, the products were sold under the label “Môrester”, but in the late 2000’s she re-branded her products as ” Het Vlock Casteel “, a brand which soon became synonymous with the Môrester Farm.
There was some considerable thought behind the new branding. Riebeek Kasteel was originally settled predominantly by the Dutch and named after Jan van Riebeeck, the “founder” of South Africa. The first Vlock in South Africa arrived from Holland in 1670 and so with the deep connection between the present Vlok family and their Dutch heritage it was felt that Het Vlock Casteel (The Vlock Castle) was the perfect match.