Here is me with the South African Ambassador to the United States, Ebrahim Rasool - he got so excited when he saw my rusks!!
We moved over to the United States in 1996 - and what a journey it has been. We have made some incredible friends and they are part of the reason that I started baking and selling rusks. We lived in beautiful Huntington Beach California for a number of years and we met a few South Africans there. Well, we would get together about once a week and every now and then our one friends mom would come to visit and she would make these delicious rusks for us. We would, without fail, sit around the table and we would all be transported back to South Africa. As that rusk melted in our mouths we would all be in heaven. They were so good I thought that the rest of the South Africans should be able to get home made rusks when ever they wanted. I also thought that it would be great for Americans to be exposed to a part of our heritage - the delicious, nothing like it in the world, Rusk.
Who knew that I would land up with this thriving little business. The best part of my job is receiving letters from South Africans telling me how my rusks transport them back "home", a joy to get these letters!! Also my rusks being sent to the boys on the border in care packages - love those letters and photographs. And of course care packages to kids in college. Friends sending other friends Rusks - and of course, Christmas time is so much fun! Surprising people with Charmaine's Rusks is always a treat.
I have also worked so hard to build a South African Community in the Bay Area, what a blessing that has been. I love my peeps!
Drop me a line and say hi - I look so forward to hearing for you.
My son in law took this photograph of me - he is so talented - Thank you Eddie Tallman .
Hi my name is Charmaine,
I was born in Zambia, Africa. My dad worked on the Copper Mines and my mom was a stay at home mom at that time. We moved down to Johannesburg, South Africa when I was about 6 years old . I have three older brothers, all still living in South Africa and I miss them a lot.
I am married to an incredible man and have three beautiful daughters, two good looking son in laws and two beautiful grand children. I am one lucky girl!
An interview done by journalist Rebecca Bowring last year at one of our South African get togethers, this was just before Thanksgiving. This was aired in South Africa - I guess we are famous now :) It was a lot of fun! Mano and I work a lot together organizing and getting the South Africans in our area together. We need our South African food!
Your's truly at one of our many braai's (BBQ's) Always have so much fun!