Celebrating a decade of sweet success

Published Jul 3, 2024


In the picturesque town of Darling nestled in the Western Cape, a sweet revolution began in 2013. Frits van Ryneveld, an antique store owner, and his partner Hentie van der Merwe embarked on a delicious venture — crafting artisanal toffees that would soon captivate hearts and taste buds across South Africa and beyond.

Inspired by Darling’s rich history, where butter-making once flourished, thanks to Swedish settlers, Frits and Hentie set out to create toffees using traditional methods and local ingredients. What started in a modest antique shop kitchen quickly blossomed into Darling Sweet, a beacon of handcrafted excellence.

Driven by a passion for quality and authenticity, Darling Sweet debuted with three signature flavours: Tannie Evita’s Classic, Honey & Salt, and Sour Fig. Word spread like wildfire, prompting Hentie to leave his role as a lecturer at Stellenbosch University to focus full-time on product development.

Fast forward to today, Darling Sweet employs a dedicated team of 32 artisans and professionals. Their production has moved from a quaint kitchen set-up to a spacious Edwardian building, once the hub of Darling’s General Dealer business. The product range has expanded too, now boasting soft caramels, toffee spreads, and a variety of delectable toffee flavours.

While rooted in South African tradition, Darling Sweet has gained international acclaim, exporting its treats to Namibia, Botswana, Nigeria, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, and the UAE. Each bite carries a taste of South African craftsmanship and flair.

As Darling Sweet marks its 10th anniversary, exciting developments are under way. New packaging designs reflect the vibrancy of South Africa’s flora, while a forthcoming product launch promises to delight fans with a distinctly local twist.

At the heart of Darling Sweet’s ethos lies the motto "Take your Time," echoing the careful craftsmanship and the unhurried enjoyment their sweets inspire. From vintage toffee tin collections to expanding their hospitality range, Darling Sweet continues to weave its rich tapestry of flavours and traditions.

With a legacy of artisanal excellence and a commitment to quality, Darling Sweet looks forward to many more years of sweet success. As they continue to innovate and inspire, their journey from kitchen experiments to global recognition remains a testament to the power of passion and perseverance in the world of confectionery.

Whether indulging in a classic toffee or savouring a new creation, Darling Sweet invites you to slow down, savour the moment, and enjoy the sweet taste of tradition.

As they say in Darling, "Take your time, and enjoy the sweetness of life."