We are all about moments. Moments of togetherness. Moments of celebration. Moments you’ll never forget. Moments that are so precious, it leaves a legacy for generations. Moments that can be written around a fire, defined by the people you are with and given colour by the food that you braai. That is who we are. We are Megamaster.
We opened our doors in 1997, 25 years ago when CD’s and bell bottoms were still a thing. A small factory in Donkerhoek, Pretoria East, that made built-in braais and fireplaces. We had a very specific product focus of braais and fireplaces made of mild steel. At that time, we were one of a few suppliers of these products in Gauteng – just so happy to sell to a few private customers, installers, and hardware stores.
In 2005 the transition from a factory to a brand started to happen with new owners. Two brothers with a passion for braai saw the opportunity to take Megamaster and mould it into something much bigger. Beyond just selling a few braais in Gauteng and taking it to the rest of the country. Maybe even globally! A big dream from a small factory in South Africa. There are many stories of influential entrepreneurs in this world, and all of their success started with a big bold statement. Ours being: ‘let’s take the essence of a South African braai to the world!’.
In South Africa, it’s easy to explain braai. We are wired with a subconscious understanding that it is much more than just cooking food over a fire. We can’t necessarily even put it into words why it is so special, but we can feel it – the warmth, the safety, and most importantly, the freedom. The core of braai is about bringing people together. Braai can cross cultural boundaries to just ‘be’ in that moment. Braai creates the space for going back to basics. Our innate human nature is wired to share and care for each other. Why brothers André & Magiel de Beer saw Megamaster as a gem that needed to be shared with anyone who would listen.
Over the next four years, we hit a few big milestones. Megamaster wasn’t just available in a few regional Builders Warehouse branches anymore, it was available nationwide! Our business was in three categories back then – Mega Palisades, Mega Huts, and Mega Braais. Palisades and huts were great way to use the offcuts steel from our braais and fireplaces for minimum waste. We introduced patio gas braais into our range as well and sold our first one in Builders Warehouse in 2009. A crucial factor for success is to narrow down the focus of a brand, and that is exactly what we did to set the spotlight solely on Megamaster.
The core of building a brand as an entrepreneur, is using the belief that you have in the brand and its products to influence people. To make others see what you see. To let them feel a little bit of your fire. Not always a glamourous job – in our case, it was about being hands on. Whoever could help whether it was building and painting braais in the factory or helping to offload containers manually. Nobody was bigger than the game. A core of humility.
We quickly started to evolve into something more than just a family business. For the first time, our bold dream of ‘let’s take braai to the world’ seemed more attainable. In 2014 we could comfortably say that we were the biggest braai supplier in Africa, and in 2015 we made an appearance at our first hardware show, Spoga, in Germany. In partnership with our sister brand Nexgrill, under Global Leisure, we expanded our reach into now more than 22 countries globally.
In 2018 we successfully launched Megamaster in North America, keeping the essence of a South African braai with a bit of an American flare. Today, we are the biggest braai supplier in Africa. We’ve focused our range, our core, and our products to serve our customers and to ultimately honour who we are as a brand.
We’ve evolved. We’ve adapted. We’ve embraced who we are as a Megamaster family, and let that spirit spread into our brand. We’ve taken the heart of our nation and we are sharing it proudly globally. Whether it be a humble braai broodjie, a lamb chop, or a 12-hour smoked brisket – we as Megamaster promise to keep fulfilling our purpose of sharing braai with the world. We honour our heritage and proudly stand behind our brand.
To you, thank you for sharing in our journey for 25 years. For bringing your energy to our dinner table. Together, we truly are a force. Together, we are our South African heritage. Together, made better.