Kevin Hedderwick. Picture: SUPPLIED
Kevin Hedderwick. Picture: SUPPLIED

The unlisted holding company of the Kauai chain of health food outlets, Real Foods, has recruited two former JSE-listed company CEOs as directors ahead of “potential future listing plans”.

Former Famous Brands CEO Kevin Hedderwick has joined as group strategic director and former Brait CEO Antony Ball has also joined its board, Real Foods said in a media release on Monday.

Besides the Kauai chain, Real Foods owns what it describes as SA’s largest honey supplier, Highveld Honey, and Nü Health Food Café and Kohu.

The group has more than 160 stores under its various brands, and has started selling Kauai-branded products via grocery chain Checkers.

“It is a compliment to us and our business model that Kevin, who is so highly respected in the food industry, has chosen to join Real Foods above the many options available to him,” Real Foods CEO Dean Kowarski said.

“Kevin believes that the growth of the natural foods sector is exceptional and that Real Foods is best positioned to take advantage of this growth. Kevin is a highly experienced and well regarded business leader and we have no doubt that his expertise will bolster the ambitious growth and potential future listing plans that we have for the group.”

Hedderwick, who joined Brian Joffe’s Long 4 Life as COO in May 2017 and resigned five months later, said in the media release: “After spending much time in the listed corporate environment, I look forward to being part of the dynamic, agile and entrepreneurial, yet uncompromisingly results-driven culture at Real Foods.”

Kowarski founded Real Foods in 2013 with private equity investors including Ball.

“Ball is known as a pioneering private equity practitioner and as one of the most astute and respected investors in SA,” Kowarski said.