NoMU – eat. drink. live.

Tracy was a vegetarian when she started the business and because of this, Paul suggested that, as a name for her original plan (which was to start a very unique delicatessen here in Cape Town), she ought to have a title that could communicate some of her personality and her quirks as a foodie.

Since Tracy’s dream outlet would not exactly feature a massive red meat section at that time, Paul suggested that no meat would equal no cow which would equal ‘No-Moo.’ This became ‘NoMOO’ which later evolved into ‘NoMU’!

About six months later, we discovered by accident that in Japanese, NoMU loosely translates as ‘to drink, swallow or savour’

Although the name still carries the same story for us, Tracy is no longer a vegetarian.

Tracy Foulkes is the heart and soul behind NoMU. Her passion for flavour inspired her to start the company in December 2000 in a very small, front room of her home in central Cape Town. Her love of spices and the stylish, uncomplicated way she loves to cook is very much evident in the NoMU range of products.

Tracy is also well-known in South Africa as a food personality, appearing on television and live in a variety of promotional and food related programs and events. Tracy’s photography, food styling and writing have also been featured in several magazines and now her monthly Recipe Mailer also allows her to exercise her favourite pastimes and passions while still on the job!

After almost one year, what had started as an experiment had now taken on real shape and Tracy asked her then boyfriend, Paul Raphaely, to join her as her business partner. As her first export enquiries began to arrive, she found that she was not able to cope and therefore asked Paul to leave a career in Brand Management and Advertising to help her make sense of the sudden expansion of her business. Shortly after this, Paul became a partner and took on the role of Managing Director and creative foil to Tracy’s never-ending stream of new ideas.

Tracy and Paul are now married and still live and work in Cape Town but now also with their two littlest brand ambassadors, Joseph and Adam, firmly in tow and calling the shots!

They have also been lucky enough to gather an amazing team of highly motivated and energetic professionals to work with them in continuing to build this uniquely South African story. With each new staff addition, the business continues to grow and expand in new and unexpected directions. With Tracy as NoMU’s Creative and New Product Development Director, it’s anyone’s guess where NoMU might eventually go next.

Since it’s an informal company policy for NoMU to exclusively produce products that rather fit Tracy’s own personal tastes and preferences for her own kitchen at home, who really knows what Tracy might accidentally discover a need for!