From flyswatter to R470 million: Hilton & Maritzburg College Old Boys’ massive success

A Maritzburg College Old Boy (MCOB, Class of 1992) and Hilton College Old Boy (’98) have taken a business concept that began in the lounge in 2006 to an approximate R470 million cash sale as of yesterday.

Mr Price is the buyer, while the 2 founders, MCOB Shane Dryden and Old Hiltonian Andrew Smith, along with a second Hilton College Old Boy, Smith’s 1998 Hilton classmate and head boy Paul Galatis, are the three primary beneficiaries, their being the 3 directors of Yuppiechef, the hugely popular Online kitchen and homeware retailer.

Dryden and Smith along with their Yuppiechef management team, will continue to operate the business for Mr Price.


Hilton College Old Boy (Class of 1998) Andrew Smith.


Smith, who received the highest academic marks in his matric class year at Hilton, and Maritzburg College Old Boy Dryden are the 2006 founders of Yuppiechef, while the third and only other director is Galatis, who joined in 2008 and brought design skills and e-commerce marketing knowledge to complete the Yuppiechef recipe.

The concept of selling kitchen and household goods Online that began in that Plumstead, Cape Town lounge 14 years ago has almost taken on a life of its own. A fly swatter gadget, that was bought by Andrew’s mum, was their first product and first sale.

Flags and handy kitchen implements then became 32 e-commerce kitchen products, 11 sales were made in the first 4 months (10 to family and friends), and after 12 months the sum total of huge endeavour and smart work was only 200 customers.


Maritzburg College Old Boy (Class of 1992) Shane Dryden.


It took 5 years before they could actually pay themselves a salary. E-commerce was the only way to go as they did not have capital. They could only order more stock once they had been paid for what they had sold.

Dryden is the natural foodie among the trio, always having had an interest in the subject, and of one Sunday morning he came up with the name “Yuppiechef”.

All in all, a fantastic achievement for these Old Boys of Hilton and Maritzburg College. A congrats to Shane, Andrew and Paul.


Hilton College head boy in 1998 Paul Galatis.


Yesterday, Yuppiechef said on their website, “We’re still going to be the same Yuppiechef in name and people and the way we work. Our co-founders, Andrew and Shane, will still be leading us, and we’ll have our same teams and managers firmly in place.

“Some of us have been around for a long time, helping craft the company that Yuppiechef has become, and some of us are privileged to have come more recently to work for a brand that customers have shown so much love to over the past 14 years. We all take our responsibilities seriously, and are committed to making Yuppiechef the best that it can be.

“If you’re one of our customers already, thank you for your support so far, and if you’re not, we’ll keep on trying to win you over.

“There’s a lot more good stuff coming!”



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