Debbie Fry has been a committed vegetarian from birth. Born into a meat-loving family in South Africa, it was often difficult to refuse meat on the plate. She met Wally Fry, a farmer and “3 meats and 1 veg man” in 1978. Despite their differences at the dinner table, they married in 1980 and had their first child Tammy in 1981. Tammy too was born a vegetarian and refused to eat meat. Wally was outnumbered! Wally later became a passionate vegetarian and together with Debbie they fought for animal rights and environmental causes. After having eaten meat his whole life, Wally struggled with “spinach and feta“ or “broccoli and cauli” options and so began his quest together with Debbie in the kitchen to make meat alternatives for their own consumption. They worked on this project tirelessly and passionately until they had developed a range of 4 products.
They had finally satisfied Wally’s taste buds and need for a convenient and tasty protein option. After meeting with many other vegetarian friends, they realised that there were many others like them. The rest is history…they became Vegan meat alternative manufacturers! The demands were great and they worked together day in and day out…the driver? For every veggie burger someone ate, less animal flesh was being consumed. This made every second worthwhile (and still does!). Debbie is mother to 3 girls, son in laws and 4 grandchildren. She is still heavily involved in the directorship of Fry’s Family Foods.
Debbie has never been a stay at home mom…instead she worked alongside Wally and took every step with him. The mantra “Don’t walk behind me, don’t walk in front of me, but walk beside me and be my friend” has been the mantra in their marriage. Debbie is hardworking and prefers to work in the background. She never seeks praise and is very committed to making a difference in whatever way she can.