By Melinda Shaw

The Toast’s 12 birthday feels a bit like those Facebook friendaversaries that clap and cheer as it announces you and so-and-so have been friends for THREE YEARS! When actually you knew each other when you had pimples and braces.

I knew the Toast back when it was just flour and water, Kim and Louis, or Mom ’n Dad as we called them. Those were the halcyon days of print magazines, when you could blow a million rand on a launch party, and you could stand in Ellis Park and look at the stadium and realise that the people who bought your magazine every week would fill the stands.

With Kim and Louis the motto was, “Go big or go home.” In those pre-Toast days they made a habit of going big, and it was always fun to go along for the ride, whether we went to the bush to brainstorm and watch diertjies, to Miami where we smoked Cuban cigars with the French boys from FHM Francais, or to the Costa Brava to stalk the Black Eyes Peas and dance on a Spanish beach at an MTV party. While they were my publishers at Heat, they sent me to cover the Cannes Film Festival and the Oscars, and as a team we reveled in our magazines’ successes.

We had been working together for over 11 years by the time they left Media24 and baked the bread that would become the Toast. I followed them a year later, also to set out on my own and start Shaw Media, and pretty soon we were working together again.  I number the files of work that I do for Twisted Toast by month, and we currently stand on 106 months. During this time The Toast has been my client, and then Shaw Media became a Toast client, and no matter which side initiates the work and whatever the permutation, we know we work well together.

It is such a treat to have partners in business whose work complements your own, who believe in excellence as strongly as you do, and whom you know you can always rely on. When those partners are also friends, it’s like honey on buttered toast – it doesn’t get any better than that.

Happy 12-year anniversary, Toasties!