A café that believes in satisfying the personal preferences of each customer – to ensure a coffee experience worth coming back for.
We stop at the Oak & Vigne Café, where there’s a personal touch to every cuppa.
ON FRIDAY AFTERNOONS, CARS LADEN WITH BICYCLES START POURING INTO THE SLEEPY LITTLE TOWN OF GREYTON IN THE WESTERN CAPE, SAYS THE OAK & VIGNE CAFÉ OPERATOR ALAN BLAIN.
Situated less than two hours from Cape Town and with a variety of trails for all kinds of mountain bikers, the town has become a popular cycling destination. In order to keep up with the trend, Blain ensures his menu and coffee match the standards of his new, active, coffee-loving clientele.
The Oak & Vigne use Euro Café as their house brand; Origin is their premium brand.
“Our view on coffee is that almost every client, when asked, has a very specific way they like their coffee. Where possible, we work tirelessly to meet that expectation.”
The most sought-after choices are the flat white, cappuccino and Americano, and for obvious reasons. Because roughly 90% of the cyclists who stop in before or after their ride opt for one of the above, the Oak & Vigne staff strive to make them as perfect as possible.
What’s more, they’re building a database that stores information about regular customers and their special preferences, so that each time you pop in, you’ll get what you like without having to explain it. Talk about a personalised experience.
Can the resident expert recommend a good blend for cyclists? Head barista Bonita Lackey suggests the house-brand, doubleshot flat white. “It’s great value for money, a real pick-me- up before a ride, and has an excellent, well-rounded flavour and slightly smoky aroma.”
The Oak & Vigne Café has bike racks right in front of the shop, which means (if you’re nervous) you can lock your bike up securely; alternatively, just sit close to where you’ve park it. Still nervous? Fear not; you can actually wheel your bike into the shop.
Mary Strydom, the lady in charge of the kitchen, has developed healthy breakfasts and mid-morning snacks for cyclists wanting a booster without compromising the natural goodness of their food. The Chelsea Health Meal (small or large) comprises Greek-style yoghurt, tropical muesli and fresh fruit salad, in three layers, with honey and lemon zest.
For the enthusiastic who want a lighter snack between rides, there’s the Christopher Street Chicken Salad. According to Strydom, this will have you back on the trails in no time, without that frustrating food-induced midday slump.
BIKE- FRIENDLY AMBIENCE
Cyclists are welcome to kick back and put their feet up, sweaty spandex and all. If you brave the cold in winter, there’s a warm fire inside that you could get away with drying your shoes in front of too. And in addition to their promise to meet your unique coffee needs, the Oak & Vigne will go out of their way to accommodate cyclists’ requests.
According to Blain, the mountain-biking community of Greyton is friendly, and will do their best to give advice if required. In fact, they often go out on the trails with visitors.
If it’s your first time riding in Greyton, you can also get your permits here – the Café acts on behalf of the local MTB association. The green (intermediate/ beginner’s) trail is free, but the red and blue trails will cost you R40 for a day permit. Pedal Power members pay R20.
COOL BEANS RATING