Ris­ing to new chal­lenges

Salt River is fast be­com­ing the new hub for trendy bak­eries, res­tau­rants and bars

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - LIFESTYLE - NATHAN ADAMS

IT’S NOT easy in Cape Town if you’re a small busi­ness owner, run­ning a bistro, bak­ery or bar – it’s even tougher if you’re lo­cated in the City Cen­tre.

Al­though the cen­tre of town is where you’ll get the most foot traf­fic, and if you’re in the right street you’ll have well-known neigh­bours, there is a down­side.

Some of the neg­a­tives of run­ning a café or bistro in the CBD is that rent is at a premium, and park­ing is al­ways an is­sue.

There are a few busi­ness own­ers who have cal­cu­lated the risks of re­lo­cat­ing and de­cided to move to Salt River, on the edge of the CBD.

One of those “re­lo­ca­tors’ is Ciska Ros­souw, owner of Loaves by Madame Baker, pre­vi­ously Loaves on Long. She upped and left Long Street in the City Cen­tre and says she’ll never look back.

“I moved for var­i­ous rea­sons – be­cause Long Street took a very dras­tic turn, not nec­es­sar­ily for the bet­ter.

“I ended up clean­ing hu­man fae­ces from my door ev­ery morn­ing and used con­doms from my bal­cony,” she says be­moan­ing the prob­lems in the City cen­tre.

Peo­ple beg­ging on the streets and ha­rass­ing her po­ten­tial cus­tomers were also harm­ing her busi­ness.

“The peo­ple who walk in there, they would read the menu by my win­dow. They’d stop, read and get ush­ered on by the peo­ple ask­ing for money,” she says.

Ros­souw looked at all of her op­tions and de­cided to re-brand her busi­ness and move to Salt River.

“You have a choice in life: you ei­ther give up or get up,” she says with a slightly sheep­ish grin.

Salt Or­chard is a new de­vel­op­ment on Briar Street, Salt River. A for­mer print­ers’ ware­house has been con­verted into var­i­ous units that are now home to new and re­lo­cated busi­nesses, in­clud­ing cof­fee shops, a bak­ery, a yoga stu­dio and an Ital­ian cheese academy.

Ta­ble Seven is owned by chefs Luke and Katie Won­na­cott, who have cre­ated a blank can­vas as a restau­rant and cater­ing space for them to run their busi­ness.

Coming back from Dubai, the cou­ple found their feet in Cape Town, and Luke was a restau­rant con­sul­tant for three years, cook­ing on the side for pri­vate events.

Ta­ble Seven is an open and airy space that doesn’t look like your av­er­age restau­rant. Ta­bles and chairs are brought in and laid out ac­cord­ing to the de­mand and reser­va­tions.

The food is fresh and in­no­va­tive flavours en­cap­su­late ev­ery­thing that is tak­ing place in the Salt Or­chard right now. Luke says: “We wanted to have a place we could call home and have fun in – our idea of the per­fect ta­ble is lots of peo­ple, food and wine from one side to the other.”

Across the street from Salt Or­chard is an old cig­a­rette fac­tory that will also be re­de­vel­oped next year and no doubt be­come home to more eater­ies, bars and res­tau­rants.

For now, Salt River has not been gen­tri­fied, un­like it’s im­me­di­ate neigh­bour Wood­stock. The area still has the orig­i­nal tex­tile fac­to­ries and light in­dus­tries it’s known for, but pop­ping up in be­tween are busi­nesses that need a change of scenery and have gone to Salt River for a re­newed lease on life.

Salt Or­chard is at the in­ter­sec­tion of Briar and Frey roads in Salt River.

NATHAN ADAMS

CISKA Ros­souw at her new premises in Salt River.|

NATHAN ADAMS

THE Salt Or­chard is a new de­vel­op­ment in Salt River.|

ROASTED cau­li­flower at Ta­ble Seven.

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