Rising to new challenges
Salt River is fast becoming the new hub for trendy bakeries, restaurants and bars
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.
CISKA Rossouw at her new premises in Salt River.|
THE Salt Orchard is a new development in Salt River.|
ROASTED cauliflower at Table Seven.