This dynamic female-led team never fails to impress us with their incredible work ethic and seemingly endless energy in making George a better place and certainly giving the coffee scene another gem. We chatted to Nelonia Wessels about Gapp Cafe, nominated as one of the Best New Cafe's 2020.
All images from their Instagram page, give them a follow!
What inspired the beginning of Gapp Cafe?
After 4 amazing years at Krust Cafe we were approached by the Garden Route Mall to open a restaurant at an old Cappuccinos site. It was an intimidating prospect to open a non-franchise in such a large space in the mall. After many sleepless nights and budget drafts we took on one of the most difficult but rewarding challenges of our lives.
What espresso machine set up are you using and why did you choose these service providers?
We bought the first Sanremo Cafe Racer in Africa and have walked a long path with Sanremo SA. We still believe it helped elevate our coffee offering to a next level as the Racer gave us the consistency we were looking for. We are now the proud owners of 3 Racers as well as the Sanremo SR70 EVO grinders. We do high volumes and invested in a PUQpress to ensure our quality stays perfect even during peak times. We also use the amazing EK43 Mahlkonig grinder at our retail area.
Can you tell us what your favourite part of setting up Gapp was and what it felt like when you opened the doors for the first time?
To open a 160 seat restaurant in an empty shell takes a lot of planning, creativity and hard work. To create something from nothing is an amazing feeling. The entire process from an idea, to a sketch on paper and finally a beautifully functional restaurant is a very rewarding experience. Our first day was a combination of nervous excitement as well as a sense of accomplishment after meeting the goals we set for ourselves.
How has this time of COVID-19 affected the way you do business, have you learnt any valuable lessons you can share with us?
We’ve made a conscious decision to try and enjoy the off time with family that was something we rarely experience. Covid to us, was and still is a huge mental battle. We tried to focus on the positive and looked for opportunities. We realised we can run both restaurants even more efficiently. We were even more determined to be hands on and an active part of every aspect of our business. We expanded our retail and take away section as well.
What are your plans for the future?
Even though the economic climate In South Africa is very challenging we believe that there will always be opportunities if you’re willing to back yourself, work hard and be open for creative ideas. We will always be on the lookout for a new adventure.
Thank you to our CMA 2020 Sponsors: