After a two week renovation period, the first branch of The Deli Coffee Co has opened, on Kloof Street, home to the former Melissa’s, ironically the first outlet which Melissa van Hoogstraten opened twenty years ago. Melissa’s has closed down all its company-owned stores, while most franchise stores have changed their names, and are continuing to operate, the company having gone into liquidation. Continue reading →
The Blue Café opened in Tamboerskloof on Saturday, after a few months of renovation, having operated as The Daily Deli for 18 years. The small building with attitude has a heritage dating back to 1904, and is set to become the new secret food treasure in the hood of Tamboerskloof. Pricing is very reasonable.
I drove past yesterday afternoon, having seen a Tweet referring to its opening, and met the charming Murray von Hirschberg, co-owner with his wife Jeanne, with input from her mother Lynda Loubser. Jeanne started working at Melissa’s Kloof Street as a teenager, first as waitress during weekends and school holidays, and then joined them full-time doing product development, having worked there for 13 years, and giving up a dream to study medicine. She told me that she loved working for Melissa van Hoogstraten. It is Jeanne’s distinctive handwriting that was used for all price labels at Melissa’s for all the years that she worked for them. Murray told me proudly that Jeanne was accepted to do an MBA at UCT without a base degree, that she received a scholarship to study Organisation Development at Cornell University in the USA, and will start working on her PhD shortly. Murray was an investment banker in New York, owns a massage company Enmasse, and has launched a unique Enmasse rooibos tea blend, telling Continue reading →
Cape Town experienced one of its busiest Festive Seasons ever, so much so that the city can be said to have been out of control as far as access to its attractions, beaches, shopping malls, and roads was concerned. Perfect weather and a weak Rand attracted locals to the Mother City. Once again the Atlantic Seaboard was the most attractive location for tourists in terms of restaurants, beaches, and accommodation, with resultant chaos in this area in particular at all levels.
The Festive Season period was a very short ten day period, from 27 December – 5 January this year, and almost every accommodation establishment, especially those on the Atlantic Seaboard, was fully booked. Guests were predominantly from Johannesburg, or living overseas with South African family connections, meeting up in the city. At Whale Cottage Camps Bay our international visitors were Norwegian, British, and Dutch during this period.
While it felt fantastic that Cape Town was so popular, one felt that the city was doing itself a disservice in that tourists had to experience: Continue reading →
Dieu Donne in Franschhoek, which celebrates its first birthday in December, deserves the first WhaleTales Sweet Service Award for hosting the accommodation industry of Franschhoek and Paarl earlier this week at their restaurant with a most stunning scenic view, and for saying “thank you” for the bookings received from the industry. These two words are not often heard from the restaurant industry, which seems to take it for granted that guest houses will send them business. Restaurants are the only sector of the tourism industry that do not pay commission for business received.
The first WhaleTales Sour Service Award goes to Melissa’s Food Shop, the deli store with various branches in Cape Town and Stellenbosch. The cashier at Melissa’s on Dorp Street in Stellenbosch cheekily asked for a tip when payment was made for a bill at the counter. This was addressed with the Customer Service person at Melissa’s Head Office (Melissa is too busy to interact with her customers about complaints), when she returned the customer’s call five days after the message was left. She stated that it is Melissa’s policy for the staff to ask about a tip when none is left! Asking for a tip could reflect to customers that the staff are not paid enough! The nomination for the Sour Award was sent to Melissa van Hoogstraten, owner of Melissa’s, but she declined to comment.
The WhaleTales Sweet & Sour Service Awards are presented every Friday on the WhaleTales blog. Nominations for the Sweet and Sour Service Awards can be sent to Chris von Ulmenstein at firstname.lastname@example.org.