Mayor Dudley Coetzee, accompanied by some members of his Mayoral Committee (MAYCO) continued his ‘meet and greet walkabout’ in the Hermanus CBD on Wednesday, 21 October.
The idea behind this initiative is to introduce the mayor to new business owners as well as those who relocated to new premises, and to find out, first hand, how they were affected by the harsh restrictions of lockdown and how they are coping. Coetzee also used this opportunity to wish them the best of success for the coming season.
The MAYCO members met several business owners, including Charelle de Wet of the Hermanus Natural Health Centre on the corner of Royal and Dirkie Uys Streets, who took over the shop in mid-2019. “We just managed to pick up more stock and then came Covid-19 and pulled the rug out from under us. It’s been a learning curve and it’s still tough, but we are hoping that more people will join us in embracing a healthy and natural lifestyle”, she said.
The Mayor’s walkabout continued with a visit to Daan’s Bakery nextdoor, which opened on 13 October. The Gonggrijp family, who also own Dutchies and Ficks, got the idea of opening a traditional artisan bakery when they struggled to secure sufficient daily bread stocks early enough. Now son Daan and his partner, who is known as Talent the Baker, offer a selection of freshly baked breads every day between 07:00 and 14:00 (closed on Sundays).
Across the road from the bakery, in the premises previously occupied by Standard Bank, Craig Austin of Co.Unity took the party on a tour of their shared office spaces, offering options of working from an open hot desk, a cubicle or private office, or making use of their other facilities such as the boardroom, zoom room, coffee shop, undercover parking and a pop-up gym. Different membership packages are available for short-term leases (no deposit) ranging from a few hours to a few months.
The group proceeded to the Hope Street Market at Tulip Coffee Bar, where Justin Dodd, chef Rickey Broekhoven and Victoria Young-Pugh (Victoria’s Pantry), as well as Natalie Munro pooled their talents and resources to offer edible delights and hand-made crafts under one roof. This was a sensible solution during the lockdown as it enabled them to also share rental costs. Rickey was very excited about the visit as he said he’d never met the mayor before and appreciated the support.
The Mayor then had the opportunity to engage with Emilia Knight of The Gallery Café & Deli in High Street. The group was thrilled to hear that this popular eatery was recently rated number 1 on Tripadvisor’s Best Restaurants in the Western Cape. What a feather in the cap for Hermanus – and for this innovative and hardworking entrepreneur!
The last two businesses visited by the MAYCO were Tactical Security Solutions, a new shop specialising in security equipment that Jan Jansen recently opened in Royal Lane, and Hermanus Cycles in Long Street, which has expanded to bigger premises. According to owner Leon Prak, the cycling industry has experienced a positive spin-off from the pandemic. “People just want to get out and appreciate being outdoors again,” he said.