And so our little story of how The Corner Cafe came to be begins…..once apon a time there was this very good chef named Anna Savage and a cool waiter named Judd Campbell, they searched high and low for the perfect venue to launch their evil cafe plan….
And so with the help of a very kiff couple Brandon and Mel (very hot) we set to work knocking out walls, moving the toilets, scraping down walls, and putting in windows, and angle grinding floors. The launch date was March the 1st….we opened on the the 13th of August 2007
Where the doors are leaning against the wall used to be the toilets, and this whole area was a separate room, we broke through like prisoners in “the great escape”
This area was rented by some guy who filled up fire extinguishers (we still get his mail) and is now our kids area…mainly it’s for my daughter to hang while dad brings home the bacon. Below is Nathan Redpath the cafes first manager, and I think the only staff member in the cafes history that didn’t give me shit or steal or need constant supervision etc
I nearly peed in my pants when the tables and chairs arrived…..so exciting, I think we traded for a month before the wall paper arrived. It’s all we spent on decor and has made it into nearly every glossy mag around, boom. When Brandon & Mel said lets do bare concrete floors, shitty red school chairs and a big aerial view of Glenwood on the wall I thought perhaps we had hired the wrong team, but it’s been a huge success. I dig you both very much but Mel slightly more for obvious reasons.
In the background is Rick, one of the fastest waiters I’ve ever worked with, the oke could handle the whole cafe on his own and even over hear people giving me orders and ring them up cause I’d forget, I truly loved this guy….but he died. I’m still Godfather to his daughter, infact we have a coffee named after him “ricoffee” and one rand from every cup goes to Emma, that’s gonna hurt when I have to pay that chunk of cash out for her varsity….lets hope she fails a few more years.
So above is my dad, he cashed in his medical aid, retirement packages and gave me literally ever cent he had so I could open this place….infact if my dad got sick anytime between 2007 & 2009 he would’ve been in huge shit. He know eats for free and uses the cafe as his personal superette, and rightfully so. I think of it if I could go back now I’d have tried lending from the bank cause my dad can eat like a hungry lion. Then there’s my wife, who took us from salads and Sarmies to what we are today she had the foresight to extend the kitchen, add the bakery, and take the cafe to the next level. Thanx baby, this cafe is half yours. The other guy is my lawyer J.P.Broster this man has saved me hundreds of thousands of rands (literally) and he never lets me forget it. He won’t let me sign a piece of paper without him, amended every agreement and spent ours explaining things to me like stock takes….he reckons they need to be done every month…not sure I agree with him. The other girl in the picture is Sarah she did absolutely nothing to help the cafe.
Then just before we opened we ran out of money, I hit a wall, went onto blood pressure meds and basically fell apart. When my brother (below) stopped round to check on progress and told him we were in shit and he said why you have coffee ( illy gave us 2 big tins) and Hullets dropped of sugar so he couldn’t understand why we didn’t just open and start selling coffee, so said ” bru I don’t even have money for ¥£€%#^\>*? Milk china” and he said ” here’s R50 go buy milk over the road, the worst thing that can happen is if you won the lotto, hit the ground running and you’ll be fine, go buy some fucking milk.” And that is literally how we started , we hit the ground running and haven’t had a quiet day yet.
Imagine a corner cafe without “Nev The Barber”…. Never this guy cuts more hair than Terri Scott, the guys like Edward Scissor hands, and a success since he opened. I’d drop his rent if he threatened to leave.
So many changes, so many mistakes, so many staff members it’s been a fab times….yesterday 6 years ago we opened at at 6 am it’s was a cold Monday, I swept the pavement while it was still dark, so excited I could’ve popped….and no-one came in for two hours I was so scared but then they came on mass the first customer walked in at 8:35 and I was a mess so nervous so happy….maybe too happy/nervous cause I’ve never seen that guy again.