Calling all foodies! The word ‘artisanal’ is hardly enough any more. To be specific, Capetonians are in love with small-batch, handcrafted, ethical, sustainable and entrepreneurial foodie ventures. If you think that’s a mouthful, just wait ’til you’ve tried their offerings. Benn van der Westhuizen has rounded up a few local favourites.
UNFRAMED ICE CREAM
Cape Town’s ice cream scene is always booming – even on cooler winter days – and gourmet ice cream shop Unframed is bringing a fresh new edge to the ice cream game.
Launched in July 2016, Unframed quickly garnered a cult following thanks to its nut-based vegan ice cream, its cool store design, its extremely friendly staff and, of course, the high quality and often quirky flavours it offers on its vegan, dairy or sorbet scoops.
And Unframed doesn’t rest on its laurels. New flavours are introduced constantly – in fact, at least 16 new tastes are unleashed each summer season. Driven more by inspiration than by trend, some flavours are based on childhood nostalgia (try a Dirty Milk Chocolate with chunks of chocolate brownie from Cape Town’s General Store), while others are more purist (think chai latte ice cream, and pear sorbet) and, naturally, seasonal produce is always taken into account.
Here’s a useful tip: if you post a photo of your Unframed ice cream on Instagram with the hashtag #scoopshot, and tag @lifeunframed, you could win a free scoop!
Where to get it: Flagship Store, 45C Kloof St, Gardens | V&A Food Market, Dock Rd, V&A Waterfront
CAPE POINT BAKERY
Frustrated with the lack of quality bread in their area, the founders of Cape Point Bakery began baking their own bread in 2014. Before they knew it, they found themselves baking for the village and had a little shop in their house.
Using only Eureka Mills stone-ground flour (non-GMO and sourced from the Heidelberg/Swellendam region), Cape Point Bakery is the only kosher artisanal bakery in the Cape. Contributing to their success is the fact that they are big enough to provide and deliver bread to large amounts of people, restaurants and deli outlets, while still being small enough to create bespoke breads and cater to the individual needs of their customers.
For quality, unique bread, Cape Point Bakery definitely ticks all the boxes. The Olive Ciabbata is one of the most popular, and future developments include gluten-free breads, spelt bread and Focaccia.
Where to get it: Mojo Market, Sea Point | The Village Hub, Scarborough | Root44 Market, Stellenbosch | Harbour Bay, Simonstown
THE URBAN FARMER
The Urban Farmer is an organic wholefood retailer that aims to provide products that are rich with life, and that enable balanced bodies and minds. To compliment the food, the packaging process is consists mainly of paper and glass, with a small amount of plastic that is due soon to be replaced with biodegradable non-GMO corn cellulose bags which can afterwards be used as compost. The Urban Farmer’s dairy, meat and eggs are all from pasture-fed animals which are free of antibiotics and artificial hormones and, to ensure that all products remain pure and organic, the Urban Farmer meets with each farmer weekly, and has a no-ingredient policy.
Tesla’s motivation to invent applies just as much to The Urban Farmer’s take on organic food: “the desire to harness the forces of nature to the service of mankind.” When you buy local artisan food, it supports the arts of local food production, agriculture and retail. It supports an environment which is inclusive and transparent and, most importantly, it gives the consumer the power of choice over how food is produced and packaged. So your purchase is not just good for you; it is good for everyone.
Where to get it: 278 Main Rd, Kenilworth
Dalewood Fromage is an artisanal farmstead cheesery that specialises in handcrafted products. Situated in the Cape Winelands, it is a passion-driven family business dedicated to producing quality cheese, from the ground up.
All its cheeses are authentic Estate products produced from a single pasture-fed Jersey herd grazing on Dalewood Farm. The herd spends each day on green pastures which, being proudly bio-dynamic, are precisely managed without utilisation of artificial fertilisers, weed-killers or insecticides. The cows never receive growth- or milk-production hormones or any unnecessary antibiotics.
Dalewood produces an extensive range of plain and exotic Bries, as well as Camembert and Blue, in different styles, shapes and sizes to suit any occasion. The Signature Range includes Huguenot®, Boland™, Lanquedoc™ and Brie Superlatif ™; all uniquely Dalewood and uniquely South African.
Dalewood’s Cheesery shop offers informal cheese tastings on a daily basis, and has become a destination in itself for cheese aficionadoes, with its range of speciality cheese knives, Camembert bakers, fondue sets, girolles, cheese boards, jams and preserves, and farm fresh eggs – with special gifts made to order.
Where to get it: Cheesery Shop, R45 (off R44) Klapmuts-Simondium Rd, Simondium
Brew Kombucha was launched in 2015 in answer to a demand for readily available healthy beverages that care for both the body and the environment. To protect the environment and to remain ethical are the founding concepts of the brand, which prides itself on making every decision with an eye to environmental sustainability.
Standing out among the competition, Brew Kombucha’s products are made with 100% certified organic ingredients that are sourced from certified organic farms, no matter the extra costs incurred. Their speciality is Rooibos Kombucha, a unique brand identity for Kombucha the world over. It is brewed with filtered spring water on the oldest brewing estate in the country and contains a scientifically proven 233% of the recommended daily allowance of the energy vitamin, B12 – something many people are lacking in their diet.
The trendy, tasty brew is stocked at multiple spots in Cape Town, but if you have the opportunity, then visit Brew Kombucha at their Newlands-based tasting room. They’re open 9am – 5pm weekdays, and offer the best price to buy the product wholesale, or to fill up your own bottle from their draught tap.
Where to get it: Brewery, Studio 1, Montebello Design Centre, 31 Newlands Ave, Newlands
Chocolate is arguably the most loved treat in the world. And since 2010, Le Chocolatier has been satisfying sweet-tooth cravings with its luxury handcrafted truffles, pralines and authentic chocolate bars.
With the belief that chocolates should not contain any preservatives, or any ingredients that merely pad out the volume, Le Chocolatier relies on recipes inherited from generations of Swiss chocolatiers. Its chocolate is suitable for those on the LCHF/Banting diet, and they also offer products that are sugar-free, soy lecithin-free, non-GMO and vegan-friendly. And because quality is key, they source only the freshest, finest pure authentic ingredients.
The boutique chocolatier boasts the largest chocolate selection in South Africa, providing a choice of over 120 types of Pralines and Truffles, as well as 15 kinds of rustic slabs. If you can resist eating them yourself, they make a perfect gift, and Le Chocolatier offers personalised boxes and wrapping.
Be sure to try the gold truffle oriental range, filled with smooth aniseed Ganache, as well as the new ‘Ruby’ chocolate – Le Chocolatier is the first and only chocolatier in Africa to have this on offer – made from the unique Ruby bean, which has a fresh berry-fruitiness and colour precursors naturally present.
Where to get it: Flagship store, 10 Church St, Stellenbosch | V&A Food Market, Dock Rd, V&A Waterfront | Cavendish Square, 1 Dreyer St, Claremont