AA - 2020

Author: David Green
V&A Waterfront CEO
2 November 2020


The V&A Waterfront’s 360-degree integrated farm-to-fork food experience, Makers Landing, is set to open its doors at the Cape Town Cruise Terminal (E-Berth) next month.Representing a R63 million investment from a partnership between the V&A Waterfront (who invested R48 million) and the National Treasury’s Jobs Fund (who invested a further R15 million), the primary objective was to create a circular economy with each person in the food chain providing for the next one in a shared environment which shows visitors the complete story about the food they eat.

Makers Landing shares the story of food from its origins through food preparation processes, to the finished product. It also showcases the story of the food makers – of the farmers and fishermen; the bakers, distillers, and other makers; of entry level trainees and master chefs; of the owners of small pop-up eateries and large restaurants alike.

A converted 1920s warehouse, the space will retain its gritty, industrial feel. Within the 3 000sqm space, visitors will find a fresh food market; eight maker stations where people can watch food being prepared; eight small co-op eateries; five anchor tenants of varying size; and a demo kitchen where food lovers can congregate to engage with experts about food. There will be a kitchen incubator where talented young entrepreneurs will be given the space, mentorship, guidance, and skills they need to become food businesses, chefs, and restauranteurs.

“In essence, Makers Landing will be an inspiring, edgy space where new food concepts and ideas can flourish. We came across this concept internationally where we saw the success food incubators have in creating jobs and providing food at accessible prices. The V&A Waterfront is already a favourite destination that locals enjoy, and visitors come to discover, and just being in this environment will give start-ups and other tenants an advantage. And when cruise ships return to our shores, as we believe they will, the first experience their passengers will have of South Africa as they disembark, will be our rich food story” comments V&A Waterfront CEO David Green.

“The National Treasury’s Jobs Fund was a crucial partner in our journey, and we are grateful that they shared our vision. When we presented our plans to them they saw the same job creation and skills development potential that we did, and we could hold up our popular Watershed as proof that SMMEs placed in a nurturing environment, with the right trading conditions, can thrive.”

Najwah Allies-Edries, Head of the Jobs Fund said, “The V&A Waterfront provides a perfect environment for caterers, local producers and quality food start-ups to grow their businesses efficiently and easily under the guidance of seasoned professionals in an already highly successful commercial space. Partnerships like this one demonstrate the immeasurable value of assembling the right partnership ecosystem, skills, and resources. It is these intangibles that are fundamental in equipping and empowering SMMEs to overcome hurdles to development while effectively accessing real market opportunities.”

The special Kitchen Incubator programme was developed by Stellenbosch University’s LaunchLab and industry experts with real life experience. The programme offers a six-month programme to start-up businesses in the form of online modules, in-class learning and individual assignments. Mentors will also instil confidence and fortitude and provide advice on the training and the know how to achieve their food goals. During the incubation period businesses enrolled in the programme will also have access to a fully equipped commercial kitchen at Makers Landing.

Applicants to the Kitchen Incubator programme should have an existing food business that is actively selling or operating, and that has been in operation for less than three years. Graduates from the programme can then extend the period of the training at a small cost.

All tenants will be selected by a curatorial panel of industry experts who will assess the potential of tenants against various criteria that includes the V&A Waterfront’s transformation policies, diversity, sustainability, commerciality, and credibility.

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