It wasn’t trouble brewing on the streets on Hangberg last Wednesday, it was the strong coffee being prepared by Monique van der Heude, 28, from inside a little kitchen next to her fruit and vegetable stall.
Ms Van der Heude, a mother of two boys aged 5 and 11, has started a takeaway coffee business in Atlantic Skipper Street, with the help of volunteer students working at Sentinel Primary School.
“The students work at the school which is directly opposite the shop. They walk past my shop every day until one day they came over and introduced themselves. They wanted to know why I was not selling coffee because whenever they wanted coffee, they had to walk all the way to the village,” said Ms Van der Heude.
“They said the distance they walked just for a good cup of coffee was too far and that by the time they got back, the coffee was already cold.
“I told them that I couldn’t afford a coffee machine, and that’s when they offered to get me one and help me start up my coffee shop,” she said.
Jose Rodriguez, 23, one of the volunteers from Chile, later returned to the Mother City after a short visit back home, and brought with him the coffee machine that would get Ms Van der Heude’s fruit and vegetable stall smelling like freshly made cappuccino.
“We are not baristas, so we watched a couple of YouTube videos and learnt together how to make a cappuccino, a latte and Americano,” said Mr Rodriguez.
“We know it won’t be a big seller right now because it’s summer but if she started now, then she’ll be ready for winter.
“We also approached a local coffee shop, Dario’s Cafe, who offered to provide Monique with coffee at cost price,” he said.
Ms Van der Heude has been selling fruit, vegetables and sweets from her 2m2 wendy house for the past year, and said it’s the main source of income for her family.
“My partner Lucan (Adonis) is a local fisherman, but as they say, even though every day is sea day, you
are not guaranteed to catch something. He could be away all day, but there’s no guarantee that it will be a good catch that day, and then we rely on the money we made at the fruit and veg shop,” she said.
This is only the start of bigger things for Ms Van der Heude and her family as she wants to make her fruit and vegetable stall a place where the community and tourists can sit back and enjoy a good cup of coffee on the sidewalk.
“At the moment, I don’t have any space for people to sit and enjoy their coffee,” said Ms Van der Heude.
“So, for now, I’m making it in the kitchen at my home and serving it outside. I’d like to extend my little bungalow and set up a couple of tables and chairs next to the fruit and veg section because there are a lot of tourists passing through, so it would be nice for them to sit down and just enjoy a fresh cup of coffee as they get to know our community better.”