The V&A Waterfront’s visionary and ground-breaking plan to develop a 3600 integrated farm-to-fork food experience is set to become a reality at the beginning of December, when Makers Landing finally opens its doors to the public at the Cape Town Cruise Terminal in E-Berth.
Cruise Terminal, V&A Waterfront
Makers Landing represents 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 that tells visitors the complete story about the food they eat.
Makers Landing shares the story of food from its origins in oceans and fields, through food preparation processes, to the finished product of deliciously plated meals. It also tells the story of food makers – of the farmers and fishermen; of bakers, distillers and other makers; of entry level trainees and master chefs; of the owners of small pop-up eateries and large restaurants alike.
Importantly, Makers Landing tells the story of us – the story and flavour of South Africa. Visitors, whether locals or tourists, can look forward to encountering a melting pot of cultures and uniquely South African tastes as diverse as shisanyama and Malay curry, of bunny chow, koeksisters, biltong and boerewors.
The space, a converted 1920s warehouse, will retain its gritty, industrial feel appropriate for its location in the heart of South Africa’s oldest working harbour. Within the 3 000m2 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 sizes; and a demo kitchen where food lovers can congregate to engage with experts about food.
At the heart of this food community will be a Kitchen Incubator where today’s talented young entrepreneurs will be given the space, mentorship, guidance and skills they need to become tomorrow’s award-winning food businesses, chefs and restauranteurs.
The vision for Makers Landing, then, is to be a purpose-driven space that supports job creation and skills development, a space that will champion small businesses and facilitate skills sharing between credible food experts and budding entrepreneurs.
V&A Waterfront CEO David Green said, “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.”
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 particular 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.