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Daddy.O Workspace.

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Friend and spotter of all things cool Siseko Tose aka Clark Kent, invited me to view the Daddy.O Workspace | Boardroom | Venue from where he was working at the time. As did George Gabriel, who founded this co-working space with the Daddy Brand.

The idea of shared workspace is not new to me with international trends seeing more independents such as myself, opting for flexible office environments on a part- or full-time basis. I work from home and have done so for over a decade. Yes it grants me freedom and flexibly, a late start in the morning if dogs need walking and laps need swimming. A return to my desk after dinner and sporadic burst of productivity intermingled with an undeniable level of procrastination. It’s what I know.

Yet once I am locked into productivity mode, I am often lonely. Removed from new developments and left to find my own inspiration. Which is why the idea of working in a shared office space a few days a week appeals. Especially when said office space is somewhere like Daddy.O and attracts interesting, diverse people to the fold. 

Situated at the Old Biscuit Mill in Woodstock just above the Saucisse Deli, the rates are very affordable and the coffee always freshly roasted. They offer various rates; hourly, daily, weekly. With Google in the same area, wi-fi is about as good as it gets in Cape Town. Also, there are all those things associated with the Old Biscuit Mill and this emerging part of the city to add to the appeal. Rates as below:

Also check out their Daddy’s Dragons program, a business school and incubator that teaches skills and coaches start-up companies into the next level. They help with access to funding, resources, management, skills transfer and mentorship.

And below man of the moment Seko in the boardroom where we met. I’m staying on his radar and look forward to sharing Daddy.O space with him in the future. This is exactly what appeals to me most about the concept. How sharing a space can evolve into shared ideas, collaborations and exposure to some very interesting people.

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As a local or visitor to Cape Town, I recommend it. Also to quote George, many of us take ‘workations’ which the Urban Dictionary defines as Taking a vacation in order to get work done in an atmosphere of undisturbed awesomeness.”

Now isn’t Cape Town just perfect for that! Daddy.O too.

The Old Biscuit Mill, CocoAfair Chocolate.

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Given that I’ve been gushing about all things Biscuit Mill, I must also recommend that you visit the wonderful CocoAfair too, an organic bean-to-bar chocolate factory owned and run by business partners Thor Thorøe of Denmark and Antonino Allegra of Italy.

Thor tells how he came to South Africa wanting to start a social company producing raw materials for his ice cream business in Denmark. Once here he discovered that South Africa needed good chocolate! Made the decision to sell his business and in 2011 partnered with pastry chef and chocolatier Antonino Allegra to open CocoaFair. To quote them: Together they are working to change the world, one piece of chocolate at a time!” As a chocolate lover, I much appreciate that.

I have visited CocoAfair on numerous occasion, firstly to take a tour with Antonino, where he showed me the process of chocolate making from roasting the beans to filling the slab moulds and moulding the truffles. Another time to attend a chocolate making course which got really messy. Loved it! Although it did leave me unable to eat chocolate for a couple of weeks after I indulged throughout like a naughty girl.

Since then I’ve returned simply to stock up on the delicious wares, with groups and to say hi when I’m in the area. They are always making something new and I appreciate how welcoming the team is.

Here is Antonino pouring the beans in for Crushing and winnowing.

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Chocolate melted or Conching. This process develops the flavor of the chocolate, releases some of the bitterness and gives the chocolate its smooth quality.

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The white chocolate, my favorite!

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The shelves laden with yum!

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Important info, the factory is at the Biscuit Mill and opening hours Monday - Friday (9-16) and Saturday (9-15). Don’t forget to buy loads of these whilst there! And I strongly recommend the tour and chocolate making course.

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The Old Biscuit Mill, Saucisse Boutique Deli.

Whilst at the Biscuit Mill, I visited Saucisse Boutique Deli and was shown around and given an introduction by Amanda Lewis, who opened here with her Dad in a bid to keep the fresh food theme alive throughout the week - and not only on Market Days.

Amanda and Derek specialize in sourcing meats and cheese from small producers from all over South Africa. Amanda, a real food lover and qualified chef, says she ‘was inspired to open a deli called Saucisse, which is French for little sausage, after visiting the many charming hands-on owner-run boulangeries and charcuteries which play such a pivotal role in the every day life of each community in both France and Italy.’

Lucky for us, as this truly is one of the finest selections of personally sourced hand-picked food I’ve seen. I like too that they don’t have a menu, but encourage tasting and creating your own from what is on offer. The shelves are heavy with preserves, olives, oils, rubs, chocolates and treats, whilst the fridges burst with choice. Add freshly bakes bread, and a coffee from the neighbor Espresso Lab, and you have a winning combination. 

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Items are carefully packaged and look so wonderful I don’t want to unwrap them.

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Beautiful baked bread, irresistible.

imageAmanda and her Dad Derek, the warm and wonderful team behind this special place so worthy of support. (Pic off the Saucisse website)

The Old Biscuit Mill, Neighbourgoods Market.

Every Saturday, no matter the weather, you will find the Neighbourgoods Market on 373 Albert Road in Woodstock the place to be. Open between 09h00 to 14h00. Established by entrepreneurs Justin Rhodes and Cameron Munro, who had a dream to revive and reinvent the city market concept. And this they have achieved! 

Now every Saturday more than 100 traders from local farmers, fine-food producers, organic merchants, bakers, grocers, fish mongers, butchers, artisan producers and local chefs celebrated local chefs set up their wares and trade here.

There’s a wonderful sense of community here, loads of small enterprises, fresh fruit, veg and flowers - and delicious things to eat. Spoilt for choice! Here are some of the stalls I came across on my visit a couple of weeks ago.

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Cutest wood-trimmed Cafeteria trailer (above) and below coconuts being cut up and offered in pieces, or just the coconut water, which has incredibly good health values.

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A view inside, across the wonderful selection of stores.

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Julie of Ocean Jewels introducing her stock of the day. Julie is one of Cape Town’s food heroes, and an advocate for SASSI. If fresh sustainable fish is what you’re after, this is your girl!

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One of the numerous craft beers on offer, Camelthorn beer.

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Mary-Louise is one of the bakers and confectionary artists with sweets and treats that make temptation inevitable.

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This was one of the more innovative prodcuts on offer, if you eat tuna and like biltong, this is your man. Biltong from the Sea.

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These are just a handle of market merchants, there are as I said, about 100. Do go over with a hungry tummy and some time and explore the flavours and passion that this market is renowned for.

Every shop in the area is extraordinary and the Bedouin market on Saturdays has vintage clothing, handbags, shoes and beautiful craft times too. Word of advise - go early! It gets a little too busy to enjoy after 11h00.

New Shoes From Grandt Mason Originals - Yay!

Today whilst at the Biscuit Mill in Woodstock for a wonderful explore, I met Grandt of Grandt Mason Originals - and bought my first pair of g-mo footwear. Completely environmentally friendly, made from recycled fabrics such as old army tents, the unique tied-to-fit style and off centre cut are recognisable trademarks. Here are a few examples. I selected a pair of gorgeous pumps.I know I’m a shoe girls at heart, but these are local, hand-made and fabulous to wear … :)) For more see www.g-mo.co.za