South African flavours and cultures will take centre stage at the V&A Waterfront’s new ground-breaking local food community incubator, which aims to create jobs and develop the food industry in the country.

Dubbed the “Makers Landing”, the new phase of the V&A Waterfront’s plan will further develop the Cape Town Cruise Terminal area. Once completed, the area will add 4348 square metres to the existing terminal area.

V&A Waterfront CEO David Green said, “Maker’s Landing will be an inspiring, edgy space for new food concepts and ideas to flourish in the spectacular setting of an active port, with its dramatic backdrop of Table Mountain. It will capture the rich story of South African cultures, foods, flavours and food producers for locals to enjoy and for visitors to discover. We are repurposing what was a cold storage facility into a food incubator that will generate in excess of 150 much needed jobs and will build connections between foodpreneurs.”

Given the seasonality of the cruise industry, the R63-million multi-use Makers Landing development will encourage year-round activity in the port area. The new facility is in walking distance from the Waterfront’s Silo District, so it is expected to attract footfall from within the Waterfront, as well as those who work from the Port of Cape Town harbour. It is a short water taxi ride from the Cape Town Convention Centre.

“We came across this idea internationally, having seen the success of food incubators in providing food at accessible pricing and creating jobs. We are incubating opportunities on a platform that lends itself to year-round operation, offering food at very accessible prices, with the opportunity to turbo charge interest during peak tourism season when local and international visitors flock to the Western Cape,” said Green.

The National Treasury’s Jobs Fund is an important partner in the development.

“When we presented our plans to the Jobs Fund, they saw the same potential for job creation and skills development as we did. There is an obvious synergy between our vision for Makers Landing and the Jobs Fund mission, so we are really pleased to be partnering with them. We were also able to present our popular Watershed development as proof that when SMMEs are placed in a nurturing environment with the right trading conditions, they can thrive.

“Beyond showcasing South Africa’s incredible variety of cultural dishes and foods, we also see Makers Landing as a catalyst for creating employment, transferring skills through our planned incubator programme and nurturing and growing SMMEs. Small start-ups and suppliers of food will work alongside experienced players, and in this way, they will gain first-hand knowledge from watching and learning from them.

“We envisage that our SMMEs will at some point outgrow Makers Landing and they will leave to open their own eateries or work elsewhere – in the Waterfront, the city, the country or even overseas – and their places will be filled by new talent looking for a start in the industry,” Green said.

According to Najwah Allies-Edries, Head of the Jobs Fund, the area offers the perfect environment for those working in the food industry.

“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,” says Allies-Edries.

The new space being developed for the “Makers Landing” will be created with Cape Town’s historical roots in mind. The heritage of the area will be preserved from the onset of the development, with the industrial fabric of the harbour being used to maintain the areas marine experience.

Backing onto the Cruise Terminal’s Departures Hall, Makers Landing retains the existing structure that dates back to the 1920s and its original harbour warehouse aesthetic. The building is a mere 15m from the quay edge, so glass windows will allow visitors to relax in restaurants as they watch ships enter and leave the harbour, and cruise ships dock at the quayside in front of them.

Although the lockdown delayed construction at Makers Landing, the development team is confident it will complete the structure of the building by September. This will be followed by the interior work to configure the space to fit a shared incubator kitchen, a demo kitchen, eight maker production stations, a food market with approximately 35 flexible market stands, eight small co-op eateries and five anchor restaurants of various sizes.

Makers Landing will open to the public in December 2020.

Pictures: Supplied

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