A Brownies and Downies Coffee Shop from the Netherlands has just opened in Cape Town…
Brownies and Downies, a new coffee shop franchise from the Netherlands has just opened a branch in Cape Town, and it's not exactly your everyday South African coffee shop… noooo…. This is a coffee shop chain from the Netherlands, so obviously there’s going to be something a little different about it. Although it's probably not the what you would normally associate coffee shops and the Netherlands with. If you’re thinking being able to smoke a joint or two, you’re probably going to have to wait a few more years for that to be available in South Africa.This is a Coffee Shop with an even better twist, in that the staff that works there are mainly special needs people including Down Syndrome people. The coffee shop aims at providing a hospitality training program for people with Down Syndrome, giving them a great sense of acceptance, purpose and independence, whilst also raising awareness of intellectual disabilities for people that frequent the shop.
So how did this come about?
Brownies and Downies first opened its doors in Veghel, Netherlands in 2010 when a chef and a special needs school teacher, Teun Horck and Thijs Swinkels respectively, felt a need to create jobs for people with intellectual disabilities...and with this Brownies and Downies was born.To date, over 30 coffee shops are now dotted around the Netherlands along with their brand new branch which recently opened in Cape Town by Wendy Vermeulen who came to South Africa in 2010 to do a social work internship and decided to stay once she had completed her degree.During her time in SA, Wendy noticed a lack of opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities, something had to be done, upon searching for a solution to this problem, she discovered this remarkable coffee shop chain in the Netherlands and decided to bring it to South Africa…. What a flippen remarkable human being!!!
What can you get at Brownies and Downies?
The coffee shop itself creates a bright happy place for you to sit down and relax whilst you enjoy great coffee by Cape Towns rather famous Truth Coffee and other refreshing drinks.The food menu offers a wide range of breakfasts, sandwiches, quick and light lunches as well as burgers and pastries.All the dishes are prepared by the staff whilst they are being trained to open them up to new opportunities in hospitality and food preparation. If you’ve ever had any experience with Down Syndrome people, you can only imagine the extraordinarily high level of enthusiasm that takes place when they perform these tasks it is likely to melt your heart.If you would like to find out more or support this remarkable initiative, just check out their website www.browniesdownies.co.zaOn a personal note, this really and truly strikes a chord with me, as I have a cousin (Gavin Wheeler) in Boksburg who is down syndrome and to understand what it must mean for these people to be given these sort of opportunities really is insanely heartwarming. Next time I’m in Cape Town, I know exactly where I’m going straight from the airport 🙂So do yourself a massive favor and pop in for a cup of coffee or a chow that is created with so much care as if it were a masterpiece by the person making it.Check this post that has been doing the rounds on Facebook over the last couple days….
www.facebook.com/brucegmuller/posts/10153431520705866">So proud of my cousin and his first job! Please support this fantastic initiative if you're in the Long Street area - it...Posted by Bruce Muller on Monday, 15 February 2016
eNCA did a cover story on Brownies and Downies, check out the videoWendy and Brownies and Downies, from us at PharSide...HIGH 55! thank you! what you are doing is just absolutely remarkable and inspirational! WOW!We need more of this for people with intellectual disabilities, so start thinking of more solutions folks 🙂
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