It’s no surprise that one of my favourite places to go whenever I am visiting my family in South Africa, is the Postcard Cafe. Ok so I might be biased, my sister runs the cafe and it is situated on my family’s wine farm. Jose, my brother in law is the wine maker, and I will write more about his wonderful wines in a future blog post. Here I concentrate on the Postcard Cafe. The Postcard Cafe is situated in the Jonkershoek Valley in Stellenbosch, you really couldn’t get a more scenic venue! You can’t NOT be amazed by the scenery when arriving. The cafe focuses on good casual food, and excellent desserts. I definitely recommend a visit to the cafe if you are ever in the area!
Here is my Q&A with my sister Marie!
Q: When did the Postcard Cafe open, and what was the idea behind the cafe?
A: I opened the cafe in 2010 as a little project to attract customers to the winery. My daughters were young teenagers at the time and I felt that I was ready to start working again after 15 years of being a full time mother. I bought 20 chairs and a couple of tables. I pre-made all the lunch specials and baked the desserts myself. I nearly died of exhaustion that first year.
Q: What is your most popular dish/dessert?
A: I started the cafe as a "cake" place so my heart definitely leans toward the sweets. Our baked cheesecake is our top seller. It's really classic, flavoured with just lemon zest and creme fraiche, but I think cheesecake is comfort dessert to many people. Our malva pudding (a traditional South African dessert) is really delicious, even the locals have given it the stamp of approval. We always have a couple of gluten-free options too, which people seem to interpret as bring the healthier option!
Q: Are most of your customers tourists or do you also have a good local following?
A: I would say that 80% of my customers are local. Many customers are from the immediate community, and they all greet each other as they walk by the other tables. During the busy tourist season, I also get many tourists so there is an overflow! The locals know they need to make reservations, so its the tourists that arrive on a busy weekend that look a bit disappointed.
Q: What’s the idea behind this new tuk-tuk we see on the lawn in front of the cafe?
A: Although our estate is breathtakingly beautiful, most of the photos taken on the estate by visitors focus the natural surroundings: the mountains, the lake, etc. I felt that we needed a branded image that customers could post on social media, etc. Also, it makes for a nice little snack bar for customers who arrive on a day when the cafe is closed. On our off-days, I felt sorry for the cyclists that arrive after a hard ride and have nothing to drink or snack on.
Q: Have you seen an increase in direct wine sales due to the cafe bringing people to the farm?
A: Definitely. We started off doing about 7% of our sales direct to the public, but that figure is past 25% now. Its a very rewarding outlet to sell our wines. Not simply because margins are higher, but we are able to communicate and engage with the consumer in a meaningful way. We get immediate feedback when we release new wines, and customers often send us emails saying how they had taken home a bottle for a special occasion, and how much they enjoyed drinking it for their anniversary or birthday. Its nice to be part of people's happy occasions.
The cafe is open for breakfast, lunch and tea time. Please note the cafe is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
Oude Nektar Wine Estate
+27 21 861 7703