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Words: Kit Heathcock Images: Supplied

Luscious baked cheesecakes and tempting cakes are Cilla de Jonge’s stock in trade at Sweet Cillie’s Cakery, which opened in Tokai last year. She serves them up with Terbodore coffee or Carmien teas, alongside a deli lunch menu of home-made pies, wraps, curries and salads. Cilla tells us more.

How did your business start?

I’d been living and working in America for several years with my husband. On returning home, I opened a bakery in Fish Hoek and started baking cakes and cheesecakes. My baking style is more American than fine French, with lashings of fresh farm butter, eggs and cream, like my grandmother used to use. When we moved to Stellenbosch, I closed the shop and baked instead for the Blaauwklippen and Lourensford markets, still delivering cakes to my Fish Hoek customers. Last year I was ready for a permanent base again and opened a new Sweet Cillie’s Cakery in Tokai.

My vision was for a welcoming venue where moms can come and relax while the kids play or do homework, where friends can catch up, where small business owners can unwind and let their creative juices flow or just check their emails in a warm and happy space – all accompanied by delicious baked treats and a great cup of coffee or tea. I bake all the cakes; Mickey makes all the pies and quiches. Nyasha makes all the coffee. Everything gets made right here, by us, every day.

Why did you choose this area to set up shop?

It’s a great location opposite the Blue Route Mall, a light and bright space situated on a busy road and a visible corner store.

How did you find your premises?

I was very lucky to get the space, my sister drove past and saw the opportunity.

Why are the premises ideally suited to your business?

It’s visible and easily accessible with parking. It was a bed shop previously, so we had to fit it from scratch. The kitchen is open style, so we didn’t have to build walls or anything crazy.

Who are your neighbours?

Our shop neighbours are a health shop, a barber, a video shop and the Italian Kitchen. In the area we have Kirstenhof, a great school, and a friendly and helpful community.

What are the rental/sales prices like in this area?

Prices are high in this area because of its popularity.

How many people visit your business each day?

The number of customers can differ vastly, but never less than 50 people per day.

Do you have any expansion plans?

We still get so many people from Fish Hoek ordering their cakes from us and now we have this new community supporting us, so in the near future we’ll need help in the baking and decorating department. I would love to add to our already great female team.

Do you operate online as well?

Just our Facebook page (@sweetcilliescakery) and website.

What’s your most popular item?

We’re renowned for our baked cheesecakes, with varieties such as New York style, red velvet, carrot and brownie being some of our most popular – we offer 12 different varieties!

Sweet Cillie’s Cakery
074 192 8547

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