Eileen Cross is the founder of Bread and Butter patisserie gift shop in Suider Paarl, decorated in its trademark light blue, cream and black. She opened her original cafe in Sunningdale with her business and life partner Stephen.
How did your business start?
Stephen and I started Bread and Butter in 2011 in his paint store, with four tables, a coffee machine and a few cake stands. I baked in my home kitchen and brought it in. We moved to the bigger Sunningdale store in November 2011. Stephen sold the paint business and joined me. We opened our Suider Paarl store in June 2015.
In Suider Paarl we operate out of a small quaint house in Main Street with old wooden floors and high ceilings.
How did you find your premises?
It’s quite visible on the road. It was an estate agency before us. We saw a sign that it was going to be rented out.
Why is it ideally suited to your business?
It looks like an old house you would find in the French countryside. There is a vineyard next door. It represents us, particularly the Comptoir de Famille homeware side of the business. The building is an old Voorhuis for the main farmhouse and a heritage site we can’t change, but we love it the way it is.
Who are your neighbours?
On the one side is a farm with a vineyard. On the other side they’ve built offices for small businesses. Seeff is the main tenant, plus some investment brokers and financial planners.
What are the shop rental/sales prices like in this area?
Paarl is only a quarter of the size of our Sunningdale shop yet comparable to our Sunningdale rentals. Paarl prices are comparable to Cape Town’s Southern Suburbs but cheaper than Stellenbosch.
What is your shop footprint?
We do a lot of takeaways to businesses in the area. We can seat about 25 at our tables, outside and in. We’re looking at 20 to 50 people on an average day, a mix of sit down and takeaway. Fridays and Saturdays are busy so we have more feet through the door.
Do you have any expansion plans?
We opened Paarl because of our desire to expand. There was a huge concentration of coffee shops in the City Bowl but we wanted to cater to the Northern Suburbs. Our target is to branch into Durbanville, Stellenbosch and Somerset West.
Do you operate online as well?
We have a great website and our menus are online, so people email the shop to place cake orders. We update our Paarl Facebook page regularly, and tweet cakes and specials.
What are your most popular items?
I put on my table what I personally like: a good variety to cater for everybody’s palate. Our carrot cake is a staple. We always have two cheesecakes, perhaps our chocolate fudge cake, plus smaller items. Our Banting items do well – the Banting sugar-free brownie is a Paarl staple.
021 863 0672
Words: Kim Maxwell