Words: Kit Heathcock | Images: Supplied
With its handmade mattresses and sleep products made from sustainable natural materials, global brand Coco-Mat is changing the way we sleep. Lida Vermeulen and Luca Verbeeck have opened South Africa’s first Coco-Mat store, occupying the street frontage at luxury hotel 15 On Orange in Gardens. Lida tells us more.
How did your business start?
Coco-Mat began in the picturesque mountains of north-eastern Greece in 1989, when our founder, Paul Efmorfidis, wanted to create an all-natural, sustainably produced mattress. We developed a product using natural materials from renewable sources, such as coconut fibre, natural rubber, wool, cotton, sea grass, horsehair, silk, linen, wood and goose down. Today we have become a recognised leader for natural sleep products (mattresses, bed mattresses, pillows, duvets), bed linen, towels and furniture, with a growing network of stores in 15 countries. We are committed to manufacturing the best beds in the world in the most sustainable way possible. Our factory in Northern Greece has a virtually neutral carbon footprint. Without smoke or noise, experienced craftsmen work patiently, following traditional carpentry methods, with respect for the environment and the region’s ecosystem.
Why did you choose this area to set up shop?
Over a period of six months, we did market research and asked shop owners around Cape Town their opinion on the best locations. We wanted to be a destination shop and felt that the 15 On Orange location gives us the opportunity to create that, and to interact with hotel guests from all over South Africa.
How did you find your premises?
Plenty of real-estate agents know us, we contacted several in the CBD and they were all very helpful. We viewed several spaces, but in the end, the front windows here made it for us.
Why are the premises ideally suited to your business?
The wide and open facade means that our shop is visible and our customers can see all the beautiful products from the street.
Who are your neighbours?
Float Zero is our neighbour and together we create a wellness feeling in the hotel with our services and products. We also have the Company Gardens next to us which fits in with our natural philosophy: green living, taking time to enjoy nature, breathing fresh air and conserving what we have.
What are the rental/sales prices like in this area?
Prices are reasonable for the amount of space in this area.
How many people visit your business each day?
We get more or less 10 people daily and we like to spend as much time with each customer as that person requires, to provide customers with the perfect sleeping product to suit their needs.
Do you have any expansion plans?
Our dream is to have a few more shops in the next five years and to do collaborations with like-minded brands. It’s always interesting to get together with brands and people who live for what they love doing.
Do you operate online as well?
Yes, our website is global.
What’s your most popular item?
Our four-layer bed system which combines four top products in one innovative bed system, made from 100% natural fibres such as seaweed, coconut fibre and natural rubber.
See for yourself:
021 422 1122