New incubator for local flavours

An artists impression of what Makers Landing will look like once development has been finished by the end of 2020.

A plan to develop a local food community incubator at the V&A Waterfront is on the cards.

The project aims to promote South African flavours and culture, and create jobs.

Makers Landing, as it will be known, is the next phase of an overarching plan by the V&A Waterfront to develop the Cape Town Cruise Terminal area. When it is complete, Makers Landing will add a further 4 348m2 to the existing cruise terminal developed by the Waterfront in 2015 for Transnet.

The original terminal was a small industrial building on the edge of E-Berth that served as a pre-cooling facility for fruit exports, whereas today passengers from cruise ships are greeted by a state-of-the-art facility.

V&A Waterfront CEO David Green said they envisage this to be an inspiring, edgy space for new food concepts and ideas to flourish.

“It will capture the rich story of South African cultures, foods, flavours and food producers for locals to enjoy and for visitors to discover. We are repurposing what was a cold storage facility into a food incubator that will generate in excess of 150 much needed jobs and will build connections between foodpreneurs,” he said.

Given the seasonality of the cruise industry, the R63-million multi-use Makers Landing development will encourage year-round activity in the port area.

The new facility is in walking distance from the Waterfront’s Silo District, so it is expected to attract footfall from within the Waterfront, as well as those who work from the Port of Cape Town harbour. It is a short water taxi ride from the Cape Town International Convention Centre.

“We came across this idea internationally, having seen the success of food incubators in providing food at accessible pricing and creating jobs. We are incubating opportunities on a platform that lends itself to year-round operation, offering food at very accessible prices, with the opportunity to turbo charge interest during peak tourism season when local and international visitors flock to the Western Cape,” said Mr Green.

He said the National Treasury’s Jobs Fund was an important partner in the development.

“There is an obvious synergy between our vision for Makers Landing and the Jobs Fund mission, so we are really pleased to be partnering with them. We were also able to present our popular Watershed development as proof that when SMMEs are placed in a nurturing environment with the right trading conditions, they can thrive,” he said.

Head of the Jobs Fund, Najwah Allies-Edries, said the V&A provided a perfect environment for caterers, local producers and quality food start-ups to grow their businesses efficiently and easily under the guidance of seasoned professionals in an already highly successful commercial space.

“Partnerships like this one demonstrate the immeasurable value of assembling the right partnership ecosystem, skills and resources. It is these intangibles that are fundamental in equipping and empowering SMMEs to overcome hurdles to development while effectively accessing real market opportunities,” she said.

Mr Green said beyond showcasing South Africa’s incredible variety of cultural dishes and foods, they also see Makers Landing as a catalyst for creating employment, transferring skills through their planned incubator programme and nurturing and growing SMMEs.