When I logged on to Facebook today I saw with sadness that The Kitchen in Woodstock is closing. On a happier note, a very special seahorse has been discovered in South Africa.
Lockdown Life is a series about life in lockdown in South Africa. #LockdownLife
This is Karen Dudley’s post on Facebook : “When we opened our shop in 2009, our projections were humble. But very soon, to our astonishment, we had people queue-ing for a place on a bench in a lunch rush. Yes. A lunch rush. The Kitchen was soon known for exceptional salads and Love Sandwiches and its buzzing atmosphere, a place to meet a friend, make a friend. A time to have a moment with something delicious. The warmth of our team (what memories!), the effortless coolness of our capable cooks.
There has never been a shop like it in Cape Town and there might not be another like it again. It is time for us to close The Kitchen.
I feel an immense sadness. The Kitchen has been a sanctuary for many, a meeting place too, a place for fun and festivity and deliciousness. I want to honour our community. Gosh, I love you all. And I have loved loving you and serving you. It has been the greatest joy. Because we have been established for so many years, we have old friends, new friends, friends and servers and cooks from so many seasons. All have contributed to this place of connection and love. Do you remember that feeling? Please cherish it as we do.
Our current team have been: Phatiswa, Phumla, Margie, Sandra, Esnart, Amos, Kuda, Regina (kitchen), Aunty Nora (accounts), Claudia (admin, media, parties), Mercia (cashier), Anele (barista), Lucia (server), Lucinda (procurement, logistics).
There are many hard things to grapple with: not being able to say goodbye to all our customers properly. Not being able to give my staff answers about the future. Trying to tie it all up and bring it to closure has been immensely difficult. (bills and contracts don’t stop for a pandemic and bank charges escalate relentlessly)
I would like to say a special thank you to all the friends who have contributed to our staff rescue fund. Your generosity has allowed me to drip funds to my staff inbetween the long waits for UIF Funding and for our Malawian and Zimbabwean workers who do not receive any UIF benefits. They are so grateful to you all.
(There is a donate button at shop.karendudley.co.za should you wish to help my team, still all in desperate places)
There are 3 ways you can help now:
Financial contributions to help settle our bills and reduce our overdraft would frankly be a great help.
Support our friends supporting us, so that people you have served you can feel your support.
Stand by to help in the future when we will surely need your help to make our food again! (in a different form? In a new space?)
The real intellectual and creative value of The Kitchen lives in the bodies of the chefs who together make something delicious in devotion, not so much in bricks and mortar. The real value and legacy is in our relationships and our ability to innovate for something better and kinder than before.”
Rare Seahorse discovery: Travel writer Gillian McLaren
“Thrilling news: a species of pygmy sea horse has been found in Sodwana Bay, the first in Africa! Named Hypocampus nalu, it has a row of spines on its back. 🙌
Image By Richard Smith — at Sodwana Bay.
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