In this week’s Lockdown Life I chat to Joy-Anne Bromilow, the owner of Faithjuice in Noordhoek. Our sons were at Westerford together and I’ve been visiting Joy’s little juice bar for years.
I live with my partner Aidan in a little wooden cabin en route to Kommetjie with our two cats, Meep and Etta James. I have a 22 year old son Raphael living in Cape Town who I see as often as his busy life allows.
I am 48 and until the age of 43 had never owned or even thought of owning my own business – I have had a varied work life peppered with many interesting experiences, from volunteering in various countries, to jobs including chamber maid, shop buyer, bar steward, wedding planner, Personal Assistant and copywriter. Study wise I completed a 2 year NVQ in Painting and Decorating in the UK and got half way through a BA in Creative Writing with Unisa. As a then-single mom it all became a bit much so I packed that in.
In 2015 following the sudden death of my Mom, I left full time employment with a media company and after a few months I needed to start earning… Juicing was something I’d enjoyed doing for myself for a few years but always found it messy, time consuming and a bit hit and miss with getting juices to taste good. It’s quite a lot of effort to make something that looks and tastes like pond scum – and then you have to drink it and still clean up the mess! It occurred to me that juicing was becoming more popular but that many people are just too busy to stick to daily juicing.
The idea of working from home, with healthy produce, creating delicious and beneficial juices and no longer sitting behind a computer all day working for a grumpy boss appealed to me, so that is how I started – from my kitchen, delivering juices cleanses in the Valley. In late 2015 I got the opportunity to open a juice bar at the Noordhoek Farm Village in a little shed with a living roof and vegetable grow boxes in the garden, and I’ve been there ever since.
The first two weeks of Lockdown offered a great chance to just kick back and not do anything! Even though I employ young staff I am very hands-on with the juice bar, shopping daily for produce, planning cleanse menus, taking bookings, reviewing the juice bar menu, creating and innovating our offerings, self study of juicing as a way of life, healthy living and consulting with clients who have specific health needs.
We had a great summer this year but it was full-on busy so I was glad to take some time out at home, as was my partner. Then we started getting requests to deliver juices, as many people wanted to stay healthy during this time, so I got my essential services permit, Aidan set up our tiny kitchen as a juicing station, and I arranged for delivery of produce from the market directly to home to avoid the need to frequent the shops. I also started offering our winter vegan soups once a week and we had great support from existing and new customers to whom we delivered juices, smoothies and cleanse packs 3 times a week.
As of 1 June we were able to re-open at FaithJuice in Noordhoek and while it’s still fairly quiet, between the Level 3 Lockdown and it being winter, which is usually much slower for us, we are glad to be back in our little juice garden (which, that reminds me, needs some serious work having been neglected for 10 weeks!) We are only opening until 12 daily but we are there 7 days a week, with Covid regulations in place. I am working with two staff at present, Skye and Emrhys who bring a lovely energy to our space.
This past summer we added a little green house/conservatory to our juice bar – as Aidan works in construction we had all the old windows and doors one could want to create the space. To comply with the environmental specs for the Farm Village it had to be lightly built/“temporary” so it isn’t a solid building but I feel that this adds to its charm. We filled it with plants (many gifted to us by our customers and friends) some benches and scatter cushions, colouring in books, pavement chalk and magazines and it became a much loved space offering shade and a gathering place for juice lovers. The idea was also to offer more shelter from wet weather but as we have re-opened in Lockdown we are now discouraging gathering, so it is just a pretty place to wait for your juice before moving on. We look forward to the day it can again be a place for friends to meet up.
Also during lockdown Aidan built a small one-room cottage out the back of our property which initially we thought might be good for my son and his girlfriend to stay if quarantine was required. It is a very cute little space also made with reclaimed wood, an old shower tray and toilet that came off former building renovations, table tops made into a red squared floor etc. Now that we are both working again it has been put on pause but it’s almost finished and can be used as a guest cottage or even a tiny self catering spot for a traveling surfer.
Lockdown Life: Joy’s Favourite Things
Baking bread (me and half of the rest of Cape Town got into this!)
The quiet – no traffic outside, the distant sea the only sound.
Listening to countless podcasts
Watching the birds in our garden (and watching our cats watching the birds)
Joy’s Green Route in and around Noordhoek
Peach Pip Farmstall is literally 3 minutes from my house and they have been open most of the time which has been great when I needed a small shop of fresh produce, or baking goods, and didn’t want to hit the malls.
Our own front garden – those hot days when we couldn’t leave home at all we cooled off by climbing inside one of our half full Jojo tanks for a dip!
Harry Goemans Nursery is also close by and once they opened it’s been the perfect spot for buying potting soil, veggies and herbs for our garden.
My favourite walking place has been the lighthouse walk at Kommetjie… sunrise, sunset or just about any time it’s a balm for the soul to smell the sea and kelp (!) through my mask.
Typical Lockdown Day with Joy
What gets you through a lockdown day food-wise? Baking and eating – bread, scones, chocolate cake – wherever! Carbs carbs carbs!
What do you appreciate most about lockdown? The slower pace of life, waking without alarms.
What makes you happy? Silence, cats and podcasts.
Lockdown Life: is a series that I started during lockdown where I catch up with foodies, designers, gardeners, growers, farmers and eco-conscious entrepreneurs in South Africa to find out what they’re doing during lockdown.
Lockdown Life has featured Pamela McOnie from Cape Town Eats, Garth Tavares, The Cape Town Vegan; Das Lyon, a designer living off-grid on the Garden Route ZA, My lockdown Life with Waffles the Wonderdog