Spinach King's determination pays off

Spinach King (Supplied)
Spinach King (Supplied)

Cape Town - Lufefe Nomjana celebrated with Virgin Active SA on Friday when the Spinach King Health Foods Café and Bakery opened at the Khayelitsha Community Trust (KCT) Mall in Cape Town.

Now baking 200 loaves a day on site, and counting, the Spinach King is offering more than just bread on the menu. Juices and smoothies are created the Virgin Active way - a first for Africa, if not the world - by riding a customised blender bike to produce a drink of choice.

Virgin Active SA’s managing director Ross Faragher-Thomas gave the business a boost when he attended the Discovery Vitality Summit in 2014, and was offered an unexpected challenge to deliver on some of Richard Branson’s favourite quotes: “Get out there and make a difference”.

At the young age of 24, Lufefe Nomjana, also known as the Spinach King, was two years in to the running of his bakery business that he started with just R40, a few bunches of spinach, and a neighbour’s kindness. He had big dreams but lacked the means, education and experience to make them happen.

The Virgin Active Changing Business for Good team conducted a comprehensive analysis to determine exactly what was needed to help Lufefe progress – the process meant going back to the drawing board several times to “get the essentials right”.

Two years later, the opening of the bakery offers local residents an unusual health café run by a young resident who got out there “and made a difference” not only for his young family but for the community at large.

The health foods café and bakery has been built out of a repurposed shipping container donated by Safmarine and designed by award winning architectural practice, Tsai Design Studio.

The exterior of the café includes an organic garden where Lufefe grows vegetables and herbs used in his products. The interior was conceptualised and fitted by JesseJames Design, who drew their inspiration from weaved bread baskets.

The café is situated in Khayelitsha Mall, where the Khayelitsha Community Trust have granted this young local entrepreneur access to utilities.

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