V&A Waterfront launches incubator for foodpreneurs and SMMEs

Makers Landing, a development created by the V&A Waterfront in partnership with the National Treasury’s Job Fund, will function as an incubator for local small food businesses. 

Makers Landing is expected to open later this year and with its timing pivotal to providing aid to the local restaurant and hospitality industry.

Makers Landing will facilitate a networking community between budding foodpreneurs and industry experts

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a far-reaching economic impact on these sectors, causing many small businesses to shut their doors leaving many individuals unemployed. The incubator aims to support job creation and skills development while creating a functional platform for SMME’s. 

Tinyiko Mageza, Executive Manager of Marketing at the V&A Waterfront explains that Makers Landing will be multifunctional but is aimed at providing job relief for the local food industry. 

“This will be a place where people can meet, eat, drink, shop, and work, as well as a platform where foodpreneurs can innovate, learn and grow their businesses within a local food community. Our table will extend to anyone who has a food story to tell or who simply delights in the South African food journey. We want to celebrate our diverse food heritage and culture, and we want to showcase good food created by real people with real stories to tell.” 

The incubator platform will be housed within the Cape Town Cruise Terminal, creating an open plan space for innovative collaboration between small businesses, food entrepreneurs, and more.

Small businesses are the focal point for Makers Landing as it will facilitate skills sharing between credible food experts and entrepreneurs. 

Kitchen incubator space 

In line with the aims of Makers Landing a kitchen incubator space will be implemented. The kitchen incubator space will allow foodpreneurs to innovate, learn, and grow their businesses within a local food community. 

This space will focus on small business development and create a networking community between budding entrepreneurs and experts in the food industry. 

“In providing a platform that can foster and grow businesses, at the V&A Waterfront we are equally mindful of the pressures that come with scaling up a business from concept, especially given the current climate. Our partnership with Jobs Fund has allowed us to secure support for tenants entering the space, in the form of additional funding for infrastructure and fit-out, to tiered rental support structures as well as mentorship and skills development programmes,” Mageza adds. 

Makers Landing will also include a kitchen studio and event space, that showcases and celebrates South African food heritage; as well as a Makers’ Space, market stalls, and eateries which will give valuable insight into end-to-end food production while providing a variety of delicious and authentically local meals and products.

Visitors to Makers Landing will be able to source affordable fresh seasonal produce from fresh meat cuts to grabbing a quick bite to eat. 

Foodpreneurs are encouraged to apply to become tenants of Makers Landing here .

Tenants will be curated by a panel made up of representative industry experts, headed up by Hannerie Visser: Founder, Studio H; and Andy Fenner: Owner, Frankie Fenner Meat Merchants. 

The panel also includes the following foodie experts:

  • Emma Hosking and Kim Bloch: Co-Founders, Umthunzi Farming 
  • Karen Dudley: Chef and Founder, The Kitchen 
  • Vanie Padayachee: Head Chef, Sygnatur 
  • Aubrey Ngcungama and Ian Manley: Co-Founders, BLACC 
  • Ishay Govender: Co-Founder, SA POC 
  • Keletso Motau: Freelance food stylist 
  • Lufefe Nomjana: Founder, The Spinach King 
  • Ben Cox: Marketing Director, Neighbourgoods Market 
  • Russell Boltman: Co-Founder, Devils Peak 

“The idea for Makers Landing was always to democratise the tenanting process. By pulling together a curatorial panel that is mixed race, mixed gender, and made up of a variety of respected professionals with different cultural backgrounds, the idea is that the eventual tenant mix will be truly representative and authentic. It is about excellence, of course, but it is also about significance. Every tenant will have a powerful story to tell and they will do it through food,” explains Fenner.

“With the Covid-19 pandemic, this is even more important, as we are trying to create a place that is about rebuilding businesses and brands. It’s about fostering and nurturing young talent but it’s also about giving people a second chance. It needs to be a blueprint for an entire industry, as we try and put the pieces back together. The industry we love has been left on its knees and is looking for hope. We believe this project provides that,” he continues.

This team will assess potential tenants on various criteria, including measuring them against the V&A Waterfront’s transformation policies, as well as diversity, sustainability, commerciality and credibility. 

An opportunity for creatives 

In the spirit of celebrating this ethos and supporting young talent, the V&A Waterfront will also be looking to allow up-and-coming creatives to work alongside its advertising agency, Old Friends Young Talent, to create a visual identity for this project, giving them the chance to work with one of South Africa’s most iconic destinations and launch their career. 

This approach falls within the V&A Waterfront’s wider strategy of creating new opportunities for up-and-coming designers and artists across its neighbourhood as part of its marketing value chain. 

Read more: New programme launches to assist female-owned tech businesses
Read more: Local healthtech startup receives investment funding

Featured image: Supplied 

Ishani Chetty: Editor
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