Remember a time when “pure” meant wholesome and uncomplicated? When cookies were made with homemade butter and freshly laid eggs? The days before drive-throughs and deadlines, when you could take the time to enjoy a meal made with the finest, freshest ingredients and really take in your surroundings?
The concept of “pure honest food” has proved to be a huge hit with its customers… and offers a great franchising opportunity to a business partner who shares this vision.
In a time where a simple joy like eating often turns into a rushed activity, Pure Café offers customers a delicious slice of simplicity and a moment to catch their breath over a great cup of coffee. Sharing recipe for success with others will make it all the more rewarding!
A café concept pure in its simplicity
Since its launch in October 2007, Pure Café has become somewhat of a destination restaurant and deli in the heart of Pretoria, with patrons ranging from 20 to 70 years old.
Many patrons insist that they regularly make their way to the green and white gem for its baked cheesecake and cappuccino. Others can’t start the day without a Pure or Big Boy Breakfast.
The brainchild of Frances Geldenhuys and Elsabé van der Walt, both passionate foodies and talented graphic designers, Pure Café is all about freshly-prepared wholesome food and superior quality coffee served in an aesthetically pleasing setting that soothes the senses.
Attention to detail can be found in every element, giving away the owners’ eye for design and artistic flair – from the presentation of the food and latte art to the interior decorating, furniture and selection of crockery. Pure Café is an experience that remains long after plates and cups have been cleared.
A philosophy that works
Freshness is a key ingredient in the Pure Café philosophy of “pure honest food”, as is the loving, hands-on approach and presence of its owners. For example, all breads used in sandwiches and breakfast dishes are baked in the onsite bakery each morning, as well as the cakes and sweet treats available on the menu. Coffee is always used before a certain date to ensure optimal freshness. Local produce is sourced.
Pure Café is open six days a week, from 07h15 to 16h00 on weekdays and until 15h00 on Saturdays and has recently obtained its liquor licence.
Creating a delicious brand
Given their graphic design background, Pure Café’s owners worked hard towards creating a strong brand experience from the start. An investment of creative energy, time and passion that still pays off today. Even in the first month after opening, customers asked whether Pure Café was part of a franchise and how they could become franchisees!
Elsabé and Frances wanted customers to share in the Pure Café experience and create loads of interest and anticipation before its official opening. A Facebook group (Pure Café) was created where followers could view a day-by-day development of the
restaurant renovations, comment and help decide on the logo design, wallpaper and in-store photos, to name a few.
Everyone participated enthusiastically and Facebook followers also attended the official launch in 2007 – dressed in white and ready to party.
The owners’ love for and knowledge of design opened many doors during the process and ensured that the essence of Pure Café was captured from the outset. Today the brand is powerful, vibrant, dynamic, timeless and recognisable. It can easily be extended to relevant sub-brands like roastery coffee, deli products and baked goods. All thanks to its designer-owners’ savvy behind their Macs!
Pure Café is a registered trademark which has already been well established in its customers’ minds.
On the menu at Pure Café
The Pure Café menu features freshly made deli-style food for breakfast, brunch and lunch. Cakes and sweet treats like the ever popular Russian tea cakes make for indulgent afternoon tea. Pure Café is known for its high quality coffee, cappuccino, latte and espresso – a Pure Café barista finished in third place in the 2010 Gauteng
Regional Barista Championship! Smoothies, old-fashioned cordials and Virgin Mojitos offer cool refreshment on warm Highveld days.
Dishes include items like smoked salmon omelettes with avocado and lemon zest cream cheese, French toast with chopped almonds and maple-flavoured syrup, a salad with marinated biltong, avocado, parmesan shavings, pumpkin seeds and rocket, cheeky chicken livers, delicious wraps and pasta dishes like a creamy anchovy and broccoli pasta with a hint of garlic and chilli.
Fresh, high quality ingredients are a non-negotiable element in all Pure Café dishes and beverages and everything is made from scratch on the premises.
The people behind Pure Café
Job creation, skills development and empowerment are very important to Elsabé and Frances. The majority of staff, who generally have no qualifications when they begin, get hands-on, in-service training by the owners and are very proud of their newly acquired skills. It’s part of the Pure Café philosophy to try something new, so staff members are encouraged to try their hand at different aspects of the business. 80% of staff start in the scullery and then move to the kitchen or baking area.
The Pure Café barista who ended in third place in the 2010 Gauteng Regional Barista Championships, is further proof of the value of this in-service training.
Going forward, this culture of empowerment will remain crucial to Pure Café – the owners committed to keep empowering all their staff, from waiters to baristas.
In addition to having conceptualised and developed Pure Café from the ground up, Frances and Elsabé also run Pure Catering – Pure Café’s catering wing which specialises in elegant and original sweet and savoury finger snacks for functions of up to 50 people.
Pure Café’s kitchen team, under the owners’ guidance, makes the snacks over and above the daily restaurant orders.
The catering menu is updated regularly and on display in the restaurant. Many regular guests therefore use the Pure Catering service and word of mouth references also make for a substantial portion of the orders.
Coffee fit for kings and queens
As speciality coffees, complete with latte art, are one of Pure Café’s main attractions and the owners are avid coffee lovers, plans are underway to set up a dedicated Pure Café coffee roastery. The team has recently started moving towards roasting its own coffee beans. A dedicated roastery, under the management of Renier Geldenhuys, will ensure premium coffee blends not only for the café itself, but also for all the franchises within the Pure Café group and possibly beyond.
The Pure Café concept offers solid franchising potential to prospective franchisees.
Tried and tested concept
The past three years have allowed the owners the time to iron out growing pains and perfect the concept – fresh, uncomplicated food and great coffee in a visually beautiful setting. It was clear from the beginning that there is a definite market for Pure Café’s fresh and dynamic offering.
The Pure Café concept is ideal for owner-management. Pure Café is successful because its owners are actively involved in the day-to-day running of the business.
The owners’ background in graphic design and branding will help ensure brand consistency throughout franchises.
Pure Café has become a destination restaurant in spite of its less-than-ideal location. Imagine the possibilities in a prime spot which attracts more feet. Pure Café is based in the Colbyn Courts shopping centre, drawing on the student and business fraternity of Hatfield and the established, albeit quiet residential areas of Queenswood and Colbyn.
The centre is not the most happening of retail areas and even had a sombre atmosphere when Pure Café opened its doors. However, it’s clear that Pure Café patrons don’t mind driving from all over the capital city to get their coffee and food fix … and the restaurant has livened up the centre with its vibrant green and white presence. Well-chosen locations in selected cities are likely to enhance the success of Pure Café.
Scope for value-adding businesses.
The catering wing has already proved to be a viable addition to the brand and the owners have every reason to believe that a Pure Café coffee roastery will add significant financial value.
At the end of 2010, the founders of Pure Café felt that the time was ripe to embark on their franchising programme during which they would be offering franchise opportunities to a limited number of deserving candidates. Prospective franchisees would be subjected to stringent criteria in order to determine their suitability, and the areas and locations where Pure Café restaurants were to be established would be chosen only after thorough research and with great circumspection.
They also retained the services of a FASA accredited business consultancy specialising in franchise development to assist them with their franchising programme.
For more info please contact Frances at 012 342 1443
View our listing on www.franchisefinder.co.za