As you all know, green is the new black and no matter how you are doing your bit to lessen your carbon footprint, we definitely need businesses around us to lead by example and to motivate us to conduct our lives in a way that will not be detrimental to our precious environment. If, like me, you’re a bit averse to making your own worm farm or sourcing the most organic form of lemon curd in the country, rather go out for lunch with a bunch of friends and be inspired by young people who are practising fair trade and pursuing everything organic.
Voodoo Lily Cafe is found on the corner of St Andrew Street and Wrenrose Avenue in leafy Birdhaven, Johannesburg, its glassy front and outdoor tables and chairs creating a definite need to sit and enjoy a cup of freshly brewed organic African coffee. Pots of fresh herbs decorate the pavement and the decor is uncluttered, clean and basic, made with reclaimed aluminium and recycled compressed plastic and husks. Certified suppliers like Good Life Organic, Blue Sky and Totally Wild, amongst many others, grace the deli shelves and an abundance of freshly picked veggies from the Food Gardens Foundation in Soweto is available, as well as cheeses from Goat Peter farm. Jams, syrups, chilli sauce, pickles and pesto are all packaged in re-usable glass jars. Delicious ready-made meals such as vegetable, beef or chicken lasagne, thai chicken curry or lentil bobotie can be taken home in biodegradable boxes and savoured with a bottle of your favourite organic wine. Who knew that organic was so easy?
The bakery is positioned just under the shop rather craftily, ensuring that the wafting smell of freshly baked bread reaches the innocent coffee drinkers outside...chewy Ciabatta, gorgeous rolls and health-enhancing rye bread are all baked daily, with Kitka available on Fridays and cakes to crash your diet like beetroot and chocolate (well, beetroot is a veg, so there’s one of your 5 a day!) and heavenly custard slices to rev up your energy for the gym. You also have the option to order a cake for a special occasion. Join their walking club on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5.30 pm to quash any guilt feelings. Packed lunches (choice of sandwich, pasta or salad with cold drink of your choice) are on offer if you’re too busy to sort your own out. With the James and Ethel Gray Park nearby, they also offer picnic hampers and encourage you to come for coffee afterwards with the dogs in tow.
To my mind, the most innovative aspect is the opportunity offered for young artists or aspiring entrepreneurs and this is what we should applaud and support: Voodoo Lily Cafe exhibits a new artist/photographer/designer every two months and also makes space on the shelves for any product that is awesome, local, fair-traded and organic or that can be recycled, just to get your brand going. So if you’re in the area, put on your walking shoes and go for a walk or cycle down to the Cafe for a treat which you so richly deserve...and don’t forget to take the dogs.