Brownies & downieS Cape Town is a training centre for people with intellectual disabilities and a vessel to create change and acceptance in the South African culture. Special needs young adults with autism, down syndrome, alcohol-fetus syndrome and learning disabilities are trained to be employable in the hospitality, service and retail sectors. This is achieved in a coffee shop and lunchroom that is open to the general public.
The coffee shop is an open area, spacious and flooded with natural lighting. It provides for a soothing and vibey atmosphere amongst the hustle and bustle of every-day life in Long Street. Blue and white colour schemes soften a mostly lightly-wooded interior, and a lone pillar near the entrance gives patrons a chance to express themselves in murals and messages; adding a human touch to this natural, positive space.
Our special needs trainees and staff are often greeting patrons with their welcoming smiles and eagerness to serve. You can often see them jesting with each other, dancing, or making jokes amongst themselves and the patrons whilst going about their work.
Brownies & downieS started in 2010 in Veghel, the Netherlands, as a result of an idea that two friends had. The one a chef (Teun Horck) the other working at a special needs school (Thijs Swinkels). They realised over a time that not many people with disabilities were employed in the hospitality sector, and decided to change this. Using a combination of high quality food and staff members with an intellectual disability in their employ, they created a relatively new concept in the Netherlands and surrounding European countries. Since those early days, they have grown by close to 30 stores in the Netherlands, and Cape Town is the first Brownies & downieS to open abroad, and also the first to open as a non-profit organisation. Wendy Vermeulen took it upon herself to introduce the concept to South Africa.
The majority of our special needs staff are not completely able to afford expenses such as transport to the shop, food each day, and other training expenses. If you would like to directly influence a trainee who may not be in a position to afford the training, please consider sponsoring or donating to our cause - or to a specific trainee. Should you wish to support our cause and make it your own, all donations would be gratefully accepted. Please contact us for more information.
Travel on Nelson Mandela Boulevard (N2) towards Cape Town City Centre. As you enter town (CTICC on your left), turn left at the robots onto Walter Sisulu Avenue. Turn right onto Lower Long Street and continue onto Long Street. The destination will be on the right.
-33° 55' 6.6''
18° 25' 23.16''
Shop 7, 2 Long Street
Light MealsBakery / PatisserieBreakfastGourmet Burgers
Monday - Friday: 07:00 - 16:30
Kitchen closes at 16:00