How it all started
Sans Grocer is an extension of Loading bay, a concept space founded in 2007. Throughout the years of connecting with the sources and suppliers for their retail and restaurant endeavours, they felt the need to take the conversation further. The logical space to do so was in the home, and as part of their daily practices, they were already having these conversations with their customers. The question for them was: “How can we better support and facilitate positive experiences and changes in our daily endeavours?” So they started Sans Grocer, as a way to connect and interact with the source: a sensory experience with practical application.
“Our side-by-side spaces in Sea Point offer customers a range of produce, food, home and lifestyle goods, with our stand-up coffee bar, Pauline’s, in the same building. Our grocer is focused on introducing the local communities to farmers, makers and producers grounded in holistic practices. Similarly, our lifestyle store shares items gathered from around the world that are timeless in their style and designed with care and intent. Both spaces are about bringing joy and mindfulness to daily rituals in a space that’s open and welcoming to all who visit.”
With Sans Grocer they wanted to facilitate a better connection with food. “We are living in an age of instant gratification and infinite choice and we have lost the understanding of the joy of food, especially food with substance and real nutritional value.” Through conversation and connection with clients they are looking to empower a new enlightened age of understanding, one which they themselves are discovering more and more with each day. They are raising consciousness around food production, seasonality and ultimately the impact it has on our world through farming practices. Clients can expect a range of in-season produce, dry goods, store cupboard items, meat, dairy and fish. They also stock other essentials items and cover a range of your household needs.
Sans Grocer endeavours to connect the customer with the source, by obtaining produce directly from the farmers, such as Mason Farming. It empowers the farmers and eliminates the middle man. It facilitates sustainable farming practices where efforts in soil rejuvenation is encouraged. “We are creating a community that allows farmers to develop their farming practices and create a sustainable future for all. By connecting directly with farmers we create a full circle that leads to consumers and back to nature.“
Their Future Plans
They have dreams of opening more Sans spaces in time, starting in the Western Cape and then the rest of the country. “Our concept is to always do this in communities where we can have a great impact and connection. The actual experience may differ from location to location but the focus on encouraging mindful daily habits will always be at our core.” They want to move beyond retail into spaces like hospitality and tourism so that they can showcase all that South Africa has to offer. They would also like to move into community projects concerning food production and food security, and are looking to create urban initiatives with this in mind.
Type of Client
“We appeal to those who want to be living consciously, an awareness that is rising in Cape Town. Sea Point specifically has a very diverse community and dense main road – it’s a suburb where people still walk around and is therefore a busy commuter node. That presence on the street means that we could engage with people as a regular part of their lives and not just be a once-off destination.”
The produce that Sans have purchased from Mason Farming to date
Bunches of red, gold and candy beetroots; bunches of baby carrots, Olympic kale, Scarlet kale, baby red spring onion, white and purple ornamental kale, Swiss rainbow chard, green spinach, pea shoots, baby gem lettuces, red and green butter lettuces, pepino melons, cucumbers, sweet potatoes, baby leeks, baby kohlrabi, shelled peas, micro greens, Jerusalem artichokes; red, white and purple potatoes, micro fennel; red cherry and yellow pear tomatoes, mustard leaves packs, 5 star lettuce packs, apple mint, parsley, sweet mix flowers, lavender flowers, nasturtium leaves and flowers, spring onion flowers and blue corn flowers.