Developments News

V&A Waterfront to provide an incubator for local food industry

An artist's impression of what Makers Landing will look like once development has completed end of 2020.
An artist's impression of what Makers Landing will look like once development has completed end of 2020.

The V&A Waterfront has announced a ground-breaking plan to develop a local food community hub featuring South Africa’s flavours and culture, creating jobs, and acting as a powerful incubator for the food industry.

Makers Landing is the next phase of an overarching plan by the V&A Waterfront to develop the Cape Town Cruise Terminal area. When complete, it will add a further 4 348m2 to the existing cruise terminal developed by the Waterfront in 2015 for Transnet. The original terminal was a small industrial building on the edge of E-Berth that serves as a pre-cooling facility for fruit exports. Today, passengers from cruise ships are greeted by a state-of-the-art facility.

Makers Landing will be an inspiring, edgy space for new food concepts and ideas to flourish in the spectacular setting of an active port, with its dramatic backdrop of Table Mountain. It will capture the rich story of South African cultures, foods, flavours, and food producers for locals to enjoy and for visitors to discover. We are repurposing what was a cold storage facility into a food incubator that will generate in excess of 150 much needed jobs and will build connections between foodpreneurs” comments V&A Waterfront CEO David Green.

The R63 million multi-use Makers Landing development will encourage year-round activity in the port area with the new facility in walking distance from the Waterfront’s Silo District. It is expected to attract footfall from within the Waterfront as well as those who work from the Port of Cape Town Harbour.

We came across this idea internationally, having seen the success of food incubators in providing food at accessible pricing and creating jobs. We are incubating opportunities on a platform that lends itself to year-round operation, offering food at very accessible prices, with the opportunity to turbo charge interest during peak tourism season when local and international visitors flock to the Western Cape,” said Green.

The National Treasury’s Jobs Fund is an important partner in the development.

When we presented our plans to the Jobs Fund, they saw the same potential for job creation and skills development as we did. There is an obvious synergy between our vision for Makers Landing and the Jobs Fund mission, so we are really pleased to be partnering with them. We were also able to present our popular Watershed development as proof that when SMMEs are placed in a nurturing environment with the right trading conditions, they can thrive”.

Beyond showcasing South Africa’s incredible variety of cultural dishes and foods, we also see Makers Landing as a catalyst for creating employment, transferring skills through our planned incubator programme and nurturing and growing SMMEs. Small start-ups and suppliers of food will work alongside experienced players, and in this way, they will gain first-hand knowledge from watching and learning from them. We envisage that our SMMEs will at some point outgrow Makers Landing and they will leave to open their own eateries or work elsewhere – in the Waterfront, the city, the country or even overseas – and their places will be filled by new talent looking for a start in the industry,” Green said.  

Najwah Allies-Edries, Head of the Jobs Fund says that the V&A Waterfront provides a perfect environment for caterers, local producers and quality food start-ups to grow their businesses efficiently and easily under the guidance of seasoned professionals in an already highly successful commercial space.

Partnerships like this one demonstrate the immeasurable value of assembling the right partnership ecosystem, skills, and resources.  It is these intangibles that are fundamental in equipping and empowering SMMEs to overcome hurdles to development while effectively accessing real market opportunities.”

Building Makers Landing

In keeping with Cape Town’s historical roots as a Tavern of the Seas, the new space is being developed as part of the Cape Town Cruise Terminal. It has always been the V&A’s goal to preserve the heritage of the area, so from the outset the development team aimed to incorporate the gritty, industrial fabric of the harbour into the development, while enhancing the marine experience.

Backing onto the Cruise Terminal’s Departures Hall, Makers Landing retains the existing structure that dates to the 1920s and its original harbour warehouse aesthetic. The building is a mere 15 meters from the quay edge, so glass windows will allow visitors to relax in restaurants as they watch ships enter and leave the harbour, and cruise ships dock at the quayside in front of them.

Although the lockdown delayed construction at Makers Landing, the development team is confident it will complete the structure of the building by September. This will be followed by the interior work to configure the space to fit a shared incubator kitchen, a demo kitchen, eight maker production stations, a food market with approximately 35 flexible market stands, eight small co-op eateries and five anchor restaurants of various sizes.

Makers Landing will open to the public in December 2020.

Tenant applications

The V&A Waterfront is calling for applications from small food businesses, entry-level to top chefs, food producers and everyone in between. In addition to clear talent, the curators’ focus will be on authentic South African foods and diversity, quality and freshness, variety of flavours, ethical and local sourcing, and affordability and value. Anyone wanting further information about the space can download an application form from www.waterfront.co.za.