The day my husband lost his job
I was sitting in the parking area at Kalahari Cafe – Clarkson when my husband phoned to say that he had been made redundant. My boys and I got out of the car and walked in. The boys went to their usual spot at the THIS IS AFRICA wall.
At the counter, Una looked up and asked, “Are you all right?” Facing away from my children I allowed myself to have a second of crying combined with hyperventilation. Una came around and gave me a hug, I got everything together for the sake of the kids and had my cup of boeretroos (coffee.)
Kalahari Cafe – Clarkson, when you want home to be a bit closer
Kalahari Cafe – Clarkson… the place where you go when home seems so very, very far away, and you want to be reminded of biltong and boerewors and the way things were, but also, that things will be all right because you are surrounded by people who care.
The Kalahari Cafe – Clarkson Team
Two weeks ago I sat and chatted to Una about the adventurous journey they find themselves on. Initially, they thought that Una would be the one running the shop but with the downturn in the mining industry, Paul joined her.
I have always tried ‘reading the walls’ (they are covered in newspaper) and Una related how the walls were initially a rainbow of colour that they whitewashed before they could get going on the way it currently looks.
She looked around and said, “Blaze did those boxes, and Kyle came down from Sydney for two weeks to come and help. Paul did the counter and friends helped us with the wallpaper. Everything here was done by us and our friends. I remember how the very first night after the walls had been painted white, the four of us sat on the floor and ate KFC.”
What I love about this place is the sense of belonging I feel when I walk in there. Paul will always come round to the boys and fist pump them, follow it up with a ‘thumbs up’ and in unison all three of them will say, “Sharp-sharp.”
He was also most surprised when I told them about the withdrawal symptoms that I suffered when I went cold turkey from coffee. However, for a taste of his coffee, I am willing to break my coffee fast. He has developed into quite the sought after barista in the area, with people waiting for their caffeine kick as he arrives at work in the mornings.
The Afrikaans accents coming from the kitchen are unmissable and the ladies helping Una are part and parcel of the experience when you visit. Serine, Anke, Elsie and Ansie are the ladies behind the scenes and responsible for the yummy vetkoeke and rest of the tantalising menu. To quote Una, “I will trust these ladies with my most prized possessions. They are like my family.”
Later a mutual friend of ours, who are currently undergoing treatment for cancer came in to collect her Juicy Q juices. Una always makes sure that she has a stock because that is all our friend is able to keep down after her chemotherapy sessions.
I commented on the beautiful handbags with the Blomst label hanging next to a shelf and heard that Anke, who works there, makes the bags. The craftsmanship is flawless and I love the red and black one.
Tastes of home
Of course, there is the South African produce that you can buy at Kalahari-Clarkson, the biltong and droëwors, boerewors, and koeksisters. Their fridges are stocked with BBQ essentials as well. (Read proper steaks!)
If you are looking for a place to hold a baby shower, birthday party get together or even a craft morning during the week, Kalahari-Clarkson will do the catering with a smile.
I think Paul and Una have succeeded in what they wanted to achieve.
In Una’s words,
“I want people to walk out with a smile, meet new friends and meet up with old friends. I want them to feel comfortable.”
They definitely keep to their promise of “No Fuss, no frills, Just good old country cooking.”
Visit them at 8/27 Caloundra Road, Clarkson, Perth, WA.