Cafe Hemingway’s

This is a project where art, design and food combine. 

At the heart of every great experience is a story. The story of Café Hemingway’s is, in many ways, only just being written but it is a story that has all the makings of an epic tale.  It begins with a little coffee shop that is about to close down just a few days before Christmas. The staff who have worked there, for some it’s the only job they have ever known, have no idea that within a few days they will be unemployed and have to face their families on what should be a joyous time of the year, with heart breaking news. A long-time customer, on being told of the imminent closure, couldn’t bare the thought of the 60 year old woman who had only ever been taught to fry eggs, having no job, and no possibility of employment. He decided that the only option was to buy the shop, and take on the people who worked there. His vision was grandiose, but the staff had only ever been taught the most rudimentary of skills, and the kitchen had nothing but a microwave, fryer and toaster. And so the journey began. The customer began to gather a group of people willing and excited to go on an adventure together. Like any great tale, this is a story of people. And like any great tale it is a story of a group of people who have varied – but great- skills.

Cafe Hemingway’s has taken Ingrid back to her roots of design in every possible way. From the initial name and concept generation, to the interior design, brand strategy and everything in-between. Right down to the finest details of how the food gets styled on the plate.

The initial challenge was the location, and how to create a successful restaurant in a space that was better suited to an automotive environment. Set in what could only be described as an un-glamorous parking lot in an obscure shopping centre in the un-fashionable part of Kyalami. This was followed by working with Chefs that had recently graduated and had no experience in restaurants, as well as those who had never worked in any environment other than basic coffee-shop. 

Taking her love for literature and history, she set about the task of turning this hole in the wall into one of the top 10 restaurants in Jozi. All done within 6 months of its opening. Working in partnership with her long-time collaborator Philippa Rose-Tite from Purple Raindrop – they set off on an adventure of epic proportions – all the while falling absolutely in love with this brand, and all the stories it had to share.

This project now has over +42,000 Facebook followers, is one of Jozi’s top restaurants and has been featured on radio stations such as 702, and had amazing reviews in The Sunday Times along with featuring in Jozi’s top 10 restaurants. The Fine Dining Room “10 Dining Street” has just opened along with the Gastro Pub with includes a hidden speak easy and a 8m long hand crafted copper bar. This project continues to go from strength to strength – proving that Design / Art / Food is in fact, the new black.


Our interior design project has been featured on Design News!

After 2,5 years of my trusty partner in all things creative Philippa (from Purple Raindrop) and myself (from working on Cafe Hemingway’s, our little love project where we combine, literally, art, beautiful food, design and people development, the little café has started to sparkle and shine and we are just so excited to see this project get the recognition it has in the press!

We have been extremely humbled to have had amazing media attention!

As anyone who knows the story of Café Hemingway’s can tell you, it was started as a project for people. Out of a blended passion for food, upliftment and seeing people achieve their dreams.

The ethos has always been “give a man a fish and he has a meal for one, teach him to fish and you create a lifetime of opportunity, and you can feed a city”.

Café Hemingway’s has grown beyond our expectations! The journey has taken them from a shabby hole in the wall coffee shop with 6 employees, to a burgeoning staff complement of over 35 full time staff in just a little over 2 years.

After the amazing story that was played on Expresso Morning Show – SABC 3

(Ps.. that is me at the end, in my gorgeous Lunar Dress, talking about my love for Paris and and a moveable feast.0

The Cafe was filmed by the amazing team at eNCAnews.

To read more on the story, and see a little of Ingrid on the News…
View here…

Don’t miss this amazing story as well on Riante Naidoo gorgeous blog 

The Cafe was also interviewed on 702 for the second time last week Friday.
Click to listen…

This has been a project that we have put our hearts and souls into. It has consumed all our free time and those things that some call weekends (we’ve heard people don’t work on those two days a week! Insane!).

Where I have designed every single item in the space, from working with the chefs on the plating, to every last interior detail and of course all the online digital experiences as well as having styled every single shoot and all the branding and ..well just everything really.

Philippa who is a branding and wordsmith genius, has not only crafted every single word across all every single platform (note from Philippa: Except the spelling mistakes, those are all Ing 😊 ), from menus, to cake books, to marketing materials, including extensive menus, 90 page cake and event books, as well as social media management and interaction, but she has also dealt with the behind the scenes people management as well as the reputation management of a social environment with more than 40,000 active and vocal community members.

We often go about our daily lives just getting on with the job – however I feel for once we need to step back and think, wow this is a cool place. A place that people travel for from all over the world… to get a little touch of what’s in our heart, and to experience what we love.

So – if you have not been, pop on over to one of our little projects – and, just maybe you will catch a glimpse of the Mad-Hatter disappearing behind the secret door down the porthole to have dinner at Midnight In Paris.

Projects featured on:

Cafe Hemingway’s
View Story & Clips 
E News 
Expresso Morning Show
Design News – View Story
Spiced Weasel
In Your Pocket
702 Talk Radio – Listen
Sunday Times Review
Syllable In The City
Nicky EM Mode