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“Awesome coffee and even better brownie! Best service in Cape Town”
Review of Brownies & Downies

Brownies & Downies
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$4 - US$10
Description: 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 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 a human touch to a positive and natural aura. 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​​.
Restaurant details
Description: 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 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 a human touch to a positive and natural aura. 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​​.
Reviewed 31 March 2017

This coffee shop is an amazing initiative. The people in there are so great. The service is 5* and the coffee and brownie was delicious! better then any Starbucks guaranteed.

Thank Omar546
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WadeChinChilla, General Manager at Brownies & Downies, responded to this reviewResponded 2 April 2017

Thank you for your outstanding review Omar! We're humbled by your words and thankful that you supported us and that you enjoyed your visit. Please be welcomed again soon!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a ReviewReviews (144)
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50 - 54 of 144 reviews

Reviewed 30 March 2017

it is just amazing to see these people having a purpose in life, and the food is worth it even more.

Thank Rencia2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WadeChinChilla, General Manager at Brownies & Downies, responded to this reviewResponded 31 March 2017

Thank you for coming to support us Rencia! We appreciate your patronage and can speak for all of our trainees and staff in welcoming you back anytime!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 March 2017

This is a café worth visiting! I was very hungry mid-morning and found the first enticing café in my path - Brownies and Downies! So friendly, such attentive service and such good food! Thank you for feeding my stomach and my mind! Keep baking, keep smiling! Thank you!

Thank Chyld
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WadeChinChilla, General Manager at Brownies & Downies, responded to this reviewResponded 22 March 2017

Thank you for taking the time to review us Chyld! We appreciate your patronage and are happy that your tummy quit talking after a yummy breakfast and coffee! We hope to see you again soon!

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Reviewed 17 March 2017

I love Brownies and Downies - not only for working with children and people with Down's Syndrome but also because the menu is delicious and they offer the best bullet coffee in all of Cape Town. I would visit every day in a heartbeat.

Thank DebbieKasia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WadeChinChilla, General Manager at Brownies & Downies, responded to this reviewResponded 19 March 2017

Thank you for your very kind review Debbie! We appreciate your support , please continue to visit and have your bullet :)

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Reviewed 16 March 2017

This restaurant also employs folks with Learning disabilties and in so doing, enables them to earn some money and get some self esteem and learn how to interact with the public.
Therefor the waiters are very attentive and in some cases very slow , but they are so sweet and innocent that all is forgiven, and I go back there as often as possible. The food is delicious.

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank helejk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WadeChinChilla, General Manager at Brownies & Downies, responded to this reviewResponded 19 March 2017

Thank you for your review helejk. It's sometimes a challenge working with the special needs trainees, but it's always a pleasure and we're proud of their accomplished progress thus far! Please do continue to support - we look forward to serving you again soon!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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