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“Great coffee, brownies outstanding”
Review of Brownies & Downies

Brownies & Downies
Ranked #27 of 1 202 Restaurants in Cape Town Central
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 12 December 2017

A delightful find - Truth coffe, superb brownies and service that I can only describe as an uplifting experience. Well done to the whole team at Brownies and Downies

Thank Jean B
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 13 December 2017

Thank you for your awesome review Jean! We appreciate your patronage, and thank you for supporting our cause! We were happy to serve and what we do is so rewarding, we all thoroughly enjoy it! Please help us to spread the word!
See you soon!

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5 - 9 of 139 reviews

Reviewed 29 November 2017

Brownies & Downies is a cute little place in the heart of Cape Town. Besides the great options on the menu and fair prices, the coffee shop has a beautiful initiative: They employ people with mental disorders to promote social inclusion, and this for sure, helps their service to be amazing! A must try from their lunch specials is the vegetarian pie with side salad and croissants!! And obviously, don't forget to try the coffee and brownie! If you book with Feastfox, you not only have a table with your name, but you get 10% off the bill on weekdays mornings! I have too much love for this app....

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Fernanda L
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 30 November 2017

It was great to have you with us Fernanda! Thank you for the awesome review! Looking forward to dining more amazing guests such as you through Feastfox!

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Reviewed 13 November 2017 via mobile

The atmosphere, the food, the drinks, the staff!
My partner was offered a flavour of milkshake that wasn’t even on the menu and it was incredible. We made sure he knew how good it was.
Staff are all super friendly, it’s such a pleasant place to be.
The drinks were definitely the best we have had in Cape Town.
The food was delicious and very well presented.
The brownie, well let’s just say it they definitely lived up to all of the hype!
The price... to good to be true. I’m sure you will feel like leaving them a tip like we did.
Highly recommend and completely devastated that we only discovered this place on our last of 8 days here.

Thank Meagan W
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 14 November 2017

Thank you so much for your very kind review Meagan! We really appreciate your patronage and taking the time to visit us! It's always a pleasure to serve, and we're just sorry you couldn't come a few more times so we could knock your socks off with awesome flavours, foods & drinks! Hope to see you again soon! :)

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Reviewed 8 November 2017 via mobile

We visited the establishment and they let us try the gluten free brownies we purchased a few. Great service if you like strong coffee go to another place. I'd return.

Thank Ben S
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 9 November 2017

Thank you for review and rating Ben. We're glad that you and your group had an awesome experience at Brownies&downieS, and look forward to welcoming you back! Next time you're in, please ask to try our new VEGAN DARK CHOCOLATE BROWNIES. They're yummy!
We're sorry that the coffee didn't live up to your expectations. The beans are imported from Brazil and have been roasted in Cape Town to highlight the bean's fruity characteristics, and all our coffee drinks contain double shots. If I could humbly suggest trying our decadent hot chocolate, a gourmet milkshake, or to even shake it up by having our bullet coffee - a creamy coffee meal in liquid form!
See you soon, and thank you once again for your awesome support! We really appreciate you, and your feedback! It really helps us.

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Reviewed 7 October 2017

On a very cold day we visited Brownies and Downies. We were warmly welcomed by the hostess and one of the very friendly waitrons. Our delicious cappuccino arrived with tasters of their signature “blondies.” I can highly recommend these. My friend had mushroom risotto and I had a chicken burger served with fries. The food was beautifully presented, quick to be served and delicious. A group of waitrons were undergoing taste training. The patient and reassuring manner in which the waitrons are spoken to, is so encouraging and amazing. We were sent off with a smile and a very cheerful “goodbye” by one of the waitrons. I highly recommend this for a visit. What a wonderful organization. Please support them.

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Ellen B
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 7 October 2017

Good day Ellen. We are thrilled that you had an awesome experience with us at Brownies&DownieS and welcome you back anytime! Our waitress were very enthusiastic for the taste training and we had a fun time exploring tastes, textures and describing the food and ingredients chefs commonly use. Thank you for your amazing support! Our trainees really are all amazing, and we're privileged to train them!

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