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“A fantastic idea”
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 3 weeks ago

Brownies and Downies is a great initiative. I loved the concept of this place. It is staffed entirely by young adults with either Downs syndrome or Autism. We experienced lovely service and the food isn't bad either, especially the Brownies which are delicious. This is perfect for lunch or coffee and cake.

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Ruthie3005
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 3 weeks ago

Good day Ruthie. Thank you for your awesome review! We really appreciate your patronage and are very proud of what we do and what our staff and trainees have accomplished thus far! Looking forward to an amazing 2018 with them and our awesome customers!

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2 - 6 of 142 reviews

Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

Nestled in one of the busier streets of Cape Town on the Red Bus Tour route is Brownies and Downies. A fairly quiet coffee shop with friendly service, delicious brownies and quality Truth coffee. Definetely worth a visit if you're in the area. A unique experience with benefits streching beyond dining.

Thank Ryan 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 4 weeks ago

Thank you for your excellent review Ryan! We appreciate your support, and are always thrilled to have customers to serve and opportunities to train our special needs adults!

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Reviewed 4 weeks ago

My mate took me to this beautiful spot in Long str. Him being vegan, and myself open to try anything. we ordered the Butternut & Blue Cheese Risotto. OMG!! The service was good. Vibe was great and the food was exquisite.
Def a spot to go to when in town.

Thank Lucas F
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 4 weeks ago

Thanks for your awesome review Lucas! Come again soon and try our vegan brownie! ;)

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Reviewed 4 January 2018 via mobile

Great cofee, inspiring people and amazing brownies :)
A must go place on your next trip to Cape Town !

Thank O23456
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 5 January 2018

Thank you so much for your review O23456! We really appreciate your patronage. You should have a "1" in your username, cause you're NUMBER 1! :)

See you again soon!

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Reviewed 4 January 2018

We have just come back from a delightful breakfast at Brownies and Downies, despite being there later than the breakfast cut-off time of 11.00am. The presentation of the coffee is lovely and the accompanying brownie sample delicious! The staff are very friendly and helpful and their gluten-free bread is excellent. They also have gluten-free muffins available - and obviously gluten-free brownies.
We all enjoyed our meals and would definitely go back except as Capetonians, we are reluctant to venture into the city centre!! Will go back on a Saturday though as I see they are open one Saturday a month - very excited about that!

Thank Jenny013
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 5 January 2018

We look forward to seeing you at the next Special Saturday at the end of January, Jenny! Thank you so much for your patronage and support! We appreciate it very much and are thrilled that you enjoyed your time with us! There's always a laugh to be had when visiting us ;)

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