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De Juffrauens Coffee Shop

Compiled by: Ista van Zyl

Driving through Mashishing (formerly Lydenburg) in Mpumalanga, one couldn’t ignore the red double-decker bus parked in a pretty garden on Church Street. Rolene Joubert and Marie Jankowitz found the bus in a junkyard in Jet Park just outside of Johannesburg, bought it and had it towed all the way home, where it became the talk of the town – all the locals were speculating about the purpose of this new addition to the town.

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Both Afrikaans teachers by profession, Rolene and Marie had a long-standing dream to open a coffee shop. They couldn’t afford to build anything and were sceptical about how much profit they would make renting expensive premises. ‘Besides, we wanted something really different,‘ Rolene explains.

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Their idea for a London-themed café was just the starting point for De Juffrauens, the name of their coffee shop (after being addressed as ‘Miss’ in the classroom), nothing says London louder than a red double-decker bus, so they spent a year looking for ‘their’ bus.

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Never having been to London didn’t stop them either. ‘My mother-in-law went to London, and for her the hop-on, hop-off red buses were a highlight,’ says Marie. Some research on the internet and reading up about London was all they needed to start transforming the bus into a restaurant.

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The food they serve isn’t ‘typically’ English, but it is tasty. They asked people in the town what they wanted and have tried to use that to compile their menu, with a twist to make it different.  A favourite from the menu is Juffrauens se langpouse lunchbox, which is an open sandwich with cheese, chicken and bacon. You can also order an Engelse tee (English tea) with Lady Di chocolate cookies.

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The red double-decker bus on Kerk Street is going places. Its ‘destination’? ‘Why, London of course,’ jokes Rolene – with stops for food and fun along the way…

 

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