The General Store Kitchen & Grocer

Words: Julie Velosa

The General Store, located at 22 Bree Street, is a little gem for those who know about it. If you haven’t been in you’re missing out on some of the tastiest homemade breakfast, lunches and take-home dinners around. We grabbed a few minutes with owner Colette Robert to find out more…

Tell us a bit about your journey to opening The General Store?

My journey actually started in Cape Town a good while ago. I trained as a Chef at Silwood School of Cookery and then worked in some of our city’s best kitchens, most notably under Giorgio Nava at 95 Keerom. I then left for London and spent 8 years at Finn’s of Chelsea, a luxury deli and caterer located just off Kings Road.

I always had visions of what my own kitchen and store could achieve, and at some point in 2013 my boyfriend and I decided to return to SA and to turn that vision into a reality. So I guess I’ve come full circle.
Tell us about the concept behind the store?

The initial inspiration for The General Store was the original local grocery and general stores of days gone by. They were pillars of their community, and there was something beautiful about their simplicity and character. I wanted to bring this to life in a fresh, contemporary way – to create a space that felt welcoming, unpretentious, natural and comfortable. People today are increasingly time poor, but I wanted to ensure that I was offering something that was convenient and uncomplicated but didn’t use convenience as an excuse to compromise quality. I also wanted to use the store as a canvas to stock a curated selection of home-made provisions and homeware, all with the sole purpose of adding value to your eating table at home. The General Store was born.

We loved the food we ate, tell us about the menu and the dishes you create daily?

We’ll have healthy breakfasts on offer every day, from home-made granolas and oats with fruit to poached eggs and smashed avocado on toast. For lunch, we’ll be making a selection of fresh salads daily (which will always change), like Mediterranean grilled veg, grilled courgette, slow roasted tomato and rocket salad, spring bean salad with shaved radish and lemon. We’ll also have meat dishes on offer, like Za’atar spiced lamb with coriander, tahini and lemon yoghurt, beef fillet with chimichurri and grilled salmon with Thai pesto. We’ll also have a range of healthy meals to take home on offer – in store or to order from our menu.

Saturday mornings are for brunch – we’ll have some simple cooked classics like poached eggs, bacon and field mushrooms, as well as a special brunch dish, which will change weekly. We also serve Rosetta coffee, as well as freshly pressed juices. Our tip: order your meals for home by Thursday and come and collect on a Saturday morning.
What should people expect when they visit The General Store?

Expect the friendliest service in town and to feel like it’s your local. Expect simple, healthy food made with the freshest ingredients. Expect delicious coffee and mouth-watering cakes. Expect some interesting latte art. But most importantly, expect a place that leaves you feeling better for having been there, not just because of the food on offer but because of the entire service and ambient experience.
Can we have the recipe for that chocolate torte? (Ok, that’s just a joke. Wow it was SO good!)

Haha, sadly that’s one we’re keeping locked away!

Opening Hours Monday – Friday: 07h00 – 16h30 | Saturday – 08h00 – 13h00 | Instagram

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