VAGABOND KITCHENS – The unadulterated Kings of Wrap
So what happens when two Afrikaans brothers from Pretoria meet up with a Greek local chef? Vagabond Kitchens! Most would expect some heated debate or a possible competitive cook-off, but to the contrary, they decided in an apartment in Stellenbosch many moons ago that together they had something in common: Entrepreneurship and the diverse set of skills they would need to support it.
The brothers, FC and Bernard, had a solid upbringing and at first followed the mainstream by acquiring qualifications in Accounting & Business Management respectively. Donovan on the other hand followed his inherent Mediterranean passion for food and qualified as a Professional 4 Chef, after which he gained practical experience at various restaurants and at the acclaimed Bread & Wine restaurant in Franschhoek.
Not quite taken by the corporate lifestyle, FC, on completion of his studies thought it best to expand his mind and so he set off on travels to South America. He was taken by the lifestyle of the established street food scene in these countries. On returning to Cape Town he encouraged his brother and Donovan to climb on board and to start a street food business. They gathered their savings and started a business from their small apartment in the Bo Kaap. Friends starting ordering and soon they developed an online portal and self-delivery service, which we believe took great forward-thinking, especially considering online ordering and delivery was still fairly new in South Africa back then. Soon an ever-increasing demand for their food and the reality of kitchen operations in such closed quarters forced them to push their business to the next level.
Starting with 5 square metres in a no-go corner of the V&A Food Market, they braved retail rental, and through sheer persistence and tenacity built a following of customers that has far bypassed all their competitors. That is 6 years ago today and we believe they have the ability to acquire another 10 square metres and the crowds will just keep coming.
You might question why? Firstly, absolute consistency and the highest quality. They engage daily within their business, with both their staff and customers. Their hands-on approach by taking turns to chef during service allows for a high morale among their assisting staff and ensures that there is tight control in terms of quality. Long days and swollen feet have been worth the sacrifice and they have scores of 4.5 on TripAdvisor, in terms of customer satisfaction.
So what do they do so well? Firstly, wraps. The best damn wraps in town. But these are no ordinary wraps. It’s a Vagabond Kitchen wrap. Choose lightly curried chicken, pan-seared steak, slow-cooked pork or delicious vegetarian, their wraps are filled to the brim with fresh ingredients, drizzles and nuts for texture. Everything is made on order and grilled to “pink inside” tender perfection. They even have some secret ingredients.
And secondly, they offer sandwiches and slow cooked dishes. And now you can even enjoy their offerings at home. Call them for an assortment of tailored catering services that includes private dinner parties, weddings and festivals. Or just come down to the market and try a wrap while chatting to them there.