Simple sustainability at Schoon in Stellenbosch

Sustainability can be complicated when you’re in the restaurant business. It’s not just about your choices, but also the choices of your suppliers. In a town like Stellenbosch, surrounded by farms, it’s somewhat easier. This is where Schoon, a coffee shop, bakery, speciality grocer and café, is making sustainability simple.

Found in the town’s former bank, a delightful historical building with slatted windows and high ceilings, Schoon oozes out onto the sidewalks where students, visitors and professionals sip coffee at shady benches.

It started as a artisan bakery focussed on putting simple, but quality ingredients into their baked goods and making it extra delicious by using human hands instead of machines.

Their philosophy is: “What is good for the field, is good for the produce, the farmer & our product.” This bright view on sustainability and their perfect location in a town where good food in a pretty setting flourishes, naturally turned them into an ever-bustling breakfast, lunch and everything in between spot.

The list of suppliers on the menu is what makes me most happy. Naturally they can’t support a sustainable supplier for each and every product sold or used in the shop, but simply listing your main suppliers inspires respect. It shows they care where their stuff comes from.

Eggs, greens, tomatoes, coffee, honey, jam, and even organic flours each have a specific origin. It might be an established wine estate with a veggie patch or an auntie on a farm further beyond. Sustainability isn’t achieved in complete off-the-grid establishments serving only organic, ethical products. A part of sustainability is also the simple act of supporting local suppliers that work on small scale.

So visit Schoon, tuck into the sourdough bread, the creamy eggs and slow roasted tomatoes knowing that each of these were either made on site, or came from a good place. And don’t forget to buy an entire bread on your way out to repeat on the weekend.

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