the tashas story
I come from a family of food lovers. My great-grandfather was a fisherman, my grandfather was a baker, my father was a chef, and like all woman of her generation, my mother was a cook - because that was what women did - and she was very good at it.
So it is inevitable that I am passionate about food. Raised in my Dad’s restaurant, I learnt from a young age about a love for food, people and service.
Despite studying towards a degree in psychology, my dream was to create a boutique lifestyle café – a restaurant that would challenge conventional ideas about daytime eating. I wanted to design a space people would be drawn to, timeless yet contemporary, original and innovative. I envisaged a restaurant where the environment you are eating in is as important as the food you are eating; a place where food and conversation go hand in hand. I was fixated with the quality of the ingredients, the presentation and the vibe.
There are some things that good restaurants shouldn’t compromise on. From the start, I was adamant that everything would be made fresh on order. Nothing would be pre-prepared, I insisted. My dad knew this was not how restaurants worked traditionally. And indeed, it turned out to be our greatest challenge. I didn’t appreciate at the time how much of a challenge it would be, but it also proved to be our greatest success. It forced us to keep our dishes simple and honest.
When I eventually opened the doors of my first tashas at Atholl Square in 2005, my dad was there. I don’t know who was more proud - him or me.
My brother Savva started with me when we opened tashas Bedfordview in 2007. I am so grateful for his involvement. He makes my crazy plans a reality; he deals with the operations and implements the tashas way. It is as inherent to him as it is to me how much the details matter.
And seldom does a day pass that we don’t draw on our late father’s inspiration:
that the heart of the business is to serve great food, take good care of people, and make sure they always come back for more.
From our fledgling café launched in Atholl, we now have 13 restaurants in South Africa and our first international restaurant in Dubai.
Who knew back then that by identifying the niche between traditional coffee shops and fine dining, tashas would pioneer a new kind of eating experience.
We are often asked what tashas’ secret to success is.
It’s really very simple: It is all in the details. We strive to focus on every little detail. We serve a quality product, love our customers, look after our staff and make our stores look beautiful. It is in every day and in every detail that makes the big picture.