Missed this weeks events? No fear, we’re here to wrap up what you missed this week 😉
Tuesday – June 12th
She Means Business
This event was part of the She Means Business Series which is a platform for female entrepreneurs to support, celebrate and encourage one another. It stems from the belief that stories are powerful and as a result they have the potential to inspire, bring laughter, provoke thought and connect people. The event hosted 4 entrepreneurs who were that morning’s storytellers. They included; Jacylyn – Ivy Engelbrecht (Beauty Specialist), Dikonelo Mile (Financial Services Rep.), Leah Molatseli (Lawyer) and Sunell Wiehman (Counselling Psychologist). Those who attended benefited greatly from the vast wisdom that was shared.
Saturday – June 15th
Be Human Family Market
The Be Human Family Market takes place every Saturday on Middelwater Farm. There is a wide variety of scrumptious food in their food court. There are many options to choose from for you and your family such as gourmet waffles, Wagyu burgers, liver kebabs, chicken wings etc. It takes place from 9am – 4pm. So if you missed it today you can catch it next week. Same place. Same time.
Sunday – June 16th
Unfortunately, this event has been postponed. It would have taken place tomorrow at Ramblers Club. We will keep you posted on the new event details. Keep your eyes open.
Looking out of my office window I am amazed that winter has still not arrived, I remember back to a time when I was in Europe busy hiking around the continent during the winter season. Oh boy did I feel the cold! The days were grey and the wind blew right through you and sleeping in some dodgy places made you yearn for the blue sunny skies of South Africa. We tend to complain about the cold weather BUT we don’t really have a winter!
This is one of the reasons why we should be counting our blessings and appreciate the good things we have. I recently hosted some American ladies here in Bloemfontein and they could not believe that this was the cold season, I did mention that we do get cold days every now and then and we even get snow on the Maloti’s, but they just laughed and said that I must stay over in Chicago during their winter, I don’t see that happening! Personally my only gripe during this time is that the days are shorter and by 18h00 it’s dark already. When I am on tour I always make sure that I arrive at the destination before the sun sets and so with less daylight I feel a bit rushed.
On that note please see my mid-week winter tours on the attachment, the destinations I have chosen offers a variety of attractions and are really on our doorstep. I can take a maximum of seven people so you will be guaranteed personal attention and service. I also believe that the accommodation I have sourced is good value for money and are delightful places to stay. I can arrange the tours to a date suitable for you and as the breaks are mid-week you will be away from any crowds or busy roads. I also offer day trips which are most enjoyable and are an ideal breakaway from the hustle and bustle of the city. So if you are looking at doing something different then please give me a call.
My appeal for the SPCA still continues, please guys let us all help these precious animals during the winter months. ANY old blankets, sheets, pillow cases or pillows will suffice; if you don’t have old linen then perhaps a couple of cans of dog food will be good. I will collect from you and I promise that all donations will be delivered to our local branch. I thank you in advance.
Got a bit of the Monday blues? You know, one of the ways to combat that is to just relaaaaaaaaaax. Play a good tune. I’d recommend Old Town Road. There’s just something about the tune of that particular song that just lifts my spirits. Or maybe its the soothing twang of country singers.
Though, should you need a little break from the office we have some events down below that might interest you! This week isn’t as busy as last week was but there’s a rather interesting event that would definitely appeal to the ladies.
She Means Business – Wednesday, 12 June, @ 8AM
Stories are powerful. They have the potential to inspire us, make us laugh, make us thoughtful and also allow us to connect with someone.
The She Means Business Series is a platform for female entrepreneurs to support, celebrate and encourage one another. Join our storytellers as they share their #MyStartUP stories on their entrepreneurial journey.
* Are you looking for purposeful conversation among like-minded women? * Do you believe in the power of collaboration? * Are you looking to build meaningful connections? * Would you like to gain insight from our storytellers and guest speaker? * Are you passionate about your growth and empowerment? * Are you looking for invaluable support, advice and inspiration?
Definitely check out their Facebook page on https://www.facebook.com/events/290564535220296/
Be Human Family Market | Saturday, 15 June @ 9AM
The Be Human Family Market takes place every Saturday on Middelwater Farm.
The market opens from 09h00 until 16h00 and they have a wide variety of food stalls in their food court, dishing up anything from gourmet waffles, Wagyu burgers, liver kebabs to traditional sosaties, chicken wings and meatball and halloumi skewers. Their bar area serves craft beer, gin on tap or your preferred local brew.
From loads of kiddies activities and game drives to the farm deli, the Be Human Family Market caterers for everyone and there is so much to do for a great Saturday out.
For a detailed look at all of their activities go visit
Joseph Clark’s Queen Show took place at Innie Skuur! It was well attended with sold out tickets. He was joined by his lead guitarist, Axe Lourens.The duo created a memorable evening of pure rock. His pure talent left many mesmorised as always and chanting “We Will Rock You”. It was a fun way to rock it out during the week for those needing to let their hair down.
THURSDAY 6THJUNE 2019
Leadership Summit 2019 (Thursday and Friday)
This Leadership Summit 2019 was new to Bloemfontein. The summit was created by top leaders and coaches from central South Africa for leaders, decision-makers and change-makers. This 2-day summit consisted of 6 workshops that were facilitated by industry professionals, a networking function and a 2020 forward-focus session. Various topics were tackled focusing mainly on key topics such as; teamwork, finances and leadership.
First Thursdays @TOV
What a great experience of good art and music. Artists in Bloemfontein really know how to collaborate and put on a good show. Attendees had a fantastic night where they could appreciating art and live music all at once.
SATURDAY – 8thJune 2019
Property Investment seminar
This seminar aims to teach people how to become financially free by investing in property.Prosperity Enterprises will be at Anta Boga Boutique Hotel in Bloemfontein this morning from 8am. Those who attend can expect to be taught a tried and tested model when investing in property through the intensive course on how to create your own property portfolio.The 5 hour seminar will equip people to create wealth through property.
De Oude Kraal Wildskosfees
This year De Oude Kraal is celebrating their 20th De Oude Kraal Wildskosfees. Wine stalls and different venison stalls can be expected. In addition, they have brought in some additional stalls such as a fish stall, Greek stall as well as a lamb stall.Head there to be a part of the celebration. There is still time!
FSSO Symphony Concert
There’s an FSSO Symphony Concert taking place today at the Odeion theatre on the UFS campus. The concert will be taking place in the evening and is proudly brought to you by #MEDICS4MUSIC. Classical music lovers make your way.
Married but not to each other
The incredibly funny husband and wife, Ndumiso Lindi & Tumi Morake will be in town and they are bringing their hilarious “Married…But Not to Each Other” stand-up comedy show. The show is about life, love, relationships and their ups and downs. Married or single you are bound to howl with laugher.
SUNDAY – 9thJune 2019
Ivy Live Sundays
There is something for everyone in Bloemfontein. For travelers looking for a soulful Sunday experience, Ivy Live Sundays provides just that. Head there to experience a combination of art and entertainment from the city’s “must hear” musicians.
February, the month of love, is drawing to a close and there’s great joy in our hearts knowing that we took part in the celebration and were able to spread the love.
In February, people celebrate love all month long. Across the world, Valentine’s Day is celebrated on the 14th of February and we are no exception here in Bloemfontein. An abundance of love, romance, chocolates, flowers and cards showed the value and importance our City of Roses places on love.
On the 14th of February, we at Arista Guest House had the wonderful opportunity to help couples celebrate this special day. We partnered with Silent Events Free State/Bloemfontein Popcorn Club and Sonique Productions to bring our lovebirds “Silent Valentine” –an exclusive outdoor movie experience. As you may remember Bloemfontein had high levels of rain but the event still took place regardless of the weather conditions. The garden was perfectly reenacted indoors and as a result the audience members still walked away with a sense of an exclusive outdoor movie experience. Our audience was on specialised high quality headphones which were provided to all audience members to enjoy the movie, affording them the luxury of being unaffected by noise . There was absolutely no noise pollution and the audience was emerged into the movie. The old time favourite 1990 film “Ghost” was on screen with its mixture of comedy, thrills and mushy romance being perfect in capturing the theme for the evening. Also, an added cool perk was the audience could switch to a channel of old time favourite love songs or have an intimate conversation and time with their loved one. All this was done while sitting on picnic blankets and enjoying delicious popcorn, beverages and snacks of course. *SPOILS*
Thank you to all those who came to share the love, It’s always a pleasure.
Bloem events to lookout
for in March:
2 – 26 March – Lifestyle Sunday’s AT Ramblers @ 7:30 – 14:00
6 March Fun Insightful Art Evening AT Gallery on Leviseur @18:30
12 March Russian Ballet Bloemfontein @19:00
17 March Bloemfest @10:00
29 March Silent Movie Experience AT Arista Guesthouse @20:00
31 March Bloemfontein Street Food and Craft Festival @10:00
31 March Jazz On The Lawn at Windmill Casino @14:00
As the leaves turn shades of red and orange and yellow, the Free State winter months promise to be exciting and jam-packed. While some people are getting ready for the winter and others are planning a summer holiday abroad, I am putting everything aside to celebrate female entrepreneurs and business owners with Startup Grind Bloemfontein… and so should you!
May month marks Female Founders’ Month for Startup Grind Chapters in over 350 cities in 100 countries across the globe. Startup Grind Bloemfontein will be hosting a number of local entrepreneurs and two guest speakers in a very unique way.
The programme is loaded with valuable content and opportunities to network with like-minded entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs. There will be coffee and popcorn for sale, and all guests will receive a goodie box. All members of the community are most welcome to attend; the young and old, male and female! And trust me, you don’t want to miss this.
We’ve told you where in Bloem you can find the final product; now we are going to share with you the coffee-making process from an actual coffee maker’s perspective. We were fortunate enough to host German Zelayandia at Arista Guesthouse back in 2012. He is a Salvadoran engineer who visited Bloemfontein on business. He is part of a company called @GrupoConval, Salvadoran coffee production company and these are his insights.
The history behind the company dates back as far as 1918, where one man and one woman united with a common interest in coffee production. From there onwards, generations of coffee growers acquired new coffee farms in better geographical areas, installed wet and dry mills and switched over rom generic to speciality coffee for exportation and to introduce tourism as a compliment to the sustainability of the coffee production.
Fast forward to 2018 and the fourth generation of coffee growers has, amongst other things, broadened the exportation of speciality coffees and has introduced new varieties (geisha) and 3 members of the fifth generation are interested in joining in on the venture.
The coffee farms Monte Verde and Los Cipreces are on the Ilanmatepec mountains.
Both these farms produce mainly bourbon and pacas varieties. The harvest period spans from December to February each year and the area experiences sufficient temperatures and rainfall for optimal growth of a variety of trees.
We did not exaggerate when we said that coffee-making is an intricate process, but here’s our simplified version of the whole shebang:
It all starts with cutting, sorting and weighing of cherries. Then, the coffee is transferred to the wet mill for pulping. It is then left to ferment for an average of eight hours before it is eventually taken to dry in the drying yards. After about 6 to 8 days of drying in the sun, being moved and covered with plastic in the evenings, they proceed to gather the coffee in bags (by variety, batch, plank, characteristics, process etc.) and transport the bags to a horizontal drier for further drying. Finally, they are packed into new bags and stored in warehouses in separate consignments, depending on the case and wooden pallets.
Conval Group is deeply rooted in family values and social responsibility. This is shown in the fact that the 5th generation of the same family is about to take over the company and in the fact that they take care not to waste water in their processes, respectively.
For information on where to find their coffee beans, please refer to www.grupoconval.com
You know the conversation has reached its expiry once you start talking about the weather… but in this case it is exactly where our conversation begins.
Before we begin our “weather convo”, we would just like to mention: Over the years we have met some incredible people at Arista, who ( as the story has it) arrived as strangers and left as friends. Amongst them is a Salvadoran engineer, coffee connoisseur and simply a nice guy, German Zelayandia. Cool name, right? While working on a project in SA a few years back, he introduced the Arista team to his passion: coffee from El Salvador. Needless to say, it was love at first sight.
In our follow up post we will tell you more about Salvadorian coffee culture, the family who has been in business for almost 100 years and how to get hold of those beans in South Africa, #businessopportunity.
Now… It has been uncomfortably cold in the Rose City these past few weeks. I think it is safe to say that winter is on its way and that it is going to be a cold one. What better way to gear up for the colder months than to find out exactly where you can grab a warm cuppa joe in Bloemfontein? We took it upon ourselves to identify five local hot spots for you. We spoke to the owners of Faba, Jaru, Royal Roastery, Stereo Cafe and Urban Brew and asked three (what we thought were) simple questions: Why coffee, what coffee and when coffee? Here’s what they had to say:
FABA WHY coffee?
“Well, this is actually a very difficult question as we simply just love coffee! Coffee is a fascinating industry to be in as there is as yet no real standard as to how things are done and this gives you so much more room to experiment and learn something new each and every day and with this it gives us the willingness to go and take these new things to our customers and educate them about coffee as this is what we are all about actually. The speciality coffee industry is relatively new in Bloemfontein as compared to Cape Town and Johannesburg but it is an upcoming industry and we are so excited to be a part of this niche market in its infancy stages. Our main aim is to bring the beans to Bloemfontein which are not available at any other roasters in Bloemfontein as there is just so many places that produce great coffee! So our current offer list is Cameroon, D.R Congo and Malawi.”
“We love the Single Origin Cameroon that we roast Medium it is very soft on the tongue and had a creamy taste to it.”
“For us, the best time to have coffee is first thing in the morning as it reminds us of why we are doing hat we are doing and it just really gives us the energy to get through the day as we appreciate a great coffee!”
JARU WHY Coffee?
“Why not? Everything about it just overwhelmingly inviting… the fact that coffee grows on trees in high altitude sub-tropical areas far away from where we are now. Then it is handpicked, squeezed out and washed to be shipped to places all over the world where skilful roasters put their knowledge and machines into practice. After which we find the beans, we all love to smell, in the hands of a skilful barista who prepares the perfect cup of coffee that makes us all feel good inside. And just the way coffee brings people together; whether it’s after a meal, around the breakfast table or in a queue at you favourite coffee shop.”
“Firstly, you have many different types of origins from many different countries with each having its own distinctive characteristics in flavour, body and acidity. But for us here at Jaru we prefer Brazil Cerrado which is a full bodied coffee with a chocolate and nutty undertone…and then our favourite beverage to enjoy that in is a Flat White…Jaru Style!”
“The best time to have coffee is most definitely in the morning. And that will always be the very first thing in the morning…’cause it’s true: it wakes you up.”
ROYAL ROASTERY WHY Coffee?
“Royal Roastery started with a small group of friends, who had a dream of bringing quality coffee to the people of Bloemfontein! Although it’s difficult to serve a niche product in a small town, we believe that although coffee can be exceptional, all our customers can enjoy it the way they like it. Coffee may seem ordinary for the everyday coffee drinker, but we strongly believe that there is so much more to learn about coffee than just being a caffeinated drink. Our roasters, baristas and waiters believe that it’s not just about serving an amazing cup of coffee, but rather what it takes to create that perfect cup of coffee!”
“From bean to cup, each coffee delivers different characteristics and flavour profiles; depending on the roast (light, medium, dark) and of course the espresso recipe used. We strive to always serve a single origin coffee, which have originated from one specific country (Guatemala, Rwanda, Kenya) or a specific region e.g. Colombia Popayan. This enhances the quality and characteristics of each coffee and helps the customers realise that not all coffees taste the same. Our passion for single origin coffees is what helps us educate our customers and also the coffee culture of Bloemfontein!
Apart from our espresso bar, where we strive to serve you the best possible single origin espresso based drink (Cortado, flat white, cappuccino, latté), we also have a slow bar or manual brew bar section. This is where the Royal difference comes in, where our customers can enjoy various different manual brew coffee methods each unique in its own way. We offer V60 and Chemex as a “pour over” selection and an Aeropress for a more crisp and full body taste. The Syphon is where science and coffee meets, where the brewing process of your coffee is done through temperature, gravity and concentration. The slow bar takes more attention to detail, seeing that water temperature, the size of grinded coffee and brewing ratios can influence the final product. Be sure to ask the barista for recommendations on which single origin coffee to pair with what brewing method.”
“From sunrise to sunset, anytime and anywhere is a good time for quality coffee!”
STEREO CAFE WHY coffee?
“Coffee is an important part of cultures around the world. Many people start or end their day with coffee – be it instant, filter or cappuccino or flat white from their favourite cafe. It’s a drink that brings people together or to enjoy in solitude. It has a fascinating history and a wonderful complexity, especially when exploring the world of specialty coffee. In the wise words of this anonymous quote, “Coffee is always a good idea”.”
“It depends on what you enjoy. There are so many options depending on your preference. At Stereo Café, espresso-based milk drinks like flat white and cappuccino, made using our house espresso blend, are quite popular. On a hot summer or warm winter afternoon a cold brew (made with our own coffee concentrate and served with milk and ice) is also a popular choice. We serve a delicious pour-over (filter) coffee too. Our current speciality coffee from Burundi or our Ethiopian Yirgacheffe both make delicious filter coffees – best enjoyed black.”
“The most popular time of day to enjoy coffee is probably in the morning – that is when we are busiest at Stereo Café. But if you are less sensitive to caffeine then anytime is a good time for coffee. If you want the taste of good coffee without the caffeine then try our decaf coffee from Colombia – contrary to what many people believe, decaf, roasted well, is still delicious. Being a coffee roaster, we have a variety of coffee to choose from – freshly roasted beans or ground to order, to enjoy at home or office whenever you feel the need.”
URBAN BREW WHY coffee?
“Besides the science of coffee, I am mesmerised by the potential coffee possesses to bring people from all walks of life together. Work, social, any gathering is suitable for great coffee.
Coffee tells that story of people and I love to be part of it.” WHAT coffee?
“The method I use to brew coffee determines the origin for me.
I love a pour over in the morning (it’s a slowly brewed filter coffee). With this, I love a washed Ethiopian Heirloom varietal or a single origin Kenyan SL28.”
“All the time is good for great coffee, but there is something special about the first cup of the morning…as long as it is shared with someone special.”
There you have it, folks. Whether you are in search of a hang-out, a place to have a business meeting or a little bit of warmth, these places are worth the visit.
Two things are evident from the answers above:
1) These roasters share a serious, beautiful passion for quality coffee AND
2) Our questions were not as simple as they seemed after all.
Coffee-making is a complex process with a plain and simple result: the taste of pure goodness -pure goodness that you are more than welcome to come and experience at Arista Guesthouse as well, by the way.
Keep warm and enjoy a cup of coffee.
A Traveller’s Friend
PS all places are listed alphabetically & images are compliments of the respective roasters. Thank you!
PPS for more info on the stores, visit their websites/Facebook & Instagram pages.