Much-loved South African foodie brand Melissa’s will makes its debut in Nelson Mandela Bay when it opens a store at the Baywest Mall this week.
Though products from the popular Western Cape range have been available at some supermarkets in the city for several years, it is the first time that Melissa’s will be opening a fully-fledged restaurant and retail section in the Bay.
The new Baywest store, which will open on Thursday, is Melissa’s second in the Eastern Cape. The other is located at sister mall BT Ngebs City in Mthatha.
Founder Melissa van Hoogstraten said the brand was established 20 years ago on the principles of quality, good living and an appreciation for delicious, wholesome food made with the best ingredients.
“I’m often humbled when I think back to our simple beginnings at our first store in Kloof Street,” Van Hoogstraten said this week. “I was so young and naive at the time and really just believed in good quality food and creating a place that would inspire and encourage people to live their best life by filling it with authentic, delicious products and beautiful experiences.
“I had no idea of the journey that lay ahead – the challenge of growing a business but also the enormous potential of the brand. We’ve never followed trends or fads and always lived by our simple philosophy.”
The first Melissa’s opened in Kloof Street, Cape Town, and has since expanded to 14 stores countrywide, including Baywest.
Van Hoogstraten said the next chapter in the company’s history involved the expansion of the brand beyond the Western Cape.
“We’ve always received a great deal of inquiries and requests from our customers around the country and I’m delighted that we can finally deliver the Melissa’s experience to the people of Port Elizabeth – exciting times indeed,” she said.
Baywest Mall marketing manager, Christopher Hutchings, said the signing was a retail coup for the centre, which also brought top brands like DionWired, Cinnabon and Ster-Kinekor IMAX and Cine Prestige to the region.
He added that Bay shoppers were becoming increasingly discerning and that high-end lifestyle brands were finding a receptive market in the city.