Student-run business, Scribbles and Nibbles, has officially shut down its services at the David Webster Residence tuckshop on west campus.
The owners of the student business, Khanyisile Madonko and Ritodeni Matamela, have said their business had parted ways with the university late last year due to unforeseen circumstances.
Matamela said, “Technically speaking Scribbles and Nibbles has not shut down. In a sense we are moving locations because of indifference from Wits Services and Res Life, and also we want to reach a whole other market than just students.”
Reluctant to disclose what the relationship was like between the university and the restaurant, Matamela said the university should re-evaluate the way it deals with young entrepreneurs.
“They should look at trying to motivate and assist entrepreneurs [rather] than bombarding them with paper work and rules and regulations that never end, making it even more difficult to grow,” he said.
“We are saddened by the fact that our business did not make it as far as our vision, as we would have loved to cater for students. Literally, we wanted to move out of Wits,” said Madonko.
Scribbles and Nibbles was known for its kotas, sandwiches and juices, where Madonko said “the branded juice is doing very well with our consumers”.
The hype around the new restaurant later died off as there were mixed reactions about it.
A postgraduate media studies student who asked to remain anonymous, told Wits Vuvuzela that her experience with Scribbles and Nibbles was good and bad. “Last year I ordered a kota from them on the library lawns and it came hours later. The only thing that I enjoyed from the restaurant was the juices. I must say the juice is dope,” she said.
Karabo Marutha, a postgraduate law student, said she was very surprised to find out that the shop had closed down.
The owners have told Wits Vuvuzela that they plan on a different business venture and have hope that the vision for Scribbles and Nibbles does not die down.
“The hardest thing for me personally was being taken seriously as a young entrepreneur, running a restaurant and cafe. People looked at us like are we crazy, you are too young kind of situation and what do we know about restauranting,” said Matamela.
“So it took a lot of more hard work to get potential clients and investors to see our vision and invest or use our services but also going through the regulations of the university took longer than usual because we are students,” he said.
“The next step for Scribbles and Nibbles is to go up another level from last year and change how people see restaurants and give them an entirely new experience. A 21st-century experience like no other,” said Matamela.
Director of the Campus Housing and Residence Life, Rob Sharman, is on leave and was unable to respond at the time of going to print.
Wits Vuvuzela, Scribbles and Nibbles: For students by students. March, 2016