The popular coffee shop brand is extending its footprint across Wits campuses and has taken up the space vacated by Olives & Plates in 2020.

Vida e Caffè, the popular coffee shop, has opened a third café on Wits East Campus, at the Wits Art Museum (WAM) on September 1, 2022.

Kaizer Nare, the manager of Vida e Caffè said that following their success at Amic Deck and Solomon Mahlangu House, they wanted another site with a different look. This was also done to bring their services closer to staff and students at University Corner and visitors to the museum.

Nare said, “We try and keep food and beverage offerings consistent across the brand. It is more about convenience, catering to customers at the east end of the campus.”

Staff and students at University Corner have welcomed the opening of Vida e Caffe at WAM Café. Photo: Mpho Hlakudi

The coffee bar is open on weekdays from 7am to 5pm and serves pastries and light meals for breakfast and lunch. It also sells various hot and cold beverages. Food prices range from R15.00 for a cinnamon doughnut to R64.00 for a chunky chicken wrap.

According to Nare, the new café is an expansion of Vida e Caffe and continues in delivering the best environment and food across its outlets, while creating a strong customer base through experience and service. Nare said he loves working with customers with different personalities and stays true to the core values and goals regardless of the customer he is dealing with.

Blessings Mphalele, a third-year Wits health science student told Wits Vuvuzela that, “Their hot chocolate is amazing. [It is] the best on this campus, to be honest.” She also said that the Vida e Caffè staff are nice.

Another customer, Tshegofatso Peolwane, a second-year BCom marketing student said, “Vida e Caffè is convenient because I can come here in the morning and just enjoy a cup of coffee before my lectures and then go straight up to my lectures.”

Pamela Varcoe, the operations manager at Olives & Plates, the previous service provider at WAM Café, confirmed that they had to close down in 2020 due to lockdown as a result of the covid-19 pandemic.

Wits Services operations manager for retail, Karen Du Plessis, said that the Vida e Caffé is a good brand that complements the WAM experience. She confirmed to Wits Vuvuzela that the lease agreement between Vida e Caffé and Wits is for a minimum of three years.

WAM visitor services coordinator, Vuyiswa, Ngesman, said that, “The space has been dead for two years. Yes we had covid but then after all the covid restrictions were lifted… the space was not activated.” She said she hoped that the re-opening of the café would encourage the Braamfontein community to visit WAM again.

FEATURED IMAGE: The lounge area of the new WAM Cafe by Vida e Caffé with embossed logo. Photo: Mpho Hlakudi