Food & Wine

Coffee Culture

Coffee Culture

Rooftop Terrace may just be White River’s ultimate little hidden gem, with its simple, elegant decor, European feel, and perfectly convenient location. Get it samples some of its delicious items on the menu and chats to owner Marinda Toerien and manager Florette Bezuidenhout.

Marinda and her doctor husband, Hendrik Toerien, established the Divine Junction in 2008, and operate it as a medical practice and spa. The top floor was a wonderful little space that was designed to be an apartment. When the business began, however, it seemed only fitting that it rather be used as a cafe for clients and passers-by to delight in coffee, delectable meals and sweet treats.

 
Marinda talks business. “I’m not big on the food thing,” she laughs, “I’m the visionary, but someone else does the job. I oversee the whole operation. I’m so proud of what Florette has done with Rooftop Terrace, and how she handles everything.” Florette, who was originally hired as a spa therapist seven years ago, divides her time between treatments and managing the coffee shop and tells us that she loves it.

 
There are heaps of things going on downstairs. Apart from the two doctors who occupy the space as general practioners, there is also a Slender Wonder slimming programme, hair salon, medical spa, and all the usual treatments you’d find at a regular spa. There are also many beauty products to purchase, from make-up to skincare and haircare, as you weave your way through the corridors of the busy little building. The clients agree that having the cafe on the same premises is a wonderful way to end a treatment.

 
“Since I began working at Face & Body Synergy, I had always wanted to give managing the coffee shop a shot. I was so thrilled when they took it over, and they assigned me to take care of it,” Florette smiles. “I’m not here all the time, as I’m also a spa therapist; it’s great for me as I get the best of both worlds.” During the time that Florette is busy with treatments, the show is run by Bongi Masuku and Cindy Malabela, both of whom waitress and prepare meals. These two ladies have been friends for the past 30 years.

 
There is a view into the kitchen area and we watch as they master the breakfast pancakes that we ordered, both full of warmth and enthusiasm. “Cindy and Bongi have been here since the very beginning, people can always expect to find the same staff, I think it adds that extra personal touch,” says Florette. “We are a bit hidden away; we had a customer call us a boutique coffee shop once.”

 

 
Most of their business they admit comes from clients who have consultations and treatments downstairs, but Rooftop Terrace does also attract outside business.
“The menu is simple, we focus on coffees and light meals, and it’s casual,” Florette says.

The establishment serves one of the world’s most-loved Italian coffee brands, Illy. It’s rich and full-bodied, yet velvety smooth, absolutely divine.

 

Sometimes people will pass by, see the Illy sign, and step in for a quick coffee. We’ve even had tourists do that before.

 
The minute you wind up the stairs and enter into the welcoming environment of the quaint cafe, the aromas of freshly brewed coffee and scrumptious baked goods fill your senses. You can sit at the espresso bar and daydream while looking out of the window that brings light and fresh air into the little establishment, while Bongi and Cindy delight you with their great service and tasty meals.

 

 
If you’re in the mood for a comfier seat, you can wander through to the terrace, which is covered by a Bedouin-like tent to shield you from the Lowveld sun. The choice is yours to either unwind on a comfy couch with cute scatter cushions in the corner or sit on the wicker furniture. The pastel hues create a calm, serene atmosphere and the outside terrace is dotted with green plants. “We had so much fun with the decorating. We’d see something that we liked, buy it and then put it altogether, and this was the outcome,” says Marinda.

 
During those hot summer months the coffee shop has an air-conditioned inside area, and in addition has created a wonderful kiddies area. It has a chalkboard that fills one of the walls where the kids can colour and draw to their heart’s content. It’s the perfect way to entertain the youngsters while you relax and sip a cuppa. Rooftop Terrace offers free Wi-Fi, an added bonus.

 

Cindy Malabela and Bongi Masuku

 
The inside area is fabulous for conferences, meetings, baby showers and birthday parties. Picturesque paintings of the Mediterranean, done by the talented Lisa Huismans, adorn the walls making you feel like you might just be in Greece.

 
Marinda tells us that they like to use local suppliers as much as possible, their furniture is made in KaBokweni, and they sell Jabu Coffee, produced by Robbie Nel from Hazyview, and they also buy their fresh produce from a farm in the area.

 

 
Rooftop Terrace makes its cakes fresh on site with the list toppers being a scrumptious chocolate mud cake and a white chocolate cheesecake covered with granadilla sauce which is sinfully good. The menu boasts tasty items including salads, breakfasts, sandwiches and wraps…and of course a few South African traditional dishes; vetkoek and mince, and sweet-and-savoury pancakes.

 
The cafe offers vegan-friendly items; with delicious lentil curry and potato salad being favourites. “We have vegan customers who come in every single day for lunch,” says Marinda. And if you really want to overindulge, sampling one of the milkshakes is an absolute must.

Marinda Toerien and Florette Bezuidenhout

 
The establishment serves its strawberry milkshake, blended with fresh berries and their chocolate and vanilla milkshakes with real chocolate pieces, sublimely delectable.

 

 
There is also a whole range of goodies for purchase; koeksisters, fudge, cupcakes, samosas, spring rolls and rissoles. Rooftop Terrace is the perfect spot with affordable prices to socialise with friends and family over a tasty meal, to have a meeting, or even just to grab a quick coffee after shopping. Whatever the occasion, it never ceases to disappoint.

Get in touch
013-751-2792
Open Monday to Thursday 8am-4:30pm
Friday, 8am-4pm
Saturday, 8am-12pm

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