A Hippies Home in Observatory
Ground Zero is a viewing portal and a tiny oasis that looks up onto Devils Peak. In the background, friendly reggae music twangs to complement that chitters of chatter. The music isn’t blues but the vibe is all right and the coffee takes your day from alright, to refreshed and bright. “This is my message to you oohooh”. Those wise words from the man himself to not worry, because every little thing is going to be alright. In fact, I found Ground Zero more than alright.
Where do you meet strangers passing by that take your imagination away? Do they all disappear to one place and have a party without us? They go to Ground Zero. That’s where they go. Coffee brings people together, the social confluence of like-minded people with good hearts and friendly non-judgemental demeanours. It felt more like a family than a coffee shop, as every patron greeted one another.
Coffee & Food:
Ground zero is a vegetarian gem that is as vegan friendly as the sun kissed stranger with a warm smile on her lips. The sweet treat offerings range from vegan date balls to cakes and muffins. Along with all the holistic herbal healing brews and the elixir of life, the specially blended hangover tea. The extensive variety of options for vegans and vegetarians made ordering food a tough call. I decided to order the falafel wrap. It knocked my socks off, a textbook take on a healthy and delicious lunchtime tummy filler. Stuffed full of fresh, locally sourced veggie goodness and golden brown deep fried falafel balls. What a bonus considering the prices won’t leave a nasty scratch on the back of your bank card either.
The owner Paul is one of the most kind and generous humans with his time and his tales, particularly his journey into coffee culture. We spoke as if we had known each other for a long time before. Everything we spoke about struck a chord in my own heart, and what I aim to achieve from my own journey through coffee. Paul started out about 7 years ago selling coffee out of the back of his 1968 VW Combi at festivals such as Splashy Fen in Kwazulu-Natal. What we see as Ground Zero today, Paul has been carving, creating, honing and nurturing, for the past 13 months. A huge achievement to see what he has created in such a short space of time. The man has enormous plans for his brand and judging by the beauty he has created in such a short space of time, I can only imagine the contribution he will make to the betterment of coffee culture in South Africa in the future.
If you find yourself in Observatory looking for a place to caffeinate your blood stream and have a chat with some really awesome strangers, then check out Ground Zero at 122 Lower Main Road in Observatory, Cape Town.
Writer: Chris Green