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Blindiana Barista in Worcester
Kaleidoscope has officially opened South Africa’s first blind museum and coffee shop in the Western Cape
South Africa’s first-ever blind coffee shop and museum, Blindiana Barista has opened its doors in the Western Cape, Worcester to be exact, serving patrons its all-new Blindiana custom roast coffee blend and so much more…
Officially launched on Tuesday, 13 September 2016 by the non-profit organisation catering for the all-inclusive needs of the blind, Kaleidoscope, the brand new coffee shop forms part of the original Blindiana Museum. Designed for all – the visually impaired and abled – the project was said to have begun two years ago:
“The plan was to incorporate the existing museum that displays the first 100 years of the history of Kaleidoscope, from 1881 until 1981, with a coffee shop and now that dream has come true,” explains Freddie Botha, executive head at Kaleidoscope. “The coffee shop is a great marketing project for Kaleidoscope, where we will be able to cater for visitors coming for tours and visits to our organisation.”
Patrons visiting the new establishment will served by visually impaired waiters (some of the chefs preparing food at the eatery’s gnocchi bar are also blind or partially sighted) and will have the opportunity to taste Kaleidoscope’s innovative Blindiana custom roast coffee blend. Created entirely by blind barista’s, Blindiana coffee is a Kaleidoscope and Beans for Africa Roasters initiative and is produced from Central and South America coffee and blended with African beans.
“The coffee, which has a great aroma and lingering finish, is extra special in that it is blended, tasted, packed and distributed by the blind and prepared by blind baristas, including Joseph Matheatau, SA’s first blind barista, who has been working at the museum since 2014,” Freddie elaborates.
“It’s also part of our strategic plan to train some of our persons with low vision and intellectual disabilities to do waitressing,” he adds. “The shop will display different products and furniture made by our people with visual impairments and will provide the opportunity for us to train our disabled as waiters, baristas, and in food manufacturing, as well as tour guides.”
On the foodie side, diners can look forward to scrumptious breakfast dishes such light and fluffy scrambled eggs, traditional fry-ups and even French toast. Brunch and lunch items include freshly made salads, wraps and rolls, hearty burgers and a variety of toasties. Other specialities are nachos, chicken livers and chicken pops. See the eatery’s chalkboard for daily specials and harvest table for delicious sweet treats and eats. What’s more, the social hub also offers unlimited FREE Wi-fi for all paying patrons.
Taking a look at the original Blindiana Museum; in short, the museum is for the blind about the blind. And as mentioned, the historical space encapsulates the astonishing history and development of services to persons with visual impairments between 1881 and 1981 and strives to serve as a resource centre to future generations.
The dire straits of a deaf boy who was identified by a Dutch Reformed minister, Reverend C. Rabie, awoke the concept of establishing the Instituut voor Doofstommen en Blinden (Institute for the Deaf and Blind). Admission of more deaf, blind and deaf-blind learners soon followed in numbers. Blindiana Museum originated due to the need to preserve the historical progress of the academic and vocational training of these learners. The development of braille, braille music, boarding facilities, medical and therapeutic services, orientation and mobility, as well as the development of the industrial department can be experienced in this historical venue.
In the java shop itself, the basic braille history can be seen including chess pieces for the blind, an exhibition of braille machines and typewriters. All the furniture – the wooden tables and cane chairs – found inside the coffee shop have also been created by visually impaired individuals training at Kaleidoscope.
Generously funded by the F.W de Klerk Foundation, Charl van der Merwe Trust and Jeanette Luttig Trust, all of the shop’s proceeds will go towards further extension of services to persons with visual impairments at Kaleidoscope: “We’re planning other initiatives to ensure they are trained in skills that enhance their [the visually impaired and blind individuals at Kaleidoscope] employability,” says Freddie.
An example of this is Kaleidoscope’s recently launched world-first Technological Centre. This hub provides the visually impaired with Apple training in an attempt to empower the blind and visually impaired with employability skills for the open labour market.
Ultimately, all of Kaleidoscope’s initiatives revolve around empowerment and as its brand ambassador, Hein Wagner concludes, it’s hoped that the blind staff members at the all-new SA-first Blindiana Barista “will inspire others who are also blind, deaf, visually impaired and disabled to realise that with determination and the appropriate training, support and guidance, anything is possible”.
NOTE: Kaleidoscope (previously known as The Institute for the Blind) is a non-profit organisation that has been catering for the all-inclusive needs of the blind and visually impaired since 1881. Acting as a central hub for blind progression in South Africa, Kaleidoscope strives to empower the visually impaired of all ages through the provision of education, training, care, employment, development and accommodation towards a fulfilled life and complete citizenship. Ultimately, Kaleidoscope aims to change how the world perceives the blind and how the blind perceives the world.
Blindiana Coffee Tip: The custom roast blend and other merchandise including metal products, beds, talking watches, cane, wood and weaving products, all made by the blind, can be ordered here online.
Opening Hours: Monday to Friday: 7:30am – 5pm | Saturday: 8am – 1pm
134 Church Street | Worcester | +27 (0) 23 347 2745 | firstname.lastname@example.org
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