Durbanville chain store helping neighbouring businesses survive lockdown

Palm Grove Spar and Mugg & Bean

A chain store in Durbanville’s Palm Grove shopping centre has pulled some of its products to help neighbouring smaller businesses that are battling during the lockdown. 

The Spar store has closed off its stationery aisle and is instead directing customers to the Pen Cafe for their stationery needs. The store has also removed its frozen burger patties from its freezers so customers get their burger fix at Roco Mamas burger restaurant. 

Theunis Muller, the owner of the Palm Grove Spar, said businesses, now more than ever, needed to be good neighbours.

“We realised that our neighbours were going to be facing difficult times ahead due to their loss of income. We wanted to see how we could help, and from there the idea was born. So we made the decision to willingly close both the stationery and frozen burger section to help neighbouring stores survive the Covid-19 pandemic. With these sections closed, other stores experience more demand for these items. As business owners, now more than ever, we need to support each other.”

The initiative started on May 2, and Mr Muller said it had been well supported by customers.

“Customers have shown massive support for the initiative, and it has created a lot of positive impact in our centre. Due to the success of the first project, we are looking into launching a few other campaigns like these in the near future.”

Hein Oosthuizen, owner of Pen Cafe, said he was very grateful to Spar as it had helped him keep his doors open. 

“During the first stage of lockdown, all the stores in the Palm Grove centre were closed, except for the Spar. We could only open our doors under level 4 and Roco Mamas could only open for takeaways. As a gesture of goodwill, Theunis decided to help us out with this initiative, and it has really helped us during this time. I have certainly seen an upswing of people in both store and the centre as residents have come out to support us during this time. I also know that the staff at Roco Mamas are also being kept busy with takeaway orders.” 

A staff member at Roco Mamas confirmed they had been kept busy with takeaway orders as delivery bikes were constantly at the door. 

Meanwhile another project is helping the Mugg & Bean next to the Spar.

“The Mugg & Bean has stayed closed during this time so we decided that residents buy stickers for R2 and these stickers are being placed on the windows of the store as a sign of support,” Mr Muller said. “At Spar, we also contribute R2 of every doughnut sold towards Mugg & Bean.”