In 2015, we interviewed founder and CEO of Seven Sisters Wine Brand Vivian Kleynhans about her journey into the wine industry. As one of the few black-owned wineries based in Stellenbosch, South Africa, she successfully launched the brand in the United States and Africa—sealing the deal with well-known brands such as Walmart and American Airlines. Now, she’s made her way into the restaurant industry, with the launch of The Village Table.
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Why did you decide to expand into the restaurant business?
The vision was always to expand and diversify into wine tourism.
What makes your restaurant appealing?
We serve food that my mother used to cook for us, such as our old-fashioned rooster bread. As children, we would come home from school and my mother was baking bread but it was not finished yet, so she would break off a piece of dough and quickly make us rooster bread, which was flavored with butter and apricot jam. We also serve a dish called Smoorsnoek; this is flaked fish made in a bredie.
Then we have our old-fashioned Paternoster fish and chips. Mussels in white wine source, and many more. This winter we will serve the Village Pot, potjie food (traditional South African cuisine) such as cabbage bredie, oxtail, tomato stew, and Irish stew. Additionally, the décor of the restaurant reflects elements of our hometown, Paternoster, with a volleyball court and beach sand for the little ones.
Throughout your entrepreneurial journey, you mentioned wanting to give up many times. What inspired you to persevere?
I suppose the passion for my vision to see a legacy stand for generations to come. Farming is not easy, agriculture is not easy, building a business from scratch without a business loan was tough, but I have a persevering spirit like my mom had. I learned a lot from her. We always find solutions to a challenge. No problem is too big to overcome. Finding strength in my faith. If today was not a good day, tomorrow might be better. I am always expectant for the new dawn as it will bring new tidings. Destiny demands diligence.