Gastro pub in Litchi Orchard ideal for socially distanced dining
A rustic outdoor eatery and bar hidden among a litchi orchard, The Shed in Salt Rock on the KwaZulu-Natal North Coast was hard hit when Covid-19 forced South Africa into lockdown to stop the spread of the virus.
“The pandemic affected us across the board, from the stability of our staff and their families to our own. We also work with a lot of local suppliers who suffered a knock-on effect from us being closed,” said General Manager and owner Creasen Govender.
The Shed is one of 400 hospitality industry businesses which are receiving support from Diageo South Africa after the financial losses caused by the Covid-19 lockdown, with the #WeChoose campaign which provides a stock injection and marketing support, as well as a movement to ensure the promotion of responsible drinking.
The purpose of #WeChoose, launched in Durban, Johannesburg and Cape Town, is to help rebuild the liquor industry, which was hit by months of not being able to trade either at all, or only during restricted hours. “We will do this responsibly in terms of both trading and consumption,” said Diageo SA’s Marketing Director, Zizwe Vundla. “We want to avoid another strict lockdown where the alcohol industry suffers, so all parties need to come to the party – responsible trading by outlets and responsible consumption by consumers.
The two-year-old establishment had to put its plans on hold as they battled just to survive. Staff numbers have halved but Diageo SA’s injection means that The Shed can assist with the welfare of its staff and their families.
“Finding the capital to stock the shop up again when resources were highly restricted was a challenge, so we are grateful to Diageo SA for their assistance.” Another challenge was simplifying menus, “not only to what we can afford as a business, but to what our clients can afford with the financial challenges facing us all currently”.
Salt Rock is home to communities, which prioritise family, said Govender. The Shed offers a sharing, family environment in a gastro pub. “Our dishes are a combination of firm favourites and exciting new recipes created through the humble elements that inspire: family, friends, and travel.”
“We are grateful to have survived the first and second wave, grateful to our loyal customers who got us here, but this third wave is looking equally menacing, and we are playing our part by trading responsibly and ensuring that our customers drink responsibly,” said Govender. “Fortunately, our location in a litchi orchard means we can focus on open air dining and social distancing which we are super chuffed about.”
“#WeChoose to trade responsibly and we ask our customers that they choose to be responsible too, and use #WeChoose to drink responsibly on their social media platforms to show support.”
Diageo is a global leader in beverage alcohol with an outstanding portfolio of brands consisting of Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, J&B, Buchanan’s and Windsor whiskies, Smirnoff, Cîroc and Ketel One vodkas, Captain Morgan, Baileys, Don Julio, Tanqueray and Guinness and many more. Diageo’s alcohol beverages are sold in more than 180 countries around the world. The company is listed on both the London Stock Exchange (DGE) and the New York Stock Exchange (DEO).