New Kid on the Block: Hey, Stranger

Friday, 3 May, 2024

Welcome to the cafe scene of Cape Town, Hey, Stranger! We caught up with co-owner Thomas Marincowitz to get the low down on the start of this beautiful new spot on Long Street in the CT CBD!

Who are the people behind Hey Stranger and how did you get into coffee?

The people behind Hey stranger is myself and my wife (Thomas & Natalia) and my sister, Janine, is managing the shop for us on a day to day basis. But to be honest, the whole family is involved in some or other way. Helping with anything from admin all the way through to keeping our pastry counter filled with amazing treats. I have been interested in coffee since the first time we visited Melbourne back in 2012. Experiencing the coffee culture and all it has to offer, I was hooked. I Had this dream to open my own coffee shop one day, but just never thought it would be possible.But at the beginning of 2023, I just felt that this is the year, and I decided to go for it, all in, and make this dream a reality. And so Hey Stranger Coffee Collective was born…

How did you come to open Hey Stranger and specifically on Long Street, CT? 

Location, location, location…that's the phrase that kept repeating itself as we started this journey and connected with people in the industry. Initially we wanted to open something on Blouberg’s side, but everything kept pointing us towards Cape Town CBD. We really wanted our cafe and brand to be part of the creative melting pot that is Cape Town, and specifically the CBD. Then an opportunity came up for us to lease a great spot on the Iconic Long Street, and we just couldn’t say no. Perfect spot, amazing location and right in the heart of the Cape town CBD. 

Tell us about your team of wonderful humans.

We have an amazing team that run Hey Stranger, and make sure we deliver top class specialty coffee. Our two baristas Wezo and Neyasha, are top of their game, and have years of experience in the specialty industry. Both have competed in Barista competitions and have been part of this vibrant industry for more than 10 years. Then there’s Janine, my sister and our manager. She is in command of the “coffee ship” on a day to day basis, and she makes sure that everything runs smoothly. Then my wife and I are responsible for the back end, and running the business, and of course for consuming the delicious coffee that our team produces every day.

You have partnered with Father Coffee for your beans, tell us about that decision and your coffee offering?

We got introduced to Father Coffee in the beginning of 2023, and once we tasted, we were sold, we just knew that we had to serve their beans in our cafe. They produce around 52 different single origins per year, and thats just an amazing feat on its own. Each origin expertly roasted by their team.  And our aim is to offer as many of those single origins to our customers, and give them the opportunity to really experience all the different flavours that coffee has to offer.  I was also introduced to Barry, one of the owners at Father, and he was guiding us every step of the way when we were setting up the cafe. Hours on the phone, making sure that every detail was spot on. His input was invaluable. We couldn’t have done it without him.

What do you want people to experience when they visit your cafe?

There’s so much behind our name. It's not just a catchy phrase, we really want people to enter as Strangers but leave as friends. We want to build a strong community of specialty coffee lovers, and we want to serve them the best coffee in the best atmosphere, all the time. We are passionate about coffee, and we want everyone that visits us, to leave with the same passion an excitement for coffee. 

Opening days and hours?

We are open Monday to Friday, 7am to 3pm, and on Saturdays 9am to 1pm.

See you soon friend!

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