From enjoying a cappuccino with friends to picking out the perfect lampshade or pamper treatment, a visit to The Old Village at The Constantia Village is a rewarding experience.

At this light, airy and intimate centre, convenience and variety are the name of the game. With parking on its doorstep, customers have easy access to an interesting array of stores.

It’s the perfect place to meet friends for coffee or a meal at one of its restaurants – choose from Cattle Baron, Mugg & Bean, Pizza Fair, Primi Piatti and The Raj – before browsing in speciality interior stores Constantia Interiors, Persian Elegance and The Framing Gallery.

Visit self-care salons Yemaya or Yanmei’s Traditional Chinese Therapy before picking up supplies at convenience stores Alphen Kwikspar (with its legendary wine section) or Constantia Hardware. Right there you’ll also be able to buy a bottle of wine at Pick ‘n Pay Liquor, sort out postal needs at the Post Office or PostNet, upgrade your mobile at MTN, visit Personal Dry Cleaners or buy your dream home at Fine & Country International Realty before filling up at Engen Motorsport Garage to head home, sated and satisfied.

 

CONSTANTIA HARDWARE’S DINO PETROU

He’s a man on a mission – not only to meet his customers’ needs but to anticipate them, too. Dino Petrou, the owner of Constantia Hardware, does this by keeping his eyes and ears open. “I engage with my customers – I talk to them, and I listen to them.” He also makes sure they get excellent service the minute they step through the doors. “I go the extra mile for my customers, I track down items if I don’t have them, I ensure that my staff are knowledgeable about the stock and that our prices are very competitive.”

He bought the business 11 years ago when he and his wife, Ivone, and their family moved to Cape Town from Johannesburg. He doubled the turnover in the first three months and hasn’t looked back. A DIY enthusiast, he is comfortable in the milieu and often gives customers advice.

The secret to his success? “Hard work. And you have to be passionate about your business: This is my life, it’s my baby.”

CATTLE BARON’S VICTOR DEINER

Victor Deiner is the ultimate host. Owner of the ever-popular Cattle Baron restaurant, his aim is to give his customers a relaxed yet refined dining experience. He bought Cattle Baron nine years ago because it “was a new challenge” and he’s never looked back. “When I view a business I look at visibility, accessibility and the product on offer. Constantia Village is known as a refined shopping centre, the restaurant’s position is very visible with accessible parking that is floodlit at night, and Cattle Baron is a small but refined franchise that blends in well here.”

Victor’s customers expect a great meal at great prices. “Our well-matured steaks, which are cooked to perfection, are our signature dishes with Chateaubriand being the favourite.”

Cattle Baron is also known for its Pensioners’ Buffet (Monday to Friday from 12-3 pm) and the fact that Victor doesn’t charge corkage for wine. “We have an award-winning wine list, but I am more than am happy for my customers to bring their own wine to enjoy their meal.” It’s this generosity of spirit that keeps customers coming back for more.

YANMEI’S TRADITIONAL CHINESE THERAPY’S YANMEI LI

She came to South Africa on holiday in 2005 and was blown away by its beauty. So Yanmei Li decided to stay. Beijing’s loss is Cape Town’s gain, as the many customers of Yanmei’s Traditional Chinese Therapy will attest.

A trained nurse who studied massage therapy, she opened a beauty salon with a difference, drawing on Eastern philosophies. “We do facials, laser treatments, permanent makeup and pressure-point massage and complement our treatments with green tea therapy, which has many health benefits,” she explains. Her family sends her a shipment of fresh Oolong green tea every three months and she has a tea room in her salon where customers can buy and enjoy green tea.

Yanmei is a woman of many talents. A stuntwoman who has studied psychology, she also devotes time and energy to Sino-Western relations. But her pride and joy (other than her 17-year-old son Yiangyiming Kong), is her business. “I am very committed to my customers. Some of my regulars have been coming to me since I first arrived in SA. I have clients from all over the world.”

 

CONSTANTIA INTERIORS’ LYNDA DU TOIT

When Lynda du Toit’s daughter, Mishka, was born, she told her husband she dreamed of owning a décor business with flexible working hours. “At the time we were buying, renovating and selling houses and it unleashed my creative side!” laughs Lynda. Fourteen months later, in 1994, her dream became a reality when she bought Constantia Interiors.

“Back then it was still in the main centre and we were relocated to the Old Village in 1999. At the time I didn’t know much about the business’ technical side, but an experienced decorator continued working for me and together we restocked and upgraded the business.”

Today the elegant shop is a testament to Lynda’s flair but she is quick to credit her team of full-time decorators, Angela Wilson, Justine Mac Kinnon and Tanja Kirkham, and admin assistant, Lidia Pegge, for their expertise and dedication.

Constantia Interiors offers a complete decorating service, and the team is inspired and guided by trend talks, updates from the fabric houses, magazines, and Pinterest. And decades later, Lynda is still passionate about her work. “I love what I do. Working with beautiful fabrics, seeing projects come together, getting feedback from happy clients … it is complex but very satisfying.”

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