At the end of Knysna’s Waterfront Drive is a stately building with the most spectacular view over Knysna and the Knysna Heads. This is the perfect spot for Shepherd’s Tree Trading Post. Shepherd’s Tree has been transplanted a couple of times over the years but this feels like a place to put down deep roots.
John and Tania Noble is the passionate couple who drives the current evolution of Shephard’s Tree. The entrance to Shephard’s Tree does not prepare you for the treasure chest that is waiting inside!
Anne Isabella Thackeray Ritchie might have once written the original “If you give a man a fish…” quote but, Tania believes: “You have to take that a step up. You have to take them to the dam.”
This is exactly what Shephard’s Tree is all about; providing a local platform where they can help and support local people, communities and businesses. Helping people to help themselves and providing a springboard for mutually beneficial collaborations between businesses and individuals. In their words: “a Think space, a Maker space, a Create space and a Grow space.”
The back of the building is dedicated to the coffee shop. Looking out over Knysna is an enormous back yard with a matching covered back porch. An inside area with floor to ceiling glass doors and a fire place makes this an amazing venue for all seasons. With the old fashioned tree swings and a trampoline that will soon be installed, it is also a playground for kids (and adults) of all ages.
Tucked into a corner is the much loved Bru Coffee Co, while old favourites like Leila’s Patats, their ever popular carrot cake, and their signature cheese cake are still available from the Shepard’s Tree menu – a menu that changes every three months to reflect the current successes of the Eden Community Initiative.
As enticing as this may sound, it is the treasure chest that lies between that makes for an unforgettable visit. The rest of the ground floor is a dedicated area where many of the collaborative art projects from the initiative are to be found.
On display is an array of handcrafted goods for even the most discerning shopper. Initiatives include Novel Creations who have been supplying over 17.5 km of strung beadwork, especially in the form of chandeliers, to choice businesses; furniture made from shipwrecked boats; lights made from food tins; wooden cars; knitted décor items made by women in local townships; hand-stitched mice and a plethora of other unique pieces. Don’t forget about Shepherd’s Tree’s own expanding line of condiments and locally baked rusks and cookies.
Shepherd’s Tree Trading Post is open Monday to Friday from 08:00 to 16:30 however, you will be able to book them for events and private parties in the evening or on weekends. You’ll even be able to just rent the venue from them.
For John and Tania “it can’t be done” are words that won’t easily pass their lips and a cup of coffee may very well turn into a soul enriching experience.
You can contact them on 044 382 2066
Visit them on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/Shepherds-Tree-Store-Coffee-Shop-61-Waterfront-Drive-Knysna-345620292117963/
Photos: RianaH @ Shutterbug Photographic