At the intersection of Brand and Cromwell Streets in Glenwood, is Durban’s favourite Corner Café. Started seven years ago by chef extraordinaire, Anna Savage and restaurateur veteran, Judd Campbell, the little neighbourhood eatery has gone from strength to strength over the years, redefining and refining itself into its current guise, that of an eco-restaurant.
For the last few years, The Corner Café has been in Judd’s hands, and the green transition has taken place under his lead. But this is no lentil eating tree-hugging drum circle, “just ordinary people trying to save the planet one cappuccino at a time”. What this means is that an eco edge underpins the fundamentals of how the Café operates – from the non-disposable utensils that the food is served in, to the organic and free-range produce, to dolphin friendly washing detergents and energy-wise cooking processes, and using excess kitchen scraps to create compost which feeds the Café garden in which herbs are grown. In short, The Corner Café aspires to be a model of sustainability as far as possible, whilst still serving the best coffee in town.
The Café menu is seasonal, with perennial favourites like Marmite Dippy Eggs and rainy day soups. Coffee is a big deal too; in fact it’s more like a full-blown love affair. The Love Coffee blend was specially sourced and blended by Judd in conjunction with Durban roastery Colombo, and comprises a mix of fair trade Burundi Kavungangoma, Malawi Mapanga Estate and Ethiopian Yirgacheffe beans.
The Café is open for breakfast and lunch daily, and now hosts semi-regular evening events, which range from comedy evenings, to themed dinners and green/health talks; all this with the aim of bringing people together to share a laugh, a chow, and link-mindedness. Continuing this ethos of co-dependance and collaboration, local wares are stocked and sold in the Cafe, and other enterprises share the premises, including Nev the Barber, an institution in itself amongst Durban’s gents. So why’s this a great spot to set up at for a couple hour’s work? Well, why isn’t it?
Today, The Corner Café is as much the bustling heart of Glenwood as ever. The Café’s key design feature, an areal view of the neighbourhood wallpapered the length and breadth of the space, embodies what that the Café is all about – the good old-fashioned sense of community.
All photographs very kindly snapped by Durban-based photographer, Luca Barausse.