Brownies and Downies coffee shop faces chop after owner banned from SA

Brownies and Downies, a coffee shop situated in the heart of Cape Town, is under threat of closing down after one of the owners, Dutch social worker Wendy Vermeulen, has been banned from entering the country for five years by the Department of Home Affairs.

The coffee shop made headlines in the past for training and offering employment to people living with Down Syndrome.

The store's manager and Vermeulen's husband, Wade Schultz says the coffee shop might have to close down if Vermeulen is not allowed back into the country.

He says the home affairs department banned her for overstaying her visa. This is due to the department taking too long to respond to her application, he adds.

Read: Brownies and Downies, ‘utterly inappropriate’

Best case scenario, the ban gets lifted and Wendy is allowed back into the country, and her and I carry on growing Brownies and Downies.

Wade Schultz, Manager - Brownies and Downies

Worst case scenario, the ban can't get lifted, I have to immigrate to the Netherlands and integrate into that society, Brownies and Downies closes and all the people with special needs go back to whatever they were doing before. -An opportunity lost.

Wade Schultz, Manager - Brownies and Downies

We have over 100 people on our waiting list, just in the Western Cape, who would like to train with us.

Wade Schultz, Manager - Brownies and Downies

According to Schultz, this will affect many people living with Down Syndrome who are hoping to get training at the coffee shop.

To hear the rest of the conversation, listen below:


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