by Christian McBride
The Zulu Lounge, a small South African cafe based in Morningside Edinburgh, has defied economic stress on small business and has enjoyed substantial growth in the past year. Run by siblings Chris and Kim Wedge the South African brother and sister have relied on their unique approach to to cafe culture and innovation in product selection (and quite impressive baking including Malteser Muffins and Ferrero Rochers milkshakes) to build a sound customer base, both local and far flung. They draw custom from as far afield as Glasgow, Inverness and Aberdeen. Their impressive selection of biltong, African dried meat somewhat like jerky, and their trademark product Red Espresso of which they are now major distributors for the company, being sole suppliers to the United Kingdom, Ireland and temporarily the Netherlands, they draw custom from South Africans now living in Scotland looking for a little taste of home.
With such a monopoly they are clearly avoiding the pinch. Predicting a £180K turn over in the next year with roughly £80K profit The Zulu Lounge has stood firm against local competition, with neighboring tea house Loopy Lorna’s and Cafe Nero in close proximity. Co-Owner Chris Wedge claims to have “stolen early morning custom from Cafe Nero with our £1.50 morning coffee deal…we’re half the price of Loopy Lorna’s so we don’t compete much for customers.”
Going from strength to strength The Zulu Lounge expects comfortable growth in the years to come. And with any luck some new and interesting cakes and shakes.