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Nelson Mandela Bay lands popular food and lifestyle franchise

Well-known South African brand Melissa’s The Food Shop will make its debut in the Nelson Mandela Bay region when it opens in the city this month.

The popular franchise, which opens its doors at Baywest Mall mid-September, will be the second in the Eastern Cape after sister mall BT Ngebs City in Mthatha.

According to founder Melissa van Hoogstraten, the brand was established 20 years ago on the principles of quality, good living and an appreciation for delicious, wholesome food made with the best ingredients. The first Melissa’s opened in Kloof Street, Cape Town, and has since grown to 14 stores countrywide, including Baywest.

“Baywest Mall has done a fantastic job bringing together the best global and local brands under one roof. We see it as the perfect location to launch our first PE store, enabling us to introduce the Melissa’s food and retail concept to the people of PE within a world-class, premium retail environment,” she said.

Van Hoogstraten said she, her husband Mark and their team were delighted to be launching their first store in the metro.

“There are some exciting new developments taking place in the Bay. We’ve wanted to launch the Melissa’s brand in PE for quite some time and Baywest Mall presented the ideal opportunity to do so. We can’t wait to bring our unique experience and quality products to the lovely people of PE.”

Baywest Mall marketing manager Christopher Hutchings said the signing was a major retail coup for the shopping centre, which has also brought top brands like DionWired, Cinnabon and Ster-Kinekor IMAX and Cine Prestige to the region.

“Our vision is to continue bringing an exciting range of ‘retail firsts’ to the Bay, thereby creating a high-quality shopping and entertainment experience for our customers,” said Hutchings.

He added that Bay shoppers were becoming increasingly discerning and that high-end lifestyle brands were finding a receptive market in the city.

“PE is no longer seen as the country cousin, with residents seeking the same range of choice available in Cape Town and Johannesburg. This is evident in the big brands making up our Fashion Boulevard, and now we’re adding to our premium dining experience with Melissa’s.”

Hutchings said the public could look forward to the classic Melissa’s restaurant offering of breakfast, lunch and early dinners alongside a selection of freshly baked cakes and artisan coffee. The retail section will stock the entire range of Melissa’s food products, homeware and gift hampers.