There is a STUNNING new Food Emporium in Linden, Johannesburg called Gonk Industries. It is a favorite new hangout and if you just have a look at the images below you will know why. Gerhardt and Kosie, the owners behind this new concept store pulled this off all by themselves in less than a month! They gave me first dibs on photographing their incredible store before it was stocked to get you oo’ing and aaa’ing.
A beeeg thank you to Minette from Mini’s Flowers, who agreed to do the pretty flowers for the shoot that we used on the table. She just gets me when it comes to flowers and I am excited to say that her new shop called Plantation Revival is opening on 3rd Avenue in Linden on 1 September 2019. And off-course my friendy Melanie Wessels Photography who took these incredible images for me!
Right from the start the shop captured your eye with the all white interior and drawn images. It is as if you enter a real-life picture book with pops of color. There is a pause bench for you and your friends to take a snap or two and make sure you tag #gonkloves on social.
About Gonk Industries
Gonk Industries is the sister of the much loved decor store Gonk in Linden, Johannesburg. The shops are next to each other, but, whilst having the same owners, they are totally different stores. Gerhardt and Kosie toyed with the idea at the beginning of the year to start a home industry inspired food emporium. The initial deal fell through and they had to put it on ice. Then mid-year they we were notified that the store next to Gonks would become available. Winter is generally the worst time of year to embark on a new venture but they knew they had to act fast if they wanted the premises.
They started out by approaching trusted premium and upcoming food brands to join their new venture. Hand-picking the brands they currently stock. The second part was a bit more challenging – they put word out on the street that they were looking for bakers from the community to stock the store. After numerous tastings decisions were made. They decided not to hide the identity of their bakers, but instead build a brand with each supplier that everyone can be proud of – They designed and redesigned logos for a lot of the product partners to fit in with the look and feel of the emporium.
Gonk industries stocks over 40 different brands that include – Sugar & Vice, Julia K Ceramics, Authentic Food, Romesco and The Cooksister.
What was the inspiration behind the shop?
We wish Gonk Industries could claim this as a 100% original idea, but it is our interpretation of the 2D café, Café Yeonnam-dong 239-20 in Seoul, Korea. They pulled off a breathtaking coffee shop which gives the illusion of you stepping into a virtual 2D reality. Café Yeonnam was also the most Instagrammed venue of 2018.
The idea was sparked after we were concerned that it might be a challenge to pull together a lot of brands without the store without looking like a Smartie-box. We needed a blank canvas to make the product shine. The concept just made sense – we had a tight budget and big dreams. In the end we managed to pull this new-look shop off with minimum budget and maximum effort.
Upon merchandising the store it took an unexpected twist with a strong French vibe – something we welcomed! Sometimes things do what they want to and we have very little control over it.
How many hours did it take you to draw the interior?
Paint is not what it used to be and it took several layers of Enamel paint to get our furniture a perfect gloss white. We started preparations on the furniture about a month before the opening. It was Kosie’s responsibility to paint it all white and Gerhardt would have to draw lines on all the furniture with a black paint marker.
We only had 2 weeks to get the shell of the store from a bright multi-coloured interior to a blank canvas. After painting all the walls and floor white, we only had 4 days (and 34 black paint markers) to draw the interior.
More about the guys behind the brand
Gerhardt has a background in art and started working as a visual merchandiser at a young age. He moved around within the South African retail giants, working for Edgars, Woolworths and the Busby Group. It was as National Visual Manager at Loads of Living where he was thrown in the deep end to get involved in store designing. Later he joined Spitz as National visual manager and store designer. Some of his work at the AVI group includes the re-branding, concept and design of the Kurt Geiger stores, Launching the Tosoni brand and giving the Spitz stores a new fresh designer jacket. Gerhardt was also the creative manager for the first Woolworths food supermarket store and just before he left, looked after the 70+ foods stand-alone stores in Gauteng and the Free state.
Kosie started out in the hospitality trade and worked front of house in the prestigious Zafferano restaurant at Park Hyatt in Johannesburg. Due to demanding unsocial hour he decided to join the Flight Centre group as a travel agent. He soon become a product manager and later on the Air and Land contractor. His charming personality and friendly smile is one of the Gonk trade marks. His passion for customers is evident and make customers feel welcome immediately.
This two polar opposite men came together to bring you Gonk and now Gonk industries.
Credit for the table napkins above is pretty T & Co fabrics.
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