Movers and shakers in Plett 

Published: December 17th, 2018


“No sugar,” you declare. “I take it black.” Shoot a side-eyed glance at that kid over there with his blended mocha chino – amateur hour. Give the barista a knowing nod as you step out into the street with your cup of shade-grown glory. Where can you find an award-winning cuppa? The same place you’ll find champion barista, ‘Soul’ Chalemba, Manager of the Beantree Express Coffee Station at the Beacon Isle Kwikspar in the Beacon Isle Centre. We spent some time chatting to Soul to find out more about the master himself.


Soul Chalemba

Plett Tourism: Why coffee?

Soul Chalemba: My love affair with coffee began while working in the Cape Town restaurant industry. I enjoyed working at the coffee station and impressed my employers. So much so, that they sent me on a Ciro Barista Certificate course in 2014 where I learned how to make the prefect espresso and the best cappuccino.

PT: Why did you choose Plett?

SC: A friend of mine works in Plett and he gave me a call when he saw an advert for a barista position at the BI Kwikspar. I didn’t hesitate to phone and apply. I think my feature in Coffee Magazine as one of the Top 5 Baristas in Cape Town helped me win over owner Duncan Brown.

PT: What do you enjoy most about your work as a barista?

SC: I love the vibe and the energy, and most importantly I love working with people. Plett has a very interesting mixed group of coffee lovers. Some are harder to please than others, and I like to put a smile on their face. Making coffee is my passion. Sometimes it takes the first few sips before I see their smiles, but it’s worth it. I have trained and now manage six baristas. They also have great passion for what they do – this is the main ingredient for a good cup of coffee. I’ve been very fortunate, I have full support from my employer Duncan Brown and his wife Lente. I have great appreciation for them, and they have always been there for me. I would like to encourage the area youth to find a passion, to not underestimate your potential because eventually you can achieve your goals. And don’t be afraid to talk to people to share your story, to share your passion because there are a lot of good people out there who may be prepared to help and open doors.

Find Soul at the Beacon Isle Kwikspar this December. The Beantree Express will be open from 6am until 9pm daily.




You’ve walked up and down Plett’s Main Street, you’ve seen the houses on sale in the display windows, the kicked-back style of chinos and summer shift dresses worn by the sea of Plett estate agents. Amongst the array of faces, is one with a killer smile, an infectious laugh and a sought-after clientele list. Meet Velishia Tuohey, and just so you know, she doesn’t like to conform to stereotypes. She’s a go-getter, ready to tackle any difficult, finicky property hunter. We sat down with Velishia to find out more about her past and present passions including real estate and her family.


Velishia Tuohey

Plett Tourism: Who is Velishia Tuohey?

Velisha Tuohey: I’m a local from Kurland Village. My childhood was spent playing skipping rope, cooking “potjiekos” and playing games until dusk, happy memories. My dad passed when I was young and things became very real, very fast. My mom worked two jobs and being the oldest I was “tasked” to look after my younger siblings. We were fortunate to attend Wittedrift High School and our uncle, most know him as Toks, also played an integral part in our lives. We were taught the hustle, from selling a packet of chips, to thinking and dreaming bigger. I like to believe that we have the book smarts and street smarts down to a tee.

PT: Why real estate?

VT: I have always loved selling, I worked in department stores growing up. I moved to Cape Town to look for something “different”, chasing a dream. I worked in real estate admin, gaining a priceless wealth of training that I loved. I later met my husband in Plett and moved back. When an opportunity presented itself to get into sales with Pam Golding, I jumped at it. I haven’t looked back and have been with the company for four years now.

PT: As a woman of colour in the industry, what are some obstacles you have had to overcome?

 VT: At times you feel the prejudice of the industry and it requires you to be strong and resilient. Especially when the playing field is predominantly male and white, one has to work hard and stay focused. A constant is having to prove that you are qualified to do the job. My advice; educate yourself, be emotionally mature and understand the economical divide rather than blame racial issues and how we can tip the scales. Where you come from should never determine where you will go. Life is short, don’t hesitate, you only have right now, deal with tomorrow when you get there.

The property featured in this photo shoot is currently available for purchase, No. 4 Olivia Street, the Poortjies. Please phone Velishia for more information on 076 508 7984.