‘Stylish’ and ‘chic’ are how Natasha Sideris defines the interior designs in her wildly popular Tashas eateries.
On any given day Tashas sees throngs of locals, business folks, families, ladies, and even tourists – which is possibly the reason they do not take bookings. Known first and foremost for their top quality menu offerings, Tashas cafés have also become synonymous with cutting edge interiors that create a fresh, modern, and inviting space for eating, drinking and meeting.
When asked why Tashas cafés have remained so successful over many years, Natasha replies, ‘At Tashas we love 3 things: people, food and design. We make all our food on order, which means nothing is pre-prepared; nothing is precut – all our food gets made in the moment. All the franchise owners are also very hands-on, which translates into a strong staff at each outlet and a huge amount of attention to detail.’
Each unique interior delightfully defies franchise conventions, offering breakfast buffs and languid lunchers a distinctive décor in which to pamper their taste buds and tummies. Natasha has always been passionate about design – her brother and business partner, Savva, is an interior designer – and she was the one to come up with each distinctive look for each outlet.
‘I wanted spaces that weren’t going to date. We’ve used timeless materials in each store for their natural look and hardwearing properties. Each restaurant looks different because I wanted each one to speak to its customers and its area.’
Tashas cafés have also become known for their gorgeous, design-forward installations of natural stone, making use of both marble and granite. The first Tashas store had mostly marble in the design, but over the past few years Natasha has begun a love affair with granite surfaces.
‘With granite there are so many different ways that you can apply the material to make it look contemporary and timeless. Granite has different looks: you can tumble, flame and polish it to different effect. I love that granite is really strong and how you can get such amazing, natural colours and patterns! I currently use it on counters and table tops, and I plan to include it in our upcoming homeware ranges too.’
A new Tashas café will soon be opening in Mandela Square, Johannesburg, where up to 90% of the interior will be covered in granite. Tashas enthusiasts can also expect 2 new waffle houses popping up in Bedfordview and Mandela Square, which will feature beautiful, natural stone surfaces.
‘We’re always looking to improve – that’s the thing that keeps us a cut above the rest. We never settle in the success,’ she says.
‘In South Africa we’re going to stop at 15 stores, but we’re about to start expanding in the Middle East.’ Natasha will be moving to Dubai for a few months to add more outlets to the existing one there, but plans to commute to keep in touch with things in SA.
Her favourite surface to work on?
‘The counter at the Hyde Park store – it’s a combination of granite and timber. I love working on those two surfaces! The bread maker uses the granite surface to make bread everyday because the cold temperature is good for preparing the dough.’
Look out for new Tashas innovations, coming soon:
- The Tashas online store will offer Tashas kitchenware including glasses, ceramics, granite salad bowls and salt and pepper bowls made out of natural stone.
- The first Tashas cookbook displaying classic café recipes will hit the shelves in February 2015, but the good news is that the second Tashas cookbook is being put together already. The next recipe book will feature each restaurant’s signature dishes and some exciting waffle house creations!
- 2 new Tashas outlets will be coming soon to Bedfordview and Mandela Square.