Grumpy & Runt: love in every bite Grumpy & Runt: love...

Grumpy & Runt: love in every bite


14 Oct, 2020
Grumpy & Runt Cape Town vegan donuts and coffee

If you’ve been to Gardens’ Dunkley Square lately you’ll have noticed an ever-present queue of very satisfied, very smiley customers each toting a donut (or three). Nestled between two Cape Town giants, Roxy’s and Maria’s, something exciting is happening inside the pink walls of the newest kid on the block.

Meet Carla Goniter, co-owner and founder of everyone’s new favourite deli – Grumpy & Runt. We chatted to Carla about owning her own business, how they bake their values into their food and how they get those donuts to be so darn delicious. 

Read more: How to build rapport with your customers through active listening

Donuts in the time of corona

Carla and Johke took the plunge earlier this year and opened up a vegan deli and donut shop. Opening up your own spot is never easy – doing it 17 days before lockdown takes something extraordinary.

The hardest part has probably been having a state of emergency and national lockdown shut us (and everyone else) down. But who could have predicted a global pandemic?

It’s worth it when we see a line of people out the door on a Friday, Saturday, and Sunday morning and selling out of donuts every weekend. It shows us that we have a product that people want, and an atmosphere that people respond to.

Close up on Grumpy & Runt's Vegan donuts

Rethinking vegan

Grumpy & Runt don’t serve animal products – and that’s not changing any time soon. For Carla and Johke, it’s part of their ethos and ethics and they want their spot to reflect that. What’s more, they want to show people how great vegan food can be.

For us, it was important to make vegan food accessible, delicious and inclusive. So many of our customers who come here come because they love the food and coffee, and are not necessarily vegan. We want to make sure that vegan isn’t a dirty word. A lot of people hear that and think “Oh, it’s not for me”, which is why we don’t necessarily like to advertise it too much. If people come and enjoy the donuts, what does it matter if they’re vegan?

It was actually Johke who first showed Carla that she can still have all the food she loves, without compromising or losing out.  

I’ve genuinely never felt like I am missing out on anything because she makes such incredible food. And that’s what we wanted to bring to Grumpy & Runt – the idea that you aren’t losing anything by eating the food we make. It’s as good, despite us not using eggs, dairy or meat.

Grumpy & Runt's Vegan donut options

Opening your own donut shop?

Carla has a few words of advice.

You are going to have to work really hard. You won’t sleep at night. This thing will consume you. There is no quick way to do it, you have to plan and adapt rapidly. And whatever plan you have will change. 

You’re going to have to do many things yourself, including the dirty work (I’ve never mopped so much in my life) so make sure that whatever it is you want to do, you are all-in, because it’s a marriage that requires an incredible commitment, and the rewards won’t always be financial.

You can find Grumpy & Runt at 22 Dunkley Street or on Instagram at @grumpyandrunt. And, of course, you can grab your next donut treat using SnapScan.

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