The Gorge franchise, built on "stuffing oneself with good food," was established in 2016. Gorge, a cafe providing clients with healthy foods, focuses on the Banting and Keto diets. Nelson Nyokong was fortunate enough to discover the café when his wife fell pregnant, and with her pregnancy cravings, she sent him to Gorge daily for their fantastic health sandwiches. Although Nelson's educational journey initially led him to the advertising world after studying Graphic Design at WITS Technical College, his absolute dream was to one day own a café. With the knowledge gained in his days as a waiter at House of Coffees, he enquired about how he could buy into the franchise. Fast forward to a year later, Nelson received a call that invited him to buy into the franchise.
Nelson took the plunge and bought into the Gorge Franchise with his wife's blessing. He opened a small grab-and-go cafe at the Gautrain station in Sandton. With only a two-week crash course under his belt, Nelson had to figure things out on his own, and with his dreams becoming a reality, he forged ahead and acquired a second café in the Sandton area. Unfortunately, in May 2019, the Sandton, Gautrain branch closed with the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, and like most small businesses, Nelson's café in Kramerville was negatively impacted and had to close its doors in April of 2020. He was forced to venture back into the corporate world, where he was employed as a consultant for an advertising agency.
In early 2020, Nelson's journey once again changed direction. He was able to reopen Gorge, this time at the Head office of Barloworld Equipment (BWE) in Isando, where he is currently situated. Although there were and still are many challenges, not forgetting to mention competition with the likes of Rebothle across the way, Nelson stands strong and continues to believe in his vision. The key value proposition that Gorge brings to the table is not only their emphasis on a healthy menu but on other options for those with a “sweet tooth.”
Gorge's menu comprises a range of smoothies and healthy sandwiches designed to ensure the presence of healthy options that support healthy eating habits.
“Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, mankind has realized the need to be healthy - exercise and eat clean, and where Gorge is concerned, we have you covered”, says Nelson with these wise words. As companies around the globe take on the challenge to support healthy living for their employees, creating a safe environment for employees to thrive by ensuring that they consume nourishing food which assists them to operate at their peak. Incorporating Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) principles in his company, Nelson directs Gorge's efforts toward creating a healthy lifestyle by offering the BWE employees and the general public a quick, fresh option from sustainably sourced ingredients suited to daily dietary requirements.
The body requires a healthy diet to maintain its mental well-being, which is very important for productivity in the workplace environment. The mental health of an employee is a major determining factor in their performance levels and productivity outcomes because “the better we feel, the happier we are, and the more motivated we are to perform.” Therefore, it's imperative that we adjust our eating habits to follow a healthier lifestyle.
The journey for Gorge has been a rollercoaster of many highs and equal lows, but with the BWE staff returning to work, additional support has found Gorge seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, with daily sales having doubled in recent weeks. Nelson has also hinted at exciting new projects in the pipeline for Gorge addicts. In capturing the life of an entrepreneur succinctly, Nelson pronounces that, “Often, the journey of an entrepreneur can be quite lonely but believing in oneself, a clear vision, and succinct goals are the key to a winning formula.” Gorge's plans include wrestling more market share in the hospitality industry from its competitors, one healthy sandwich at a time.
Tel: +27 73 064 8029
Address: BWE HQ, Umbono building, Isando Campus