It’s obvious from the moment you bite into any one of Col’Cacchio’s mouth-watering dishes that it’s made with the utmost love and care. What may not be so well known is how that love and care came to be – 26 years before.
Kinga Baranowska channelled her creativity into cooking as more than just a means of feeding her body – it became her breath in tough times and her outlet for long working hours. Inspired by her work in an Italian restaurant in 1991, she dreamed of one day opening her own eatery and when a stranger, and regular patron, came knocking with a surprise proposal, she found herself saying yes. Her seemingly crazy acceptance of this stranger’s offer would take her in an entirely different direction and to a proposal of a different kind.
The stranger, Michael Terepolsky, and Kinga were married not long after they opened their first pizzeria in Cape Town’s Foreshore on Kinga’s 21st birthday. With stars in their eyes and love in their hearts, they set about laying the foundation for what would become one of the best known franchises in South Africa – it would be 12 years before the first franchise store opened in Bryanston by partner Greg Mommsen and his wife, Roz.
Both couples are open about the difficulties of the early years. “You have to be the policymakers, cooks, staff trainers and waiters,” says Kinga. “It’s really hard in the beginning. We tried to save money wherever we could so that it wouldn’t be a failure,” Greg echoes. “But there’s something beautiful about watching your spouse do what they love,” Michael adds.
Greg’s wife, Roz, put her psychology studies on hold, both gentleman abandoned their respective office equipment and IT distribution careers and together with Kinga, the lovers joined hands and linked arms with each other to help each other build the dream.
While the responsibility of directorship comes some time behind a desk, but all three partners agree that the best part is still getting to engage with their patrons and pour the love they’ve cultivated over the years back into the community.
The atmosphere is tangible, the food delectable and the love deliciously obvious.