Last week I was invited to spend an afternoon working (read blogging) from the new Virgin Mobile pop up store in Braamfontein, just below where the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship is located.
The store tells a story of coffee meets tech comprising of a Virgin Mobile store on your right as you enter and on your left is a branch of Motherland Coffee. In the centre of the store they have carved out some working space via a 6 seater table, a few high chairs facing out of the window and sofa with a few ottomans if you’d rather just relax.
- 50% of the sales of accessories (covers, chargers etc. etc.) is donated back to the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship – very cool!
- I’m a fan of the Virgin brand in general and have my gym membership & a credit card with them. I like the way they think, what they stand for and how they operate. In 3 words I would describe them as young, innovate & hungry
- I’m an even bigger fan of the inner city so I’m really tickled that Virgin has opened this, their flagship store in my ‘hood…
- You’re entitled to 2 hours of wi-fi with any purchase from either Motherland of Virgin Mobile (not bad) & this will be a hit among the students in the area I’m guessing
- The coffee doesn’t disappoint at all. Motherland serves up a pretty good cup of Fair Trade Coffee blended (supplied by Bean There at 44 Stanley) from Ethiopian Sidamo and Rwandan Kivu beans.
- The store has an incredible buzz from all the happenings on the streets just meters away that I really love. In my mind this is what it must feel like to grab a cuppa off the streets of London (minus the weather!)
- Murphy’s law, but on the day I was there the Wi-Fi was niggly (issue with the service provider I think). Luckily I don’t leave home without my own so I was sorted and online blogging in no time
As part of the launch, the day before I was there Virgin attempted to break the world record for the number of people they could cram into a Mini Cooper – and succeeded! Under the watchful eye of a World Guinness official and Sir Richard Branson himself (so bummed I missed the chance to see him) 25 girls piled into the Mini Cooper and the doors were closed for 3 seconds. The record will go into the next edition of the Guinness Book of World Records to be released next year.
Here’s how they did it (the previous record was 23):
Even with the stunt over, the car gets a lot of attention from walkers by and has been converted to a photo booth that prints instantly.
If I ran the place
- I’d sort out the wi-fi and maybe have a few more plug points.
Need to know:
Operating hours are:
- Monday to Friday 7am- 6pm
- Saturday – 8am to 4pm
- Sunday – closed
- Public Holidays 9am to 3pm
Parking is available off street or diagonally across from the store at Arbor Square Parkade.
Virgin Mobile Pop Up Store
Ground Floor, Shop No 1, 19
Melle Street, Braamfontein. Parking is available on the street
outside the store or at Arbor Square Parkade.