Gautam ‘Gem’ Gautam bought the Busy Bee Deli on 9 May 2014. At that time, the shop was fairly run down by its previous owner, a single mom without staff. When Gem took over, customers suddenly noticed a lot of positive changes. Not only, did the products become more relevant to the needs of the clients, but there was also a noticeable change in attitude. He gradually renovated the shop and turned it into a mini-supermarket. Neighbours increasingly popped by to pick up items that they urgently needed, such a bottle of milk, a loaf of bread, a pack of coffee or a light bulb.

Customers also noticed the beautiful smell of freshly roasted coffee and yummy food. Gem turned out to be an excellent barista and his wife Rose a fabulous cook. Best of all, the shop was located right next door. How convenient. Plus, it was open seven days a week, from 5 am till 8 pm, and there was always Gem and Rose there to serve clients with a smile.

As to be expected, the turnover increased nicely. Within three months turnover doubled. Within a year, it even quadrupled and kept growing every month. Customers were happy and kept coming back. Some of them even suggested that Gem extended, by renting the shop next door. Gem and Rose could see how their hard work was starting to pay off, until, one day, their dreams went up in flames.


This is the convenience store Busy Bee Deli from across the road. After the new owners, a lovely Indian family of six, had worked there 100 hours weeks for about 1 1/2 years, 7 das a week from 5am to 8pm, the shop fell victim to an arson attack against the barber shop next door. Since the shop could only get 30,000 insurance, the family has not only lost the fruits of their hard labor and their sole source of income, but are out of pocket by 150,000 for stock and fittings.

Posted by Andrew Michael Winkler on Tuesday, 19 January 2016