Monday, May 10

Q&A: Angie Batis is howling for cake!

If you follow Angie of the lovely Lucky Pony, you will know that she recently opened a coffee shop called Wolves with her husband Shane and friend, Greg. It looks so sweet and I'll be sure to swing by for a slice of Red Velvet the next time I'm in Jozi. I've always thought it must be a ton of fun to have your own coffee shop so I wanted to ask Angie all about hers. Pull up a chair and let's have a natter with this very busy but brilliant lady!


Hi Angie! You’re an Art Director, Hot Chocolate Mustache Maker, Wife to the Shane and creator of cute accessories. How do you manage to squeeze so much awesome into every day?
I have no idea how I manage to fit everything in, for real. But I always feel like I have to keep doing stuff, new stuff and old stuff and everyday stuff, I would cry like a fat kid right at the back of a kilometer long borewors roll queue if I didn’t have all my outlets. Making stuff and being creative is the best thing ever. Well that and sitting on the couch watching project Runway with a 200g bar of Top Deck (that’s my best friend).

How do you split your time between Wolves and your day job?
Shane stays there all day, he’s a freelance copywriter now and then I go past after work and hang out sometimes, stuff my face with some lemonade and then every second weekend I work and our other partner works the rest of the month.

Tell us more about Wolves! Have you always dreamed of opening your own coffee shop?
To be honest with you, when I was younger i always dreamnt of being a ninja turtle, but in my old age I have realised that that is never going to happen, one because I can’t breath under water and 2 because I’m not a famous painter. But having a coffee shop is an awesome second best dream.

Heh. It must be loads of fun but also hard work?
It is super fun. I love seeing people enjoying hanging round in the shop and playing boardgames and eating cake and chatting, makes my heart very very flipping happy. I also love that the shop looks exactly how I pictured it would, bunting and all.


Please introduce us to the Wolves crew! Who’s brewing the javas, baking the cakes and playing the music?
Well...making the coffee: William and Edwin, or as they like to call each other Willy and Eddy :)
Baking the cakes: a lady called Linda who has a team of awesome young bakers and then I make some of the stuff too. Yes I do.
Music: Mr i-pod Shuffle, which shane is in charge of... :)
And then there is Greg, who is the 3rd partner in this shop. He makes coffee, drinks coffee and in general is the business mind and thank goodness for him, cause I hate maths and business like stuff. I know how to spend money and not save it. No ways.


Good to meet the crew! Now, what’s on the menu?
We have all sorts of cakes, but our red velvet cake is by far the most popular. Followed by the world’s lightest (no lies) orange chiffon cake! I won the recipe off my aunt in a high-stakes poker game, ok I’m being dramatic, she just gave it to me, but it’s the best recipe ever. there are also “excuse me sir but there is a moustache in my hot chocolate” hot chocolates, homemade lemonade, fresh sandwiches - our rump steak roll is pretty amazing! Brownies, lindt tarts ( holy moley these are decadent and so good, they are like eating a puppy dipped in syrup), cupcakes, coconut chocolate cake, man I could go on and on, but I’m making myself hungry now.

Sounds delish! You’ve hosted some gigs and games nights. What other events do you have up your sleeve?
Well Thursday night is going to become a standard live music night, we have had 2 so far and they turned out pretty good, except for the last one which happened in candlelight because we had absolutely no power till 3:30 the next morning, thanks eskom. But it was still awesome.

Game nights still have take off, but the boardgames are there all the time on the bookshelf, for anyone to play. We are also going to start getting into art. We want to host 1 artist at a time for 1 or 2 months. So you can come in, few their work and buy it if you like. Another thing we are super excited about and have yet to start, is our Wolves craft evening. Oooh I can’t wait for that to happen.

Can we have our birthday parties, weddings and bar mitzvahs at Wolves?
Hells yes! You can even have a sleepover if you want.

What else do you have for sale other than tasty tidbits and crazy-named drinks?
We have awesome illustration and design and stuff books for sale and cds- you’ll find artists you wouldn’t necessary find in a normal cd store.... We are also one of only 2 stores in jhb that stock Frankie magazines. We also sell Hello Fox stuff, which is a handmade jewelry label that my friend jo and I have started and like I have mentioned above, we are also going to be selling art very soon.

What are the best bits about having your own coffee shop?
I get to roll around in cake anytime I want. Literally.

Any unexpected hurdles you’ve had to jump?
Not really, other than paying off awning guys and electricity bills etc. Boring stuff.

What suggestions would you make to someone who wants to open a coffee shop?
If you want to open one, or any shop for that matter, just do it. We didn’t have much money to start our place. Seriously. But we made it work and now we’re rolling around in cake (and that is not a metaphor for money, by the way, I mean cake :)

I think too many people think too hard about things some times. Think about how fast a day, a week, a month goes by. Soon enough you’re going to be a crazy old person dressed in a ninja turtle suite, dancing around eating pronutro with a big spoon (man, I hope that’s how I land up, that’s another dream of mine by the way). Make things happen now!

Great, I'm psyched! What will Wolves be like a year from now?
Hopefully the sweetest little shop on the block.

Any special’s you’d like to tell us about!?
Yes one - my husband Shane, he is a super special who I love like crazy.

Ah, bless. If someone wants to bake or make you something, how can they contact you?
That would be cool, just pop onto our website and leave us a message. Shane’s number is on there too.


Excellent, thanks Angie! I hope a Wolves comes to Durban one day! You can check out the website for Wolves here and visit Angie here. If you've been to Wolves, give us a howl!


Miss Molly said...

Loved reading the article Lauren!.. Angie is really funny and her coffee shop looks amaze! will definitely pop in the next time im in jHB xoxo

coelho said...

loved that - thx for the interview, great to have more insight into the talented Angie

La.K said...

"and sitting on the couch watching project Runway with a 200g bar of Top Deck (that’s my best friend)" - this part made me smile :0)

thanks for the interview - angie sounds crazy...hehehe

wolves is on my list for when we are next in jhb. yay.

Anonymous said...

Nice one Lauren! I've been to Wolves,a friend of mine had her birthday celebration there, loved it!nice and cosy, the cup cakes were heaven!!

Lauren said...

Glad you enjoyed gals! x

Mel said...

I think I'm in love with Angie Batis.

S and O said...

what a fun and gorgeous post!
Love these pictures :)


p.s. cute blog!

angie said...

thanks for the post pretty lady xxxxxxxxxxxx

glad people are enjoying it :)

Becky said...

i can most definitely vouch for the amazing deliciousness of those lindt tarts! mmmm mm!