Flower stall grows

Wadea Tape and Fatima Williams at their flower stall in Rondebosch.

The Tape family have been selling flowers in Rondebosch for more than 70 years.

Wadea “Wadie” Tape says her mother, Asa, started the business. She was the sole provider for 13 children who would help sell flowers after school or at weekends.

“All the children pitched in. It was a family business from the start.”

Wadea, 56, says her mother first had a stall in the Main Road but they later had to move with the arrival of Pick ‘n Pay and the Fountain Centre.

She remembers a time when the area only had a few stores.

“Back then, we could walk in the Liesbeek River during the summer time and play freely in the area before all the developments.”

Wadea, who is from Parkwood, says they moved to their formal trading spot in Belmont Road after one of the trees fell over some years ago.

She and her sister, Fatima “Maggie” Williams, run the flower stall today.

They used to buy their flowers from a small farm in Constantia but now most of them come from Johannesburg and have to be ordered through an agent.

“Flowers are not ‘seasonal’ anymore. You can get sunflowers now right through the year.”

Sunflowers, roses and poppies, Wadea says, are their biggest sellers.

The customers have also changed over the years and now students are their biggest buyers.