Danie and Isabel Thomson made the life-changing decision to move to Sabie in 1996. They established a successful leather shop with various franchises and decided they need to diversify.
Their empire was built on humble beginnings. They became the owners of BP Garage and then started the Thomson Group when the family bought the then Sabie Building Supplies stock out of bankruptcy. New premises were acquired during 2002 on the Main Road to Graskop, affording the Hardware division 700m2 under roof.
Harbouring a dream for more than ten years to expand their shop to more than a Hardware shop, they were blessed four years ago enabling them to buy a structure fitting precisely over their building. “This was really a gift from heaven, and the construction has taken the last three years, and we are nearing completion. We are excited to announce that our unique Coffee and Gift shop has opened recently. We also boast a comprehensive hobby and craft section selling everything that a crafter would need,” said Isabel.
“Danie and I wanted to create a living museum, to show the younger generation what it used to look like, and create nostalgia with the older generation. For example, we have the whole history of clothing irons on display, old sewing machines, vintage steel oil tins and much more. All the old enamel signs decorating the shop is a passion of my husband. We journeyed through South Africa over a period of time, visiting farms in the Karoo, making friends whilst buying the new found treasures. We jokingly said that we do not visit the old ladies’ rose gardens, but rather the old uncle’s rust gardens in our search for old rustic antiques and collectables. Now we can finally offer a unique and different venue for young and old.”
This multi-story facility provided a brand new customer-friendly warehouse adding a whopping 780 square meters floor space to the previous 700 square meters, accommodating ± 14 000 item types of hardware & building supply items from both local and international suppliers. This division is run by Isabella (daughter), along with the gifts, arts and crafts.
The Gift shop offers a vast selection of gifts, suited to everyone’s taste and desires. The gifts range from specialized coffees, nuts, sweets, genuine sheep skin slippers, leather shoes, ceramic teaspoons, stuffed animals, bumper stickers, photo frames, jewellery boxes…too much to mention.
Danie actively trade countrywide and cross border with a variety of timber and agricultural products like Shavings, Pulp, Lucern, Teff, Eragrostis and Soya Hay.
Part of the Family business; William (son), Runs the commercial vehicle division were a variety of vehicles like trucks, trailers, forklifts TLB’s and many more are rebuild and made available to buyers all over South Africa and neighbouring countries. They are also active in the Recycling industry; both from their modern plant in Sabie, as well as in provinces like North West, the Free State and Limpopo.
The Coffee Shop is in the capable hands of daughter in law Chantell. The menu reminds you of your youth, taking you back many years, with delicious traditional food like Smiley (Skaapkop), Tripe (Afval), Bobotie and Pumpkin Fritters (Pampoenkoekies). Other favourites are traditional Melktert, Tipsy Tart, and the much-loved koeksusters, to name but a few. All items on menu, available as take away or sit down. This unique venue is available for functions on a Saturday afternoon, offering a fully comprehensive service of catering, gifts, but above all, saving money on decorations, because the décor is rustic and everywhere you look, is something different. An added benefit is that Isabella’s photography business “Droomverlore Fotografie” is on hand should the need be there for a photo shoot.
They can be contacted on 013 764 2546 (Head Office, Sabie Mpumalanga).
Visit their website www.thomsongroup.co.za