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Cooking up a storm
Cooking up a storm
READY TO SERVE: Restaurant staff


Cooking up a storm

Tonota’s new trendy @Pallets Cafe

This eatery has only been running for six months but has already created a buzz in Tonota and the surrounding villages.

Opened in June this year, @Pallets Cafe has filled a gap in what is one of the country’s fastest growing townships.

In this hot and humid weather, the out-door setting – complete with foldable canvas flaps in the unlikely event of rain – makes this cafe an ideal place for those who want to take their time at the dinner table.

The fresh and trendy restaurant, adjacent to the newly opened Engen Filling Station, boasts an extensive menu. Food on offer includes the popular Shashe bream, grilled chicken, juicy steak all served with the customer’s preferred starch and salads.

Speaking to Voice Money, the establishment’s owner, 27-year-old Joy Nametsegang revealed she conceptualised the idea while she was studying in Namibia.


A lawyer by profession with the Attorney General, Nametsegang is as passionate about cooking as she is about law.

“I grew up in a business oriented family and from an early age business has always been a part of me,” she stated simply.

Nametsegang was so determined to start her own business that upon graduation she founded Grills and Chills, an outdoor mobile restaurant.

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“I’ve always loved grilling, so I was selling grilled meat at Manyanda shops in Tonota. The business was doing quite well – that’s when I realised there was room to expand.”

Together with her husband, the mother-of-one set out to open a cafe in Tonota that would be able to compete with the best.

“My husband is an architect, so it was easy to do this concept eatery. We played around with recycled pallets to design the interior and have custom made pallets for our doors,” Nametsegang said about the impressive structure.

“For the chandelier we went for the old blue ‘paraffin’ lanterns,” she added.

The youthful businesswoman explained they wanted a restaurant that people would appreciate.

IMMACULATE: Pallets’ mini garden

“So far the response has been amazing. Our clientele no longer see the need to go to Francistown for a good meal. They can get grilled chicken and fresh fish right here in Tonota.”

Besides the sumptuous food, the cafe also has free WiFi and offers an array of beverages.

The establishment, which is open from 6am till 10 at night, also provides outside catering for parties and offers group platters for any events.

People can also order their food and come for collection.

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Reflecting on her establishment’s short journey to date, Nametsegang beams with pride.

“It is a cafe that should inspire young people to know that anything is possible. We started grilling meat in an open space now we have opened a restaurant.”

With a staff compliment of four, @Pallets has become a source of income for many small business in the village as according to Nametsegang they procure most of their resources from local companies.

“We get our chicken, meat and vegetables from Tonota farmers. We only go outside when the supplies run out,” she said.

Perhaps the Cafe’s supervisor, Kesaobaka Shaba summed it up best when he said @Pallets Cafe is like no other place.

“We need more people to know more about this special place. We are ready to serve them,” declared the former petrol attendant.

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