Ten minutes from Howick on the Curry’s Post road, you will find Groundcover Leather Company, an early Midlands Meander member and one of its most popular stops. Established on a farm in 1990, Groundcover started out with two leatherworkers producing four pairs of shoes a day and selling at local craft markets. It now employs over twenty people and caters to a growing base of regular customers, who travel from as far as Durban, Johannesburg and Cape Town especially to renew or repair their old favourite pair of shoes.
Despite this considerable growth, Groundcover remains small in its approach to manufacturing and in its business orientation. According to the owners, “being small allows us to cultivate the many relationships that are behind our success as an enterprise — with our customers, our suppliers and, above all, with our employees and our Curry’s Post community, where most of them come from. It also lets us concentrate on maintaining the superior, handcrafted quality our products have come to be known for.”
In these days of mass-produced, cheap imports — which can now be found right on their doorstep — it is this ability to produce high quality yet affordable products and to provide personalized service, that helps Groundcover remain reasonably unaffected.
Set on beautiful surroundings, Groundcover’s unique settler’s cottage showroom has become an almost compulsory stop on the Meander, stocking an extensive range of leather shoes, boots and sandals; handbags, briefcases, rucksacks and travel bags; and belts, purses and other accessories. A growing selection of Nguni hide products is also available
There is much more than a fine shopping experience on offer, though. An exquisite bronze sculpture of Grimm’s The Elves and the Shoemaker, by Midlands artist Abbo Hall, is on permanent exhibition on the shop’s front lawn. Visitors are also welcome to view Groundcover shoes in the making, to have a picnic on the grounds, or even spend the afternoon hiking around the 160-hectare farm, spotting reedbuck, hares, a variety of birds and, with any luck, a colourful herd of Nguni cattle. And Now…..The Barn Owl coffee café has opened, serving artisan coffee and a wonderfully healthy and tasty lunch menu.
Pictured here: What do you think of our Holly boot? Now in Navy and Yellow.
* Did you know we choose to focus our corporate responsibility efforts on our community. Your purchase goes towards our efforts to subsidise the cost of school fees, books and extramural activities of our staff’s children.
More about Groundcover Leather Company.