Baking dreams into reality: The Charly’s Bakery story

Charly’s Bakery, a beloved Cape Town institution, is more than just a bakery – it’s a journey that began in 1989 when Charly and Jacqui Biess opened their doors in Thibault Square.

From its early days, Charly’s Bakery has evolved into a vibrant hub of creativity, warmth and community, leaving an indelible mark on the Cape Town culinary scene.

With a move to the V&A Waterfront, Charly’s Bakery quickly gained popularity for its delectable breakfasts and mouthwatering lunch buffets. The demand grew, with people lining up for hours to savour their baked delights.

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However, recognising the value of focus and uniqueness, Charly’s Bakery shifted gears and embarked on a new chapter as a wholesale cake bakery on Roeland Street.

Amid the tantalising aromas drifting from the bakery, an interesting turn of events led to a reimagining of Charly’s Bakery. The bakery reopened its doors to the public, specialising in stunning baked cakes and cupcakes.

Picture: Charly’s Bakery / Facebook

Joined by Alexandra, Daniella and Roch, Charly’s Bakery embraced quirkiness and fun, giving birth to the distinctive Charly’s brand.

From humble beginnings, the bakery’s offerings expanded beyond cupcakes and messages on cakes. Charly’s Bakery established its presence with vibrant colours, unconventional designs and an unmistakable signature style.

The introduction of ‘Charly-isms’ such as ‘luf luf,’ ‘gooi gooi,’ and the liberal use of glitter contributed to the bakery’s unique identity.

Picture: Charly’s Bakery / Facebook

In a defining move, Charly’s Bakery found its forever home at 38 Canterbury Street, an iconic Victorian two-story building. The move was a catalyst for growth, transforming the bakery into a bustling landmark.

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The heart of Charly’s Bakery beats not only in its scrumptious creations but also in its commitment to upliftment. Investing in staff from underprivileged backgrounds, Charly’s Bakery nurtured a ‘Rainbow Bakery Family’, spreading positive change within the community.

This philosophy of giving back extended to supporting over 20 charities annually and participating in numerous charity events.

Picture: Charly’s Bakery / Facebook

The passing of beloved Charly in 2012 marked a poignant moment for Charly’s Bakery, but his spirit lives on through the bakery’s ethos of generosity and inspiration. As a proudly South African and proudly Capetonian establishment, Charly’s Bakery prioritises the values of Nelson Mandela, continually striving to create a brighter future for the nation.

Charly’s Bakery isn’t just a bakery; it’s a haven of creativity, compassion and confectionary delights. With every cake and cupcake, Charly’s Bakery weaves a story of sweetness, community and the joy of giving – a story that continues to unfold and inspire, one bite at a time.

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  • Location: 36-38 Canterbury St, District Six
  • Times: Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 8am to 5pm | Saturday 8:30am to 2pm
  • Website:

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Picture: Charly’s Bakery / Facebook

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