There’s so much we love about Toast & Co in Joburg’s Craighall Park. It’s not just the calming sage and green décor, the peaceful atmosphere, and the buttery biscuits that accompany every cup of tea and coffee. It’s also the perfect manicures (every time!), the way everyone knows your name, and the curated selection of retail therapy on offer (think classic cashmere, handcrafted bags, brogues and delicate jewels).
Julie and Karen, sisters and the owners of Toast & Co, have been crafting a salon that is more than just a salon for 10 years. It’s grown in physical size, number of therapists, and offering, but the absolute attention to every detail remains the same. Julie and Karen are utter perfectionists, and are fastidious about offering consistent quality and experiences to their clients (many of whom are regulars and long-term supporters). It’s this thoughtful attention and authenticity that sets Toast & Co apart.
“We test every product we sell, from skincare to cashmere scarves”, says Julie. “In this way we can sell a treatment or product to our clients knowing that it works, and that we really believe in its quality.”
Along with assured quality products, Toast & Co is known for its quality therapists. In an industry renowned for its staff turnover, many of the women working at Toast & Co have been employed there for years, and are true professionals. Specialising in particular areas of interest or flair, therapists at the salon hone their skills in certain areas, be it nails, eyelash extensions, facials or massages, and clients are assured of consistent, excellent treatments every time.
“We see our staff as true professionals and trust them to deliver,” says Karen. Toast & Co offers continuous training opportunities in new products and skills, allowing therapists to constantly enhance their abilities.
“Everybody specialises in what they are good at,” says Pearl who has been at Toast & Co since 2009 and enjoys learning about new facial techniques, new products and the latest ingredients. “It’s such a confidence boost when you get a new client and you learn that they were referred by another client! It makes me feel like I’m good at what I do and that I make an impact, and that’s really important to me.”
Along with training, the sisters are good at spotting talent when they see it, and giving people opportunities. Nqobile began working at the salon in 2013 as a cleaner, and is now responsible for bookings and merchandising of stock. “Julie and Karen saw my potential and trusted me,” says Nqobile.
This is perhaps why Toast & Co is a Joburg favourite. You can find a pedicure just about anywhere, but there are few salons that match consistently high quality with an atmosphere of utter relaxation and calm. We put it down to Julie and Karen’s touch – tireless attention to detail, the empowerment of their staff, and the authentic nurturing of relationships.