Join Elvis Blue and his family inside their home in George, Western Cape and discover his new padstal where Elvis learns the ropes of business, beer, and being a barista.

Between the Outeniqua Mountains to the north and the Indian Ocean to the south, lies the town of George. Award-winning musician, free spirit, and now padstal owner, Elvis Blue decided to return here with his family. The Insider SA paid them a visit to see how the new business venture is coming along.

Born Jan Hoogendyk, Elvis Blue won the hearts of South Africans in 2010 on the TV show, Idols. After winning the major talent contest, Elvis surprised audiences by sharing the cash prize with runner-up Lloyd Cele. This sense of goodwill and community is something Elvis carries forward in his family life, music career, and new business.

Living in George for the past six years has given Elvis, his wife Chireze, and their two daughters, Lila and Jua, a greater chance to connect with nature and each other. During lockdown, the family enjoyed intimate bonding time with Elvis performing all his gigs right from their own music room, surrounded by Elvis’ extensive collection of guitars.

Elvis explains, “This little space became a stage during lockdown. It’s been a really strange year for music. I think creatively, it’s been good for me. It was quite lekker and a bit strange at the same time.”

Although 2020 added a spanner to the works, the extended time at home gave Elvis a unique opportunity to write new music he intends to release this year, and allowed him to release two new self-produced music videos right from home.

Appreciating Elvis’ time home most was Chireze and his girls. Chireze shares, “I think it’s going to be a real adjustment when he has to go back and do shows again. I don’t listen to any other music – I’m not a very musical person. So if someone asks me what my favourite song is, it’s always an Elvis song. I’m a huge fan.”

Recently, Elvis and Chireze opened their very own padstal in George – Elvis Brew. Since he was a child, Elvis dreamed of opening a business like this, saying, “When I was a youngster, my dad always used to take me to the airport in Joburg. There was roadhouse close by and you could sit and watch the aircrafts. It was one of my favourite things. So when we found this little spot next to the airport in George, the dream kind of took shape.”

All the products sold at Elvis Brew are proudly South African, local, and handmade. You can even find Chireze’s own leather products under her label, Mama Blue. Here, Elvis also serves a coffee and beer aiming to put a smile on passing travellers and local visitors. He shares, “Here at Elvis Brew, it’s all about the lekker vibes with good people. Gee jou lyf a lekker tyd!”

“What makes a padstal special for me is because it’s real,” explains Elvis. “You’ve got local produce from local farmers and local coffee roasters. It has that real South African feeling. What is special is the view over the Outeniqua Mountains and the aircrafts landing right in front of you.”

The experience has been a rewarding learning curve for Elvis. He shares, “Ever since I was a young boy, all I’ve ever wanted to do is music. It’s quite tough for me to be an entrepreneur and to think as a business person and not just a musician. But, I really enjoy the challenge.”

“One thing Covid has taught me is that I have absolutely no idea what my future holds,” shares Elvis. “I’ve realised that anything can happen and I still got lots of dreams.”

Whether it’s new music, a mean cup of coffee, or an ice cold brew; Elvis’ philosophy of daring to dream has made the future look brighter than ever.