Ayoba Village offers homecooked South African cuisine, produce from local farmers, imported African treats, handmade children's clothing, health treatments, and more. Owner-operator Pam Vermeulen is a South Africa native and the brains and brawn behind Ayoba Village. Staff photo by Dakota Morrissiey
Ayoba Village on Main Street in Marble Falls is a takeaway restaurant, health spa, farmers’ market, and children’s clothing boutique in one. It’s the brainchild of owner-operator Pam Vermeulen, a native of South Africa who was looking for a way to create community in her new home.
“We realized that we had such a big demand for South African food and things like that, so we started this venture,” Vermeulen told DailyTrib.com. “I wanted a place for the community where they could come hang out. It’s not just a restaurant.”
Ayoba Village offers authentic South African meals such as homemade boerewors, an all-beef sausage with unique seasonings and toppings, and braai brood, a South African take on grilled cheese. An assortment of outdoor seating is available on the property to enjoy your meal.
Local goods like honey, bread, and produce as well as homemade pastries and imported South African treats are available during regular hours and Saturday morning farmers’ markets.
Vermeulen also provides a weekly grocery service, putting together grocery bundles with eggs, meat, produce, and more from local sources for a weekly fee.
“We’re trying to eliminate wastage and give (customers) foods in season,” she said.
Kids can play in a fenced-in area behind the main building while their parents shop or eat. A children’s clothing boutique is stocked with goods hand made by members of a South African church. Proceeds from clothing sales go back to the church and its community.
Vermeulen has a background in cosmetology and offers spa and wellness services through the Body Rejuvenate portion of Ayoba Village.
She explained that “Ayoba” is a South African expression meaning “cool,” “good vibes,” or “getting together for a good time.” Vermeulen speaks Afrikaans, a distinct variation of old Dutch that is common across South Africa.
According to Vermeulen, Ayoba Village has already become a destination for South Africans living in Texas who want a taste of home.
“I am amazed by how many South Africans live in this area,” she said. “That was my goal: to get people together and make it homier.”
Visit Ayoba Village, 600 Main St., and try exotic South African cuisine, pick up farm-fresh produce, relax with friends, or take a spa day. Hours are 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday. A farmers’ market is from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday; a special Friday pizza supper is served from 6-9 p.m.