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Taking her space in the restaurant business

The Covid-19 pandemic has been cruel to many businesses, especially in the hospitality sector. When people stayed home for most of the lockdown period many establishments also had to shut their doors - leading to many losing shop.

But a woman who managed to bounce back is Daisy Letwaba, owner of Just Cuban restaurant and lounge in Hatfield Pretoria.

Despite the setbacks created by the lockdown, she says the establishment is starting to find its momentum again.

The restaurant is nestled in the heart of the city of the Jacaranda tree, Pretoria. Even before you set foot inside Just Cuban, a new addition to Pretoria’s fine dining venues, one can already tell that the experience is going to be exquisitely mind blowing.

The carpet is already laid out for patrons so one feels important even before meeting the first

person at the door.

By the time you open your car door, someone is already attending to you, so the service level

instantly exceed expectations. This was the first impression that Ignited Woman team summed up when we visited the restaurant.

The interior décor is impressive and gives the restaurant a premium feel.

You know the food is going to be delicious because they have to match the service and the look of

the restaurant.

"Running business(s) has always been an ideal rooted within the depths of my very

heart, says Daisy, who is a Human Resource Management graduate from the University of South Africa.

Her love for fine dining led her to her current venture.

She describes herself as someone who loves good food and wine. And having been to many

restaurants across the country and abroad, Daisy felt it was time to put her own signature to a

restaurant and that is how Just Cuban was born.

“The past years have seen me frequenting restaurants more often than I can ever remember. My

love in this regard sparked my ambition to someday owning my very own restaurant,” she explains.

Daisy, who also has a venture in the energy sector, says ever since opening the fine dining and

entertainment restaurant towards the end of 2019, business has been fluctuating between two

extremes, one being very good and the other being in sharp contrast to that.

She concedes however that this hasn’t set her on a destructive path of losing hope.

She describes the ambience she strives to always create as phenomenal.

“The beauty inside Just Cuban knows no bounds. Our food cuts across African Cuisine and Exotic


“Our art on the walls tells a story about a society gradually breaking ties with a patriarchal world

wherein male domination is the order of the day. Images of woman indulging with Cuban Cigars is

an example of such - they represent a society in which women can embrace their own thoughts

whose connotations reek with masculinity,” she says.

Daisy says running a business has taught her that financial discipline means everything.

“Every cent matters. Running a business of this sort is expensive- the operational costs, salaries,

compliance and events sucks every cent out the business like it is nothing. In order for one to

survive, one has to be penny-pincher- being a spendthrift is not the way to go,” she concludes.

Sound Advice:

Humble beginnings are not to be looked down on. My grandmother nourished the seeds I had for

success and that is something to treasure. So always value those in your path who are looking out

for you and want you to be better.



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Editor's note

American novelist Louisa May Alcott said it best when she said “Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.”

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