With a five-star rating from 90 percent of his TripAdvisor reviewers, Siki’s Koffee Kafe – at 7 Ntaba Street, Village 1 South, Khayelitsha – is an excellent example of how Yoco has helped the small business owner in South Africa to succeed against the odds.
Siki’s drive and determination come through in his story. He started his working life as a dishwasher at Vida e Caffe, but before long he had been promoted to barista and then store manager. His employer sent him to London to further his training as a barista and, after returning home and working for a number of different coffee shops, he eventually decided to open his own café serving premium-quality coffee in Khayelitsha. His café, which is housed in his mother’s garage, at first relied on financial assistance from family and friends. Then, he hit on the idea of running a ThundaFund campaign, which allowed him to buy a second coffee machine and to open up the space.
Of the Cape Town Coffee Festival, Siki says: “It’s going to be a great platform for industry people who want to showcase different types of coffee; for baristas who want to portray their talent; and to give a wealth of exposure to those who are new to the coffee conversation.” He is excited by the way he’s seen his own business developing over the past three years and says of his clientele that they’re mainly “young people, people with start-up businesses, people who want to frequent a café and have meetings here.”
His other target market is tourists who visit his cafe as part of a township tour. While he started off just selling coffee and muffins, his business has grown to become a venue that offers an internet space, a boutique and event hosting. “This is a nice intimate space. We’re selling an experience – the combination of me, a barista; the beans and how we select them. It’s more involved than just that cup of coffee,” he enthuses.
Siki’s gumption has taken him extraordinarily far, but he has a few goals still lined up. “What inspires me is seeing the development within the community of Khayelitsha, where I always wanted to return and make a difference. I’d like to open additional cafés around here, as the demand for them grows. That’s what I’m looking to do in the future.”
For more inspirational stories about entrepreneurs like Siki, visit the Small Business Lab at the Cape Town Coffee Festival.