Kaffé Koffee is the first 24/7 coffee shop in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania that roasts its coffee freshly every day and offers authentic coffee with options of non-dairy and original desserts. Muntazir Hussein, founder, and owner of Kaffé Koffee talks about his business.
How did you start your business?
We started on the 1st of July, 2020 as a coffee shop and then invested in the roastery to get into the small-scale industry within the country. There were hardly any roasters who had the facilities to provide a good coffee supply not only to the locals but also to the export market. So far, we have been expanding into different locations since the establishment was very well accepted by the current market in Tanzania.
We are the official under 10 roasters recognized by the Tanzanian coffee board. We currently have 3 locations, two in Dar es Salam and one in Zanzibar. We plan to open a second roastery in Zanzibar because of the international and local market. We are partners to different franchises to which we supply.
What is the competition like in Tanzania?
Being the first Tanzanian to own a roastery in the country, it becomes a challenge in the market because I'm competing with foreign investors. Nevertheless, the quality and service that we provide are exceptional. We, in Tanzania, have one of the best coffee that is out there in the world. As a result, not only do we compete locally but also internationally. We have several international coffee companies that come and buy coffee from us such as Starbucks and Costa. As we expand, our vision is to grow country-wide with coffee shops and also supply coffee internationally.
How did the pandemic affect your business?
I started when the virus was still out there and everybody was closing their businesses. I felt it was the best time to create a business that would entertain and give people hope in life. We started with around $2,000 worth of investment and now we are grossing over a billion shillings in revenue.
The pandemic did not affect us because we had people that always came and supported the business. We also had some that stayed back home but continued to order products from us. Tanzania always fought against the whole notion of the virus. Our late president, President Magufuli sort of denied the fact that we needed certain measures to protect ourselves. He proposed that we would rather take a different route towards the virus, focusing on keeping our immune system healthy through physical activities. He believed that if you divide and block people especially in a third-world country, people would die of starvation and the economy would suffer greatly. This helped us a lot to continue doing business. Our late president passed away as a result of heart conditions and we now have the first lady president in Tanzania. Mama Samia Suluhu, our president, has been doing an amazing job so far. She has taken a different route. She takes all extreme measures to protect our country and our people and especially with the foreign investors. Our economy has been booming and we have been doing business very comfortably. The pandemic gave us more time to grow.
Do you have an online presence?
The world is moving fast, people want everything in a click. From the first day, we established our businesses on social media. However, there are certain few drawbacks because Instagram and Facebook still don't have online shopping in Tanzania. We developed our app which you can download and place orders from anywhere. We continue to see how we can develop further and improve online sales. In Tanzania, the culture is such that everyone is still learning about the new trend and technology is not at the highest rise. People want to go out, touch and have that physical feeling of things. As a result, we have more people coming to our physical stores compared to the online platforms.
As a business owner in this industry, what is your philosophy?
I believe in providing the best quality that is available on the market. Being consistent when it comes to the quality of products we offer across different locations. Having a service that complements the quality and consistency and finally, a price that must be matched with the quality of the product.
How did you find Loyverse?
I was referred to Loyverse by a colleague of mine. Once we gave it a trial, we were satisfied and happy. Especially the part where you can see the sales reports and manage inventory. Although there are certain things that we still haven't explored yet, we have had a great experience so far and are interested in partnering with Loyverse in the future.
What advice do you have for other business owners?
It would be of course to take up Loyverse not only as a startup but also intermediate level or an expert level. I think Loyverse is an extremely friendly platform, the customer support and the right features are there for any business to use. I have personally referred Loyverse to several businesses.