“We wish there could be less Taverns selling alcohol and more coffee shops selling coffee.”
This is the hope of Chris Bangira who believes that if this were the case in Cape Town’s oldest township, it would make a difference in the lives of the youth living there.
In September of 2016, Chris and his partner, Bulumko Govuza, established Langa’s first coffee shop which you will find at the Guga S’thebe Arts and Cultural Centre on Washington Street.
It goes by the name of ‘Kaffa Hoist’ and Chris explains how they came to settle on this title, “Before it was called Ethiopia it was called the Kingdom of Kaffa. Coffee was founded in the Kingdom of Kaffa. In Africa coffee is happening, it’s not just for the international coffee drinker, so the name is a way of introducing it.”
The hatch to this caffeinated oasis opened last year but the ball was set in motion in 2014 when the couple first registered the business. They had dreamt of opening a coffee shop but it was quite a bumpy road getting there.
“Our aim was to start a coffee shop but we had to start off with trading at markets. Unfortunately, we couldn’t go to the busier markets because they were already full. So, we went to the Khayelitsha market and sold pancakes there to raise money to buy a coffee machine. We did a few other markets but most of them were a loss because we had to travel far and the sales were small. We did that until we found this spot.”
With a boost in Township tourism and the Guga S’thebe Arts and Cultural Centre being one of the highlights of the tour, they saw a gap to plant a café there that would not only serve the tourists but more importantly the local residents too. With that in mind, a cup of filter coffee goes for 10 bucks while the fancier flat whites and americano’s are competitively priced to what one would find in the CBD.
When asked what the response has been from his neighbours Chris says it has been a challenge since the working class goes to work and by the time they get back to their neighbourhood the café is already closed. In the pipeline are plans to open another café and a bakery at the station which may allow Langa residents to enjoy a cuppa joe on the go. There are also plans to extend up north to Maboneng.
“We have many projects we want to implement as we grow. We’re working on our own roaster and would love to have our own instant coffee one day.”
At the moment, the team is using Deluxe coffee. Chris says he loves working with Deluxe not only because the coffee is great but also because they were one of the few coffee suppliers who deliver. Other people were worried about the ‘crime’ in Langa and weren’t keen on delivering.
To keep an eye on where Kaffa Hoist is headed next follow them on twitter here.