06/06/2017 by Edwin Pangestu 0 Comments
Living the Classic Urban Tale
A group of friends who share the same love of teamed up to open a coffee shop. I wish the story were that simple.
Admit it, we’ve had similar kind of dream at some point in our lives. I’m speaking to you, millenials. And if you plan to start your own coffee shop business, here’s a story you should hear. It’s from the people who’s been there and done that, or should I say, still there, still doing that. It’s a story of Muhammad Aga, Rendy Mahesa, and Cindy Herlin Marta and their place, Coffeesmith.
The beginning is a bit cliché. Rendy and Cindy were coffee hoppers. Whenever they saw a coffee shop, they would be there until one day, destiny interfered and they bump into Muhammad Aga who was working at a coffee shop in Fatmawati, South Jakarta. “We met but never involved in direct conversation. At that time, Rendy was really into (manual) brewing and want to brew his own coffee at home. I wanted to give him brewing tools as present, but I didn’t have any ideas, so I ask Aga for recommendation. He even taught us the brewing method. This was in 2013,” recalled Cindy.
At that time, Aga was still new in this so called “third wave coffee” and he hadn’t got this “rockstar barista” status that he has today from winning some competitions and starring in the movie “Filosofi Kopi”. As the relationship became more intense, they decided to start planning a coffee shop in the future because, according to Cindy, at that time, they still need a lot to learn. The three began working in F&B business to gain deeper knowledge, and they also started to delegate the roles among themselves. “Aga is responsible for the roasting and operational, while Rendy takes care of the design and branding. I’m more to the marketing side, collaborations, back office, finance and stuffs. Actually, it’s a bit like left-over role, probably because I’m the only woman here,” she laughed.
What sets Coffeesmith apart from other coffee shops, is that they’re willing to spend more times to prepare, we’re talking about 2-3 years. Coffeesmith also concerned about having a direct relationship with the coffee farmers. “In 2015, there’s only a few coffee shop which sourced the bean directly from the farmers. Until now, 80% of our bean is directly sourced,” said Cindy.
Finally, in June 2015, Coffeesmith opened for the first time. “Even though we have 3 different roles, we have the same basic core, we all know how to operate coffee machine, how to do the manual brewing, quality control, etc. We’re not the type of people who love to put our money in other people to run our business in the beginning,” said Cindy.
Coffeesmith is also highly engaged with its customers. In fact, most of its customers are regulars. “We provide the second floor with more seats, because we already have bar and coffee roaster at the first floor. Somehow, the customers prefer the crowded first floor; they want to see the brewing process, to chat. In here customers are not kings, they’re families. We can even teach them how to brew the coffee,” said Cindy.