Saint James Cafe, Observatory, Cape Town
How did the Saint James Cafe team get into the coffee business?
Three friends saw a corner spot open up, just down the road from where they live in Observatory and knew there was a gap in the market for good coffee served in a well-designed space.
Tell us about your coffee and how you went about choosing what was best for your customers.
We sampled the offerings of several local roasters but in the end decided to go with Noan’s brother in law who started the Stellenbosch branch of Wings Coffee Roasters earlier that year. We realised that the long term value in being able to work very closely with our roaster would enable us to provide them with feedback that would ultimately improve the experience for our customers and help us learn a lot more about the coffee we are serving our customers. We are currently serving a blend made up of Rwandan and Brazilian beans. A complex body, low acidity and a complimentary sweetness. This blend is perfect for what our customers are currently demanding.
We also use a Moccamaster to serve some very exciting single origins in the form of batch brew coffee.
What defines your vibe?
Warm, well designed space with an eclectic mix of people, music, art and lots of greenery.
Tell us a little known and unexpected fact about owning a cafe.
Three owners with very different personalities and skill sets makes for an amazing melting pot of ideas and strategies.
What has been your best moment so far on this journey?
Seeing the physical manifestation of something that was merely a concept/idea. Having a customer leave the premises with a truly great experience of the coffee and the space.
Describe one of your favourite regular customers that make up the fabric of your cafe community.
A local that lives in our street comes in every morning, gives the barista a nudge, handshakes and smiles are exchanged (he knows everyone including all three owners by name) ,by the time this is done his coffee is ready and waiting for him to start his day. This guy has become a friend and he is one of many.
What’s the one reason people should visit your cafe (other than the coffee, of course!)
Definitely our friendly staff and unique ambiance!