What a joy to know that we are still discovering new coffee places every damn day. Just look at this stunning brand with big plans! We chatted to Stephan Bredell of Plato Coffee.
How did Plato Coffee come to exist?
I initially had the idea to start a mobile concept, specifically a tricycle (like the wheelys café concept). So in the beginning of 2017 I built a bike, but never really got it off the ground as I was and still am full-time employed and also realised that SA don’t necessarily have the same walking/cycling culture as in Europe. At the end of 2018, fed up with not getting the thing off the ground in my off-time, I approached my younger brother to help me get this dream off the ground. The new concept was built out of a container and we literally took a year to get the perfect spot for it (and to get through some red tape - Petrus worked really hard to just get all the license through) and we opened our doors in Irene on the 7th of December 2019.
Who are the people behind the brand?
So I do all the social media and marketing stuff as I have very limited time, my wife Corlia (@endless.grace on Instagram) takes all our photos for our social media channels and my brother Petrus who basically runs the whole of Plató by himself - he manages the baristas, ordering of stock, payroll etc..basically everything that’s keeping Plato running
What coffee do you use?
We use a Central American and Central African blend that a good friend of ours roast for us. It is still very small setup, but we're looking into expanding and setting up a proper roastery once we hit 10 shops.
What do you have planned for the future? We saw a sneak preview online of a cool idea for parks/outdoor spaces?
So we believe that if you can sell Quality coffee, consistency, you create hubs for communities to grow and people to engage with one another. The shop in Irene really brought the whole Irene community together where everyone is getting involved in getting the Irene Concentration Camp Memorial up to get it to its former glory (people are sponsoring trees, looking after the garden, offering paving services and making donations to the Heritage Council) We also think people aren’t necessarily going to flock back to the shopping centres once lockdown is over, so we’re looking to expand into more parks, nature reserves, office parks and estates. We recently also opened a shop in Rustenburg and are looking to add another 5 shops in the next 6 months or so, we already have 2 lined up for the next 3 months
What do you think makes your brand stand out?
I would like to think that our brand and colours really stand out from the crowd. It almost feels a bit “softer” where the trend was very steampunk and industrial vibes with dark steel and wood the last couple of years. I almost wanted to create a brand that was more neutral and minimal. People love our branded cups as well, especially the “pink” one (it’s actually more salmon I think..haha) As far as I know, we are also the only company who has different colour cups for different sizes. (I might be wrong, just never seen it before) We also don’t use the normal short, tall and grande, but opted just for small, medium and large cups, but people no longer order in sizes at our shops anyway, they will ask “can I please have a cappuccino in a pink cup please” We also have bigger versions of a cortado and a flat white, with the same ratios. (Socrates - 4 x Ristretto shots in a 500ml cup with micro foam - same ratio as a Flat white), Plato - 3 x Ristretto shots in a 350ml cup with micro foam - also same ratio as a flat white) and then we have an Aristotle which is basically a big Cortado - 3 x Ristretto shots in a 250ml cup with micro foam. You will also see on our menu that we break up exactly how our drinks are made.
Where can our readers find you?