By Liltera Williams
Whether at daybreak or nightfall, coffee is a must-have for almost everyone in Kuwait. It’s not unusual to see coffee-drinkers strolling around in public areas with the carefully sealed containers that hold their preferred caffeinated drink of choice inside, no matter the occasion. Coffee venues are everywhere, and some of the most popular names are even doubled up in certain neighborhoods, a few feet away from each other. The demand is just that high. So, how can a budding entrepreneur with an interest in serving this particular market offer a unique advantage when it comes to pleasing coffee-loving customers? By selling a 100% organic version and providing a healthy yet flavorful taste for them to experience, of course.
At Made Caffé, an authentic brand and the most recent coffee ‘stop’ in town, all products are made and served fresh daily, from the liquid blends to the baked goods. Stationed right near the entrance of the Al Salam Mall in Salmiya, en route to the newest LuLu Hypermarket location, shoppers can’t help but pause to acknowledge the unconventional layout. With cushioned couch seating surrounding the stand and a cozy nesting spot right underneath the escalator for writers and readers alike, it’s the perfect pit-stop, before, during, after or lack thereof a shopping trip. Learn more about Made Caffé below, via an interview with owner Haitham Shaban, and be sure to give it a try whenever you get tired of drinking the same ol’ espresso mix.
What is the significance of the name Made Caffé?
I wanted to depict the concept of making things, whether home-made or made with love. I wasn’t quite sure about the name until it dawned on me that it was a combination of my two sons’ names, which only sealed the deal!
Coffee is literally a hot commodity in Kuwait. Why did you decide to start a business within such a competitive industry?
Yes, we love our coffee here. I knew in order to succeed that the coffee would have to be of superior quality, and I wanted to introduce tasty organic coffee to the market at competitive prices.
How is organic coffee prepared? What type of ingredients are included?
It is prepared the same way as ordinary mainstream coffee but is free of pesticides, herbicides, chemical additives and toxic substances.
What are the benefits of drinking 100% organic coffee?
Knowing that the coffee you are drinking is 100% organic means you can enjoy the taste of coffee without the toxins. In addition, because the farming method in an organic coffee plantation is sustainable, it is an eco-friendly, guilt-free way of drinking coffee. The certifications for organic coffee are strict, which means the soil and the water are pure and free from genetic engineering or ionized radiation. All these factors, and more, come into place.
What other kinds of exclusive products do you offer?
Our coffee ‘stop’ includes freshly made sandwiches and desserts and original items like chocolate-chip and vanilla cookies and loafs, such as Nutella, chocolate and lemon-cranberry.
Was the Al Salam Mall your top selection for setup? How does the location play a part in your expectations for attracting frequent customers?
It was the best location given the availability—particularly having LuLu Hypermarket inside the mall. Shoppers get to ‘stop’ before they get their supermarket shopping done. In addition, there are many boutiques and shops in the mall, so tired shoppers can plonk down on the couches and enjoy a cup of coffee before they head back home.
What specific challenges did you face during the process of developing your vision?
There are the typical challenges one faces when investing in the food and beverage industry, such as finding a location and the right people to collaborate with, as well as interior decoration. However, it is the bureaucratic process that is most frustrating. It hinders the flow of the process and what could have been done in a shorter time-span is dragged out into a long-drawn task.
What was your overall strategy, from the beginning concept(s) to the final presentation?
I want to emphasize the fact that mostly everything is hand “made”. The cookies and loafs are made in our kitchens. The organic coffee-bean is hand-picked and “made” into organic coffee. And the catchy name reflects the nature of our business. Look for the stamp ‘Made with love’ on our items. You can’t miss it!
Be sure to follow @MadeCaffe on Instagram.
(All Photos by Photographer DrixLe Pixel)