In July 2012 a group of entrepreneurs – Vuyile Msaku, Vusumzi Mamile and Wongama Baleni – started the first coffee shop in Khayelitsha, a township about 30km from central Cape Town.
The plan for a coffee shop was born from the desire to do something no-one else was doing. Businesses such as barber shops, laundries and car washes are highly competitive in Khayelitsha.
The Department of Coffee is situated close to the Khayelitsha train station, and targets the thousands of commuters passing by every day.
The coffee shop was initially funded by the Ministry of Service Delivery, an impact investment company.
“The reason why I wanted to do a business in Khayelitsha was because people from Khayelitsha go and work in Cape Town. They get paid in Cape Town. Then they go and spend that money in Cape Town. So, the economy of Khayelitsha doesn’t grow,” says Baleni.
Watch i am youngpreneur’s video on the Department of Coffee below.