Q&A with Ikigai Coffee Bar & Deli

We spent 5 minutes with our TallOrder POS client Elandi Coetzee, co-owner of Ikigai Coffee Bar & Deli in Swellendam and Riversdale. She gives her opinion on how the coffee culture in SA has changed, the trends she’s seeing and advice for aspiring coffee shop owners.

What is the story of Ikigai?

Ikigai originated in the small town of Riversdale and started off as just a little halfway stop for travellers where they can enjoy good speciality coffee on the road. We have since expanded to Swellendam and looking to open up another one soon. It is a family business owned by two sisters who have always had a dream to open their own coffee shop. Ikigai is a Japanese concept meaning a reason to get up in the morning. One’s purpose.

Why open an Artisan Coffee bar in a small town?

Coffee culture in SA has grown tremendously but most artisanal and speciality coffee shops are in the cities. As coffee lovers and travellers we have always looked for spots with good coffee between Cape Town and P.E, but realized that options were few. So we decided to give it a go and bring a little bit of Cape Town to the countryside and opened our first shop in Riversdale. A good halfway point for travellers and an alternative option to most commercial take away spots. We wanted to bring a cosy, commitment-free venue where everyone can feel comfortable on the road.

What are the trends in the coffee culture that you’ve noticed?

As a coffee shop owner, I have noticed that people are seeking out cafés with healthier and more functional options. Together with food, they want a more ‘pure’ coffee option. More speciality, less commercial. People want to know where their coffee and beans come from. They want to add a personal story to it which adds more value to their experience. Wanting more out of their coffee, than just coffee.

Has coffee culture changed in the last few years?

In my personal opinion it has shifted from quantity to quality. It’s not about the bottomless coffee anymore, but rather a small single pour coffee where the flavour is most important. Getting your coffee fix has become a social affair and goes hand in hand with different design aspects.

Why do you think coffee shops need a quality cloud Point of Sale?

In today’s fast-paced environment, coffee on the go is essential. So having a POS which is fast, efficient and provides quick and convenient payment methods is important for not only customer service but business growth.
Having access to sales and reports in real time and not having to worry about planning and calculating manually takes away the possibility of human error.

Advice for aspiring coffee shop owners?

It’s not just about food and drinks. Interior, design, and appearance also play a major role in getting customers through your door. Focus on customer experience and the rest will follow.

Check them out on social media:

Facebook: Ikigai- Artisan Coffee Bar & Deli

Instagram: Ikigai Coffee Bar & Deli