Molweni Coffee: the perfect blend of caffeine and enthusiasm Molweni Coffee: the perfect...

Molweni Coffee: the perfect blend of caffeine and enthusiasm


12 Oct, 2021
someone making a cuppacino

When you stop at Molweni Coffee, there are three things you’re guaranteed to get: great coffee, excellent service and a smile. With every cup of coffee he serves, Monde Bulala’s passion for his business shines through.

“I started working as a barista years ago,” says Monde. “At first it was just a job, but it grew into a passion that inspired me to become an entrepreneur.”

The switch from working for others to working for himself came with its own set of fears that Monde had to overcome. “[Starting my own business] was a big step, and it came with a lot of fear and doubt,” he explains. By believing in himself, Monde was able to dispel those fears and start his business. Now the coffee-enthusiast runs Molweni Coffee from a container in the heart of the Cape Town CBD.

Read more: 10 side hustle ideas you can turn into a small business

We caught up with the entrepreneur to learn more about his business journey, and find out what sets Molweni Coffee apart. 

Monde Bulala serving two Molweni Coffee customers

What inspired you to name your business ‘Molweni Coffee’?

The name is inspired by the culture of ubuntu, community and sharing I strive to create. The name ‘Molweni’ is meaningful to me because it’s a greeting people use when they meet one another in the morning, often over coffee.

Tell us a bit about your business journey. How did you turn your idea into a fully-fledged business? 

My journey started while I was still working for someone else. Over the years, I developed the belief that I was good at what I was doing. I realised I could run my own business because I understood the service and the products involved. I knew what people wanted. During lockdown last year, I finally decided to act on my idea. When most restaurants and coffee shops closed, I saw the opportunity to start my own one.

You’re operating your business from a container in the middle of the Cape Town CBD. What inspired you to operate from a container?

In the township, people run many small businesses from containers because it’s cheaper. For me, the idea of creating a coffee shop in a container in the centre of Cape Town was unique. I thought it would make a great environment for my business. People haven’t run a coffee shop from a container like this before.

An outside view of the red and yellow container that Molweni Coffee operates from.

You also offer a drive-through service. Tell us more about how that works?

In the CBD, most people are rushing in the morning. They want coffee, but they don’t want to park far away. At Molweni Coffee, cars can drive down the one-way street we are situated on, pull over and hoot for coffee. I’m always happy to bring their coffee to their car, and they can be on their way in minutes.

Cape Town has a strong coffee culture. What do you do to attract new customers, and make sure they come back again? 

I focus on my service, the quality of my products, and providing consistency in the overall Molweni experience. It’s important for me to keep my customers excited, and ensure they look forward to coming back.

Read more: How to build rapport with your customers to increase sales

What has the response been like from your customers?

The response has been great. People love the coffee I serve, and they appreciate the service. People love Molweni Coffee. It’s an authentic South African coffee experience. People love supporting small startups, and my business is a great inspiration for many young South Africans, especially those coming from my background. 

A customer stopping at Molweni Coffee

Why did you decide to incorporate SnapScan into your business?

SnapScan is quicker to use, convenient for customers, and particularly appealing in a Covid-19 world, where people don’t want to touch anything to make their payments. It’s a really smart idea and most of my customers are familiar with it.

What are the next steps for Molweni Coffee? 

I’d like to expand eventually, but the most important goal for me right now is to build Molweni as a business, and give it time to grow organically. I want to continue improving my service, and ensure that I always offer a consistent product and experience for my customers.

Get a taste of Molweni Coffee by visiting Monde on Dorman Street in Gardens, Cape Town.

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Written by

Megan is a Content Strategist at SnapScan, with a book-buying habit that is spiraling out of control.

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