Khabar Khair (Only Good News) – Fatma Rashad
Recently, cafés have spread in most of Yemen’s governorates for coffee drinking, and the labels of cafés in Yemen are not devoid of foreign names except for a few of them named after Arab names.
Cafés are among the successful businesses in Yemen at the present time, due to its increasing demand from different segments of society, especially women who prefer to sit in private places where they find more privacy.
Women Investing in Coffee Shops
Yemeni women tend to work and invest in various fields, and they finally invested in the field of cafés.
From Sana’a, which is the first governorate in which cafés were opened for Yemeni women, Dalia Muhammad Al-Mazna’i, owner of Haddah Women’s Club, told “Khabar Khair” (Only Good News), “A café was especially opened for women, and it is a kind of investment that Yemeni women have entered”.
Dalia continues, “We provide multiple services through this investment. Yes, we opened a café, a small wedding hall, a gym and a restaurant, in which we provide distinguished services that Yemeni women need. It is intended for them to find their comfort. All we want is the woman to feel home when she enters it”.
From Unemployment to Dose Café
Mira Al-Habashi and Suhad were able to open a café business in Aden, and move into the world of trade and investment.
Mira said, “The main idea was not about opening a café, but it was a business between my friend and I in which we invest our time in particular after we graduated from university and could not find any jobs, and during the search for the right business, we were looking for a place to sit and see how to plan for our future, and from there, we came up with the idea of a café to be a place that brings us together and where we work as well”.
Mira continues her talk to “Khabar Khair” (Only Good News), by saying, “The café is for women, starting from the staff to the coupons, and we have a self-service, which creates an interaction between us and the customer (the buyer), we talk to women and know what they like, and our relationship with them is strengthened so that they feel that they are in their home, as they call us, the second home”.
Mira Al-Habashi says, “We are constantly renewing the menu, as it has been replenished more than five times, and we have a new drink every year, and what distinguishes Doze Café is that it has special drinks in the name of Doze, exclusively for us, in which we compete with other cafés”.
Businesses that Support Mocha (coffee) Yemen
Economist Omar Al-Hayani had a view on the café businesses that are opened in Yemen. He said, “Yemen lacks businesses to support coffee shops, even though Yemen is the home of the world-famous Yemeni coffee Mocha, and unfortunately even the Mocha brand has been acquired globally by companies serving coffee drinking services”.
Al-Hayani added, “Such projects, which should be of the same international specifications and quality, will generate huge income for the country and for internal and external tourism, and will work to increase the area planted with Yemeni coffee, while at the same time restoring Yemen’s global position as an exporter and producer of the global mocha coffee”.
He said, “These businesses will also help a lot in eliminating unemployment in addition to modernizing the streets in Yemen”.
Cafés are places of rest, a calm atmosphere and a different experience from the restaurant system. They target all segments of society and are highly appreciated by university students and middle-income groups, as they are the most popular groups for cafés.
Most of the cafés offer fast food, French sweets, waffles and crepes, pancakes, cheesecakes, molten cakes, hot and cold drinks, and all barista sections.
Coffee Shop Machines
One of the main equipment for opening a café, which is the backbone of any business, and any café business owner must choose it very carefully, lies in two types: main equipment, and supporting equipment for the project. The equipment are espresso machine, ice maker, ice blender, coffee grinder, barista tools and coffee maker, American and display fridge along with a juice maker. These are the most important equipment and machines that the café is equipped with after choosing the place and decorating it with the appropriate decoration.
Muhammed Abdullah (one of the importers of café equipment and products) told “Khabar Khair” (Only Good News), “I entered this field in a short period of time, not exceeding two years, because I recently found a strong demand to open coffee shops, so I started providing the equipment and importing the products required”.
Muhammed added, “We bring most of the café equipment from abroad, in order to meet the desire of shop owners, and there are shop owners who bring it by themselves”.
Marmo Café for psychological and intellectual advancement
Marwan Ali Mafraq is the owner of Marmo Café which has a hall equipped for holding courses and seminars.
Marwan told “Khabar Khair” (Only Good News), “Marmo Café was opened in mid-2017, and the demand for it is still great, and its patrons are often families, intellectuals and journalists. And when the café opened, there was no such spread of cafés in Aden, so we found the opportunity to introduce a new activity in the city and create a beautiful and pleasant atmosphere for people”.
He added, “Most of the cafés offer the same types, especially the drinks. In Marmo, we offer some meals in addition to the drinks”.
Marwan continues, saying, “Currently, due to the situation, we aspire to preserve the business, add new varieties and improve the general level of the café”.
One of the pioneers of cafés, Muhammad Naguib, says, “What I prefer about the café is that it is close to home, internet service is available, and the place is quiet, which helps me accomplish my work”.
The opinion is shared by Rosa Muhammad, who asserts that when the café is quiet, she can study, as she spends most of her time in it, being able to review her lectures calmly.
Like any project, it must encounter difficulties and obstacles, and this was confirmed by Mira (owner of Dose Café), Marwan (owner of Marmo Café), Café de la Vie and others, as they unanimously agreed that the varying exchange rates and their rise in the face of the decline in the local currency impede their work, thus they continue despite the pitfalls that get in their way.