I Love Coffee

Contact Information
Project sponsor name and title:                                                  Gary Hopkins
Main contact phone number:                                                      +27 (0) 82 575 14 93
Main contact email:                                                                     gary@ilovecoffee.co.za
Preferred meeting location during the week:                              103 Garfield Rd, Claremont, Cape Town, 7708

Company Information
Company name:                                                                         I Love Coffee
Company sector/ industry:                                                         Food and Drink
Year of establishment:                                                                2016
Company website:                                                                      www.ilovecoffeegroup.co.za/
Number of employees:                                                               40

Brief company overview:
I love coffee is one of South Africa’s leading artisanal roasted coffee suppliers, where the coffee is roasted, brewed and served by the Deaf and hard of hearing community. Its purpose is to drive positive change by providing employment, training and opportunities for integration to disadvantaged individuals, in a country where 70% to 80% of deaf people are unemployed.

Project Information
Project title: Promoting global expansion and sustainability of I Love Coffee
Overall project description:

Today I Love Coffee Group has 8 sites in Cape Town and 4 in London, with ambitions to expand their presence in London. They are also looking to mobilise additional income generating activities, namely through increasing traffic to the flagship café in Cape Town and via their new Training Academy.

Your mentor: Karabo Makgoane



Project Focus Area 1: Business expansion to the UK

I Love Coffee provides Deaf baristas services to 4 WeWork offices in Central London

  • Explore the practical requirements of scaling to other corporate locations in the UK
  • Access funding to open and roastery and one public café in the UK
  • Develop a social franchise model in the UK

Supporting resources:

  • Access to management in South Africa
  • Access to UK partner organization In Sign Language
  • Desk space and WiFi at our central hub café in Cape Town



Project Focus Area 2: Income Generation and Partnerships

A number of companies currently offer hospitality training in Cape Town.

1. Training is offered by companies (e.g. Silwood; Capiscum; TVET colleges; Sense of Taste and accredited by either

a)     Local bodies (SETA/QCTO)

b)     International bodies (Highfield/SCA)

2. Non-accredited

Both professional and home barista/ roasting/ cupping courses by local roasters (e.g. Origin, Truth, etc), others specialized in providing training to the hospitality industry (such as Shaker). In addition, there are a few non-profit companies/ social enterprises offering either barista and/or hospitality training (e.g. National Institute for the Deaf (NID); Learn to Earn; Spectrum Kitchen)

The team will (1) develop a database and mapping of the various “competitors” to I Love Coffee, (2) with a neutral eye, analyse the communalities and differences in their business model and offering, in order to (3) define in the clearest possible way what is or could be I Love Coffee’s competitive edge / positioning (4) identify funding / revenue streams