Cafe Case Study: Haven, Annecy, France

Modbar - 07.26.19

This post is another in our Cafe Case Study series. We interview cafe owners to learn about the vision behind their space and then ask them a bit about the equipment they chose and why they made that decision.

Use these case studies as inspiration for your own cafe dreams or simply to get a behind the scenes look at some beautiful coffee spaces around the world.

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The Details:

Haven. Annecy, France. Opened 22 June 2019. Co-founded by Alexandre (33) and Julie Schmitt (32). As told by Alexandre Schmitt.

All photos courtesy of Thibault Copleux.

Interior Design/Architecture by Eskis


What made you want to open a cafe?

We discovered specialty coffee in Australia during our wedding trip, we worked in a beautiful coffee shop in Perth and discovered how coffee could be way better than the one we have daily in France.

How would you describe the brand of your cafe?

It’s a tribute to Australia. We came back inspired by all the best products and meals and of course the coffee culture. Coffee is both a place to share and to work in Australia, a place for everyone, where kids are welcome and everyone can find a drink or a meal that could fit their diet and life.

What equipment are you using to make coffee? Why did you choose this equipment?

We are using the Modbar AV system, the best coffee machine we have ever seen. The under the counter system is perfect to explain specialty coffee and share a special moment with new and returning customers. Without the coffee machine between the barista and the customer, the whole experience is about exchanges, a conversation about coffee. The design of this machine is amazing and most important, the espresso we extract is amazing. One roaster was amazed by a double ristretto we served him. Even after 3 years of selling his coffee in the nicest places around the nearby lake and 3-star restaurants, he never had a better extraction. We are proudly working with Fabien, from Le Panier à Café, who was awarded second-best roaster in France this year. We discovered Modbar in Melbourne at Industry Beans during our trip. It was so different, you can’t find a better extraction and a better design in our opinion!

Describe your bar or customer flow. break this down for us. how did the equipment influence the flow? or vice versa?

Every customer stands by the Modbar and watches us work. We were not expecting the counter to be such an exchange place. Coffee is important in France and specialty coffee is so different from our bitter habits. With the Modbar and the way we created the counter, it is very easy to show the respect we have for the whole process in extracting the best espresso we can.

Describe the location/demographics of the area where you opened. Why did you choose this area?

We’ve chosen to open in Annecy, one of the best towns in the French Alps, a small city between a lake and mountains. Last year we had 3 000 000 tourists who came to visit. During the summer season, you can enjoy the lake, and in the winters we have lots of ski stations around. Being close to Switzerland helps, thanks to this and the touristic places nearby, we are located in a very nice area. There is always something to do one Annecy, with lots of festival and outdoor sports it’s a busy city with lots of travelers.

What’s one thing that makes your cafe special?

The whole atmosphere. Between woods, nature, plants, and modern designs. From the customer’s point of view: people feel calm and in a positive and natural atmosphere, the vibes seem very positive.
They are here to travel and have a rest. A quiet place inspiring travel, this is Haven. A quiet place for everyone, where people can travel for coffee or food and of course with our whole team happy to serve and chat. All of our waiters and staff have traveled a lot and have lots to share about their experiences. Everyone can speak English and welcome our worldwide customers.


Interested in connecting with the Haven team to learn more?

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