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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Mlsnacava. Banská Bystrica, Slovakia.
What made you want to open a cafe?
We have 10 years of experience in coffee and in those years we’ve traveled the world. Collaborating with many professionals and companies in different segments of the coffee industry, though for me it’s a craft, not an industry.
In recent years, we started to roast specialty coffee, we mainly buy directly from farmers. We sell our coffee to dozens of cafes around Slovakia.
Though we understood we were missing that connection with the end-user, the person drinking our coffee. We wanted to prepare and serve people on a daily basis, in our hometown. So when we found the perfect place for our own cafe, we took the opportunity. Our cafe is situated in the town’s historic farmers market.
How would you describe the brand of your cafe?
The name of our cafe is a combination of two words. The name of our roastery is Mlsnacava and also the Slovakian equivalent of the word “place”.
Even Mlsnacava is a play on words. It metaphorically means that our coffee is delicious. So the idea of our brand and cafe is that it is a place with delicious coffee.
Describe the location/demographics of the area where you opened. Why did you choose this area?
As I have stated, our cafe is located in town’s farmers market, which has been rebuild in recent months. It is located in the oldest part of town, which was built in the 15th century. Banská Bystrica, was a historically very important town, because of its gold, silver, and copper mines.
Our town used to ship gold through Venice, Italy to the rest of the world. These days, it is an important tourist area. The town is small, with circa 70,000-80,000 inhabitants, many of the local people come to the market on a daily basis.
There is also an amazing university in town, with many faculties and a young student demographic.
What equipment are you using to make coffee? Why did you choose this equipment?
We decided to install the Modbar in our cafe for a variety of reasons. The technical aspect, it’s effective, efficient, and precise. Also, the design, we love the contrast of a minimalist and modern touch in the middle of a really historic area. Further, our cafe is small, coming in at just 23 square meters. We didn’t want an espresso machine dominating the space.
Lastly, we wanted to present coffee in a really transparent way. Modbar allows our customers to really see the whole process of preparation, every single cup.
That is the key element for our cafe. Communicating the entire process of preparation and beyond.
Describe your bar or customer flow. break this down for us. how did the equipment influence the flow? or vice versa?
Our space is small with 6 seats inside, and 12 outside. Though as we speak, the farmers market is installing community seating outside.
The Modbar is in the middle of our space, this way customers can easily get a take-away coffee without disturbing the comfort of customers seated inside.
We also focus on the cleanliness of the entire coffee preparation process. It’s of course the standard but further, needs to be a constant priority in an open brewing space. Allowing customers to enjoy the view and process without limitations.
For this reason, our tamping station and grinders are placed on a different counter, about 60 cm from the Modbar. The aim is to not spoil the design. That was a learning curve as we didn’t want to compromise the flow, but I can happily say it works rather well. This also makes the grinder station visible, once again pushing the transparency aim during each preparation step.
Our customers become curious, ask questions. It creates a great “open” for dialogue, we love to dive into all the details and speak about our vision of coffee with them.
What’s one thing that makes your cafe special?
Modbar, for sure! Nobody has seen it in Slovakia. The design, style, and elegance. It’s simply the key element.