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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Nandan Coffee. Mumbai, India. Founded by the Mariwala family, 3rd generation coffee growers and roasters. As told by Yahvi Mariwala, co-owner with sister Parthivi Mariwala.
All photos courtesy of Nandan Coffee.
We are third generation coffee growers and roasters! Nandan Coffee was started in the late 90s, growing and roasting specialty grade, organic coffee from our very own 40 acre estate in the Heart of the Kodaikanal Wildlife Sanctuary, Tamil Nadu, India.
Our estate & roastery has been certified organic since 2002 and we have won numerous awards for our flavor and quality. A specialty coffee far beyond its years in India, our company has been run by my grandparents and parents for over 3 decades, with my sister and I heading it since 2018. We’ve opened our very first café in October 2021 where we made the precise decision to use the Modbar – the very first in Mumbai and Second in India. Our café is located in the middle of a Bookstore – The White crow Books and Coffee – a special homage to our grandparents who loved to read, create and experiment.
We chose to use the Modbar to continue the transparency and lines of communication our customers have come to know us for over the decades. Nandan Customers have always known where there coffee comes from – and with the opening of our first café, we wanted to continue that tradition and allow them to know who makes their coffee as well. We wanted to create a space where customers feel included in the coffee brewing process, are intrigued by it – and are welcomed to ask questions and learn more! What better way to do this than the Modbar?
What made you want to open a cafe?
We always dreamt of opening a space where people can come together to not just grab a cup of coffee but immerse themselves in an experience. For us, a café is extremely special since we have been growing and roasting organic, specialty coffee at our Estate in Kodaikanal, TN (South India) for over twenty years! Opening our own café has allowed us to complete the final step to truly creating a farm to cup experience for our customers!
How would you describe the brand of your cafe?
We want to make our customers fall in love with not just the coffee, but the process behind it. Our brand is extremely simple – we let the coffee and experience speak for itself.
What equipment are you using to make coffee? Why did you choose this equipment?
For our espresso service we have a two Modbar espresso taps and a single Modbar steam tap accompanied by a Mahlkoenig E65S GBW.
For manual brewing we have a Fellow Ode Grinder, an ROK Manual Espresso, Japanese Filter Pour Overs and the ever classic French Press.
Modbar’s are extremely unique in India, we have installed the second one in the country and the first in Mumbai – Our equipment was selected to have technology come in to remove the mundane and time consuming aspects of a barista’s job, allowing for them to increase customer interaction.
It isn’t uncommon to see our regular customers or coffee curious newcomers behind our bar learning the tips and tricks of espresso making or manual brewing. For Nandan Customers, they have always known where their coffee comes from [The Nandanvan Estate], now they can see it being brewed and interact with the people brewing it!
Describe your bar or customer flow. break this down for us. how did the equipment influence the flow? or vice versa?
The equipment and flow influenced each other. We have a 360 degree open bar counter of 300 square feet, which sits in the center of a 1500 square foot curated bookstore.
The Modbar is visible not only throughout the space but to passersby outside as well. When you first enter, it’s the first thing you see. Customers are able to place their order and move freely throughout the space while watching the coffee creation process from any corner of the store due to the 300 degree open counter set up.
Describe the location/demographics of the area where you opened. Why did you choose this area?
Our 300sq. ft coffee bar is a center island in a 1500 sq ft curated bookshop. We’re located in the most premium and sought after shopping Malls in the city with office space surrounding it.
Location was a strategic move to bring in people looking for an escape from the chaos of shopping or work. The bookstore has no doors allowing for a free movement of people (and aroma of coffee) to spread through the space.
What’s one thing that makes your cafe special?
Our commitment to quality coffee, transparency and customer service!
Unlike other coffee concept stores, the coffee bar isn’t pushed in a corner or isolated, rather it is the center of the space really inviting people into having a unique coffee experience!