A people-focused coffee space situated in the Northern suburbs, bringing back the culture of connecting with one another, the old-fashioned way. Having no access to Wi-Fi, getting together over a cup of coffee and creating relationships with one another is the vibe.
How the journey started?
Pieter’s interest for coffee got sparked early on, when he served as a youth leader at Hillsong Church. The church opened a café where he and his group of boys, started volunteering on the coffee team and serving coffee to the people coming to church.
In the year 2014, he was attending the Encounter Conference, where he served on the coffee team again. During this time of attending the Conference, Pieter got approached by two people individually, suggesting that he should start a coffee shop.
Pieter and his wife moved to the Boston area recently in this time, just down the road from where Boston Coffee is situated currently. Prior to the Encounter Conference taking place, Pieter and his wife walked up to the video shop situated in Cleveland street the one afternoon. This is where Pieter saw that the property next door and around the corner was being renovated. The space around the corner was being renovated, as a barber shop was going to open its door. As he was checking out the space, he got the details for the property at the same time.
That evening, Pieter’s wife emailed the person(s) responsible for the property, sending a proposal for wanting to move her nail salon into the space but wanting to do something else in conjunction with it. At this stage, not knowing what it’ll be. The following day, Pieter came home from the Encounter Conference wanting to suggest his idea about opening a coffee space to his wife. Before he could suggest the idea to her, she came up to him and said that they should open a coffeeshop with the nail salon.
That evening his wife emailed the owners, presenting the idea of wanting to open a coffeeshop in conjunction with the nail salon, where they received the ‘go-ahead’ immediately. This happened the Saturday. The Sunday, Pieter placed an advertisement on gumtree, for selling his Mobile Car Wash business. By the Monday, his business was sold and he used the money to open Boston Coffee.
In the beginning…
As Boston Coffee started out, it was much smaller than it is now, as the nail salon took up the other half of the space. Pieter started out with only having a coffee machine and a grinder, as he knew that he would be selling coffee. The first year, Pieter did everything himself; from making the coffee to making milkshakes as the menu grew overtime by adding food items.
His focus with the coffee shop, is to create a space where one can come spend their time relaxing and connecting with one another. You will not find waiter’s running around, as Pieter wants to connect with his customers personally, therefor you’ll need to place your order at the counter. The core focus for the coffee shop, is to bring the culture back where it’s a space to connect with one another, excluding modern normalities such as; having no access to Wi-Fi and not doing table bookings.
After a year passed, Boston Coffee moved into the other half, creating a bigger space. The menu expanded by having food options, and Pieter started roasting his own coffee for the coffee shop. They offer 5 different types of sandwiches, which is their specialty, as well as 3 types of breakfasts. Their sourdough scrambled has been the most popular so far.
The logo was inspired by a tree standing tall in the park across from the coffee shop. Pieter and Yusriy (one of his crew members), was standing outside the one morning, where they came to a realization that this specific tree was blocking their view from the mountains. Yusriy then drew up the design and the logo was born.
Th Interior of Boston Coffee:
As Boston Coffee started out, Pieter didn’t have a specific concept in mind. Mostly everything in the coffee shop, is either hand built or given by customers.
Pieter is open the new things every day, and doesn’t stick to the same thing. He likes changing things up, so that the customers can always have something to look forward to the next time they come by for a cup of coffee. If something works, they keep it; if it does not work, they try something else.
You will find chairs from a science laboratory, shelves built out of old wooden crates and hand-built tables. The black-board drawings are done by Yusriy, the barista of Boston Coffee. The current mural on the white wall, was done by a lady living in the neighbourhood. She visited Boston Coffee, and saw the white empty wall and saw the potential it had. She suggested to Pieter that she can do a mural and he was so keen for it.
Boston coffee doesn’t cater for a specific target market, as they have something for every age and generation. You will find board games on the tables, suitable for all ages. Children from primary schools up to people from the old-age home pops in regularly.
Coffee and Roasting of Coffee:
Boston Coffee roast their own coffee in a 3kg roaster that’s been built by family and friends. Pieter’s brother is a tool maker and so is one of his friends. They got together, and built their own roaster which is used to roast the beans being used in the coffeeshop.
Pieter taught himself the skills of roasting. He started out by roasting beans in a popcorn machine and used every opportunity presented to learn. He does not make use of any computers or systems when roasting, he goes on his gut feeling and the top of his head. This keeps things interesting, as there is a constant change in the taste of the coffee. Pieter used to roast just outside the coffeeshop, but due to the roaster not having an extraction system, it smokes a lot which is not convenient for customers.
Boston Coffee roasts once or twice a week, depending on the demand. He will roast any origin he can get his hand on through the supplier. He roasts between 30kg to 40kg of beans at a time. Boston Coffee has invested into a 6kg roaster recently, which will be used to roast in the shop. The beans roasted in this roaster, will allow for the selling of beans and distributing the Boston Coffee brand.
The blend used daily is called the Dagbreek. It consists of a Brazil, Columbia, Uganda as well as an Ethiopian bean, which makes it a drink that’s easy drinkable. Boston Coffee also has single origin options available, which one can choose from. They also have alternative brewing methods that you can choose from.
Their beans are available in store; in 250g – R55,00 and 1kg – R220,00.
Where does Pieter see Boston Coffee in 5 years?
Pieter doesn’t want Boston Coffee to be another streamline coffeeshop. He wants Boston Coffee to be a face which people come to and look forward to the culture Boston Coffee has created thus far.
Pieter and his team is considering getting competitive to put their skills to the test, by taking part in barista competitions specifically. Boston Coffee does not want to be known for something specific, but to use these opportunities to refine and sharpen their skills as well as build relationships within the coffee industry.
Advice on how to start a coffee shop?
- If you are passionate about what you do, then don’t wait and just do it. Pieter had no idea what he was doing, but he knew it’s something he wanted to do and he did it.
- Start small, and then build on it. Adjust, build, change. A lot of people think you have to have everything in the right place, but you just have to start it and then grow it.
Meet the Team:
Monday: 7:30 – 4pm
During winter: Tuesday – Friday: 7:30 – 5pm
During summer: Tuesday – Friday: 7:30 – 6pm
Saturday: 7:30 – 1pm
Contact Boston Coffee:
Address: 5 Park Court, Boston, Cleveland Street
Facebook page: @BostonCoffeeCo
It was so great to sit down with Pieter and his team and hearing about their journey with Boston Coffee. Have you visted Boston Coffee yet? What do you like about Boston Coffee?
Till the next cup of coffee.