“Coffee as a beverage is important. Of greater consequence, though, is what happens over coffee!”
For Nate Smith – The Daily Coffee Café Kuilsriver’s energetic, fascinating, some-might-say-enigmatic franchisee – the conversations and the good things that happen when people enjoy coffee together are the actual drivers that make owning his café worthwhile. “I create the space and the environment. The Daily Fans (as he refers to his clientele) for whom I care, is the experience.”
Owning a The Daily franchise wasn’t planned, it just happened. “Life in the corporate world caught up with me. I needed something new,” says Nate, not knowing at the time where he’d find a new job. The answer came when his brother-in-law and later his The Daily Kuilsriver business partner, Duke Cloete, asked a profound question: “Well, why don’t you buy yourself a new job?” The two of them bought the franchise and the rest is history.
For Nate The Daily Kuilsriver has become a welcoming destination for local coffee-loving devotees and a stronghold from where to play a role in the bigger community. “A big part of our community involvement has an emotional side to it – it’s become a part of Duke’s legacy,” says Nate when he explains that Duke sadly passed away shortly after they opened the café. “I’m therefore working harder to create a sense of community and to make The Daily Kuilsriver the neighbourhood hub where locals find sanctuary and from where we can reach out to those who are in need. I’m doing it because I believe in it, and I’m doing it for Duke.”
Reaching out is indeed what Nate manages to accomplish through various projects – setting up the café as a collection point for much needed toiletries for young girls in foster care, opening the venue outside of business hours on a Sunday as a stage for aspiring singers and musicians to perform, even getting sponsorships to treat the less fortunate to a meal in the café.
It’s difficult to decide whether The Daily Coffee Café Kuilsriver has become an extension of Nate, or whether Nate has become an extension of the café. “Every day has its own energy,” he says. “It’s a combination of the look, the feel, the coffee and the food, what our fans experience when they’re here and, especially, how they feel when they leave. For me it’s an ongoing adventure and an overpowering privilege to be a part of this.”
Nate is visibly proud of his staff. “The Daily Crew can handle a full café with gusto. At the same time our waiters have the knack to engage with individual clients as if they were long-lost friends.” Nate’s superstar is Mandy Benadé, the café’s manager. “We’re a good combination,” he says. “I’m the ideas man, Mandy is the achiever. Without her The Daily Kuilsriver wouldn’t be a success.” And, as is the case with all successful husbands, there is a valued wife also playing her part in the business. “Adele contributes to our strategic planning, is responsible for our social media platforms and, very important, takes care in a lovely way of the wellbeing of our crew,” says Nate.
Nate finds it rewarding to be a part of The Daily Coffee Café Franchise Group. “I love the brand, the fact that the franchisor allows room for my own creativity, and the way in which the franchisor embraces suggestions from the franchisees,” he says. “It’s a remarkable partnership!”
But at the end of the day when Nate closes the café’s door behind him, how does he really feel? “I reflect on the accolades that we’ve received and I see the difference that we’ve made, and it makes me proud,” he says. “The affirmation tells me that we’re doing what we set out do. More important, though, it tells me that I’ve done the right thing to invest in The Daily Kuilsriver when a judicious gentleman advocated that I buy myself a new job.”
- Picture: Mandy, Adele and Nate – the happy people who make things happen at The Daily Coffee Café Kuilsriver.