Nigeria doesn’t boast a coffee culture that’s comparable to what you’ll find in Europe and North America. It’s not a top consumer of the beverage on the continent.
You will be hard-pressed to find individuals outside of the economic elite who can tell what ‘Arabica’ is, or explain the difference between a Cappuccino and an Americano. Only a tiny fraction of the population has ever set foot in a coffee shop. Most people settle for the more familiar cocoa or tea preparations.
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But this may not be the case for much longer.
According to Euromonitor, the value of the country’s coffee consumption has tripled over the past ten years, reaching $29 million in 2019. Thanks to the increasing influence of western culinary tastes on local palettes, a craving for the delights of coffee is starting to surface. Current projections suggest that Nigerians’ demand for coffee will grow even more rapidly in the near future. On the whole, things are looking up for the brown brew.
Vestar Coffee exists to meet this new demand. Located in Victoria Island, Lagos’s high-brow business district, this coffee shop serves a customer base of upwardly mobile business professionals. It has a second location in Lekki, also within the city’s business district.
Olatunji Adenuga founded Vestar Coffee in 2017. He cites the huge potential for a thriving coffee market in Nigeria as a factor that inspired him to set up shop. This premise has been somewhat vindicated by the facts on the ground. Starting with just a handful of visitors per week, Vestar now has nearly 3,000 registered customers. They are attended to by a dozen staff, including baristas.
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The Vestar Coffee shop possesses an ambience that impresses the visitor’s senses. The interior design, layout, and décor combine to produce a cozy environment. There’s also the calming background music and the enticing smell of roasted coffee and pastries. And at one of the locations, you even have a view of the Lagoon.
The menu at Vestar Coffee is diverse, embracing several varieties of coffee preparations, flavours, and add-ons. They range from Popcorn and Vanilla Latte to White Chocolate Mocha and Cinnamon Dolce Latte.
Besides the coffee, Vestar also offers hot chocolate, speciality teas and spices, an assortment of sandwiches, and chicken salad. If you prefer your drinks cold, you can order an iced coffee, tea, and lemonade. Milkshakes, signature frappes, smoothies, and a variety of pastries are available as well.
Vestar Coffee has become a favourite spot for young professionals, who visit to hold business meetings or get work done. This isn’t just a peripheral function of the coffee shop; Vestar says its tranquil environment is “nurturing friendships, connecting people, and building communities.”
Adenuga has big plans for Vestar Coffee. He intends for it to be present in five locations by 2022, and ten over the next decade. Eventually, he hopes, the business could become the dominant coffee chain indigenous to Africa.
Featured Image Source: Lost In Lagos
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