Can you remember a time when a total stranger made your day?
“I headed over to Rox Coffee, in the Umhlanga SMG building to interview owners of the coffee shop, Trégue and Bonnie Minnaar. Upon arrival, I was greeted with a smile by Bongani, the barista, who smiled and asked me how my day was. I was having a not-so-grand morning, and to cheer me up, he made me a delicious cup of coffee with the prettiest Latte art (coffee milk design) of a lion – just to remind me that I was fierce. And just like that, my mood changed with that sweet gesture that went a lonnnng way. (P.S. Bongani didn’t know that I was there to write an article about the shop.)
Now, isn’t that pretty great customer service? What’s crazier is that this happened weeks ago and it still resonates with me. That is the power of creating powerful customer experiences. That is the service at Rox Coffee. The service is great, the smiles are better.” –Samantha Gounden
Let’s find out what Bonnie and Trégue at Rox Coffee Company have been up to:
Tell us a little about Rox Coffee?
Hey Sam, so Rox Coffee is a coffee bar. We actually started up at the beach location, which is our first outlet, and the intention was to serve really high quality coffee, grab-and-go foods, freshly baked pastries, croissants – which we prepare on-site. And it’s a very simple menu with a very simple look –all black and white, a clean look, using high quality ingredients. A quick grab n go. A coffee bar.
What inspired the concept Rox Coffee?
Trégue come up with the idea in the UK. We had spoken about it for a long time. I mean, I enjoy coffee but I’m not a connoisseur. I’ve always believed that “coffee-wise,” the place needs to have a good vibe and the coffee must be of a good quality. So that’s pretty much what got us motivated to get up and do something. Give people something they can enjoy. And the environment? It should be something people can have a good time in.
Who or what inspires you/your brand, Trégue?
We’ve both grown up in Umhlanga. I’ve spent a lot of time surfing and being a lifeguard here. Umhlanga has always been an integral part of my life, our lives. When we were younger we always talked about Rocks. Rocks Surfing. Rocks Local. Rocks Everything. So, now it’s been abbreviated to “Rox”.
“In terms of the area, the beach one was our first one. This is the second one we’ve opened up now is more of an urban outlet, focussed on office parks.” -Bonnie
Bonnie, what’s your recipe for success?
Well, Trégue is in the shops every single day. So I’d say it’s our personal touch. We have eyes on everything, we pay attention to the details and are very hands-on. We believe that if you’re going to do well, it’ll be because your owner is completely involved and invested. PLUS, our ingredients are of a superior quality and everything is prepared with extreme attention to detail, even though it’s simple.
What book are you currently reading, Bonnie?
The Butterfly Room by Lucinda Riley.
Why did you choose iKhokha?
We were on another system and it was incredibly complicated and complex system. We weren’t on top of our stock. That was a major thing in the business. iKhokha seems a lot easier and more straightforward. Mike, the guy who helped us, was excellent.
What’s the vision for Rox in next 5 years?
Oh gosh, we have big plans for Rox. We’ve always had a bird’s eye view from the very beginning, and there’s bigger things to unfold. More branches. Perhaps a plantation in another part of the world. We wanna try and have at least 3 stores up and running soon. Mobile stores then international. It won’t be easy but it’ll be worth it.
What’s your advice to young entrepreneurs who are just starting out?
Do your research. Research where you are putting your business, and your costs. The biggest factor is that whenever you have a cost for anything, add 10% onto that. You must also make sure you have a proper business plan and a clean marketing strategy.
How do people get a hold of you?