Coffee Entrepreneurs fill a unique gap

Updated on 19 September 2014

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After noticing a gap in what his company and the restaurants in Johannesburg’s CBD had to offer in terms of refreshments, Andrew Brown – a specialist in the world of international banking regulations –  together with his brother Chris Brown, sprang upon what would be a very lucrative coffee shop model, The Daily Buzz.

“I became aware that there was no real place where staff could purchase a quick cup of coffee and snack, and get back to their desks within a few minutes”, Andrew says.

Armed with what he believed was a game-changing idea, Andrew approached his employer with an idea to fill the gap.

“A lot of homework followed and after a presentation to the facilities managers at Standard Bank, I was ready to make the move from banker to barista,” says Andrew.

“It is inevitable that when a business expands, there is a degree of control being lost”

Giving the city buzz

What makes Daily Buzz unique is that they are located within a company’s premises. The coffee shops provide competitively-priced, speciality coffee and fresh food.

What started out as a single counter at the Standard Bank headquarters on Simmonds street, has in eight years grown to seven stores; five of which are located in Standard Bank buildings, one at Rand Merchant Bank and one at Nedbank. And from an initial staff count of two, the team has grown to 65 people, with a customer base of 40 000.

Because they were opening a business in a centre where catering already existed, the brothers knew they had to offer something different to stand out, the differentiator was the quality of the offerings and the speed of delivery.

Maintaining quality and service levels

The brothers are also cautiously considering growing the business further, but there are reservations.

“It is inevitable that when a business expands, there is a degree of control being lost. We regard keeping quality and service levels high as key differentiators for our business. Expanding too fast could compromise these elements,” Andrew says.

When it comes to maintaining the quality of their brand, the brothers have started sourcing their own coffee beans and controlling the production of their product.

The Daily Buzz has given ‘birth’ to Marshalltown Artisan Roasters, a coffee roaster which is an exclusive supplier of coffee to the Daily Buzz. However the brothers hope it will be a source of product to other coffee businesses and retailers in the future.

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