The I Love Coffee Group is one of the biggest coffee shops in South Africa that is run by the deaf community. The coffee shop started in Cape Town and has become a force of nature for the community with 14 sites around the world.
When the I Love Coffee Group opened their doors in June 2016 in Cape Town, they were the first and only coffee shop in South Africa that was run by the deaf and hard of hearing (HOH) community. They are also the only coffee shop in the world where the coffee is roasted, packed, brewed, and served by the community.
The coffee shop strived to be a force of positive change for the deaf community in the country by providing employment, training, and growth. “What people don’t realise is how difficult it is for a deaf person to be integrated into society,” says I Love Coffee founder, Gary Hopkins. “A deaf person doesn’t have access to a good education which means that they won’t be able to get a job. 70% to 80% of all deaf South Africans are unemployed. So, we started I Love Coffee to create a training and employment facility for the deaf community.”
Many of the staff at the organisation start out as baristas before growing and moving into other professions within the industry such as bakers, chefs etc.
The organisation also sought to build a bridge between deaf and hearing people through one common ground: the love of coffee. “Coffee is the most common denominator. It is also a fantastic way for a deaf person to develop a skill and the confidence to interact with other communities,” says Hopkins.
Some of the most popular coffees on the menu include cappuccinos, lattes and flat white which are expertly prepared by the baristas. The café also serves up a variety of mouth-watering pastries, desserts, meals, salads, and baked goods which are all made and prepared from scratch by the talented staff.
Today, the I Love Coffee Group has 14 sites around the world with seven cafés established right here in Cape Town. They recently opened four cafés in London as they continue their efforts into making a difference.
Location: 103 Garfield Rd, Claremont
Opening Times: 08:30am – 4pm
Contact: 021 671 0008