Coffee Nut Café is one of those hidden places that you come across while walking through the side streets of the island. The hidden gems. Let’s go behind the scenes of Coffee Nut Café. As we were driving by through the roads near Ti Kouloir in Grand Baie, we passed right in front of this cute café. It immediately caught our eye! Found in between 2 houses, Coffee Nut Café is a place you never would have thought was there in the first place. Locals and neighbours walk by greeting each other all day, they stop by for a chat, they come and sit for a coffee. It’s a great feeling to see something like this when everyone’s usually in a rush to get somewhere. And especially after everyone was confined at home for 3 months.
It was a great idea to have a terrace and outdoor area at this café. Especially in Grand Baie, where the weather is beautiful and sunny pretty much all the time. They focus on good coffee blends, with a lot of variety in coffee drinks. They have a mix of homemade and local bakery pastries for those with a sweet tooth. They also have light breakfast and lunch dishes, such as baguettes, quiches, salads and more. You can find their complete menu on their website: https://www.cafe.mu/coffee-nut-cafe-weekly-menu/#weeklymenu.
Overall Coffee Nut Café allows you to relax and sit back in the middle of a normally busy area. Enjoy the vibe of the island where locals all know each other, and strangers become new friends. You’ll feel so welcomed and instantly feel at home. The manager of the café, Mia, oozed positive vibes, with her attention and friendliness. She was kind enough to tell us a little more about Coffee Nut Café.
Behind the scenes with Coffee Nut Café
Can you tell us a bit about how Coffee Nut Café came to exist?
The owner of Coffee Nut Café, Jaana, had a dream of opening her own café. Coming from Finland, one of the countries with the highest consumption of coffee, and moving to Mauritius, she could not really find a place with good coffee and something light to eat all together at the time. Thus, the creation of Coffee Nut Café. Myself, also moving here and meeting my husband who is a Mauritian, I have worked in the restaurant and hotel industry. So when Jaana and I met it naturally came to us to work together to create this café.
What does Coffee Nut Café pride itself on?
We aim to source as much as possible our products locally. We feature a few patisseries from local bakeries other than the ones that we make ourselves. All vegetables we get are from a vegetable garden nearby, who we call vegetable Vishal and who has now become a friends of ours. During times like these we realize that we need this, we need to help each other out and even more so our local farmers.
We also wanted to make sure that we had coffee blends that could suit as many people as possible. Too many times we’ve tried coffee that was way too bitter. We wanted to provide something that people can enjoy easily.
We also aim to make as little waste as possible. We actually use up everything from the produce we use. For example if we’ve used oranges for our juice, we don’t throw away the peels. Instead we make candied orange peels, we use it in our pastries etc.
Speaking about helping locals during these times, how has COVID-19 affected Coffee Nut Café?
Because of COVID, there are quite a few ingredients that aren’t readily available in Mauritius. Therefore the importation of certain goods takes more time or is harder to get. For example the coffee beans!
Grand Baie being the hub for lots of tourists in Mauritius, things have slowed down considerably. Look at today, usually you’d see people walking along sunset, rental cars driving by and people on rented motorcycles. But now it’s very quiet, and not everyone can afford to eat out as much anymore. We used to get tourists that would stay in the apartments nearby walk and stop by for a morning coffee and a few pastries. However we’re very happy to say that we still do have our regulars that come in for a chat and come enjoy their coffee and take a break.
We noticed the cute face towels that you sell in the corner of the café, where are they from?
So we actually sell some products that are made by local companies that reuses discarded pieces of fabric. Those pieces of fabric are in perfect condition however they are often thrown away. Instead, they re-use those perfectly preserved fabric to make tea towels, bath towels and more. We don’t make any profit on those but for anyone who comes by and likes these products this helps out another local business.
Actually the owner of the company, Jaana, made the pillows for the chairs, again, she made use of unused fabric scraps that were going to get thrown out. She gave them a second life and instead of wasting them turned them into something beautiful. Even the table place mats are made from those fabrics!
What’s next for Coffee Nut Café?
We want to create more events where we can bring the locals together. We’d love to feature local artists and local food more. We want to help others showcase their work and pride like we do our coffee and food. And as much as possible move more towards the gluten-free, vegan and Keto options. Though in Mauritius this has not become a big movement yet, we can tell there are more and more people looking for these options.
And we want to be one of those places that can provide options of food and drinks that is still a bit hard to find in Mauritius.