This is a brief story about John’s Coffee Shop.
Your correspondent spent several months working on an airport project in Kigali, the clean green capital of Rwanda, in 2016. Kigali and its residents are lovely. There are a thousand hills, lots of interesting and safe clean places to see with the traditional and modern mixed together.
The massive traumas of the genocide in 1994 have been faced head on, unlike many European countries, and that has restored a unity in this progressive forward-looking nation. They benchmark their development with Singapore and that means that education, hard work and a systematic strategy to build a modern nation is slowly becoming a reality.
The most notable thing about the city is that they are producing lots of high quality coffee which can be drank in several outlets all over the city. Really excellent food is also available in many fine restaurants.
One of the reasons for this is that the genocide caused millions to flee the country and upon returning, many have sent their offspring abroad to universities for further education. This has brought diversity and and international flavour to the city.
Some Rwandan children were adopted by Finnish parents in the aftermath to be brought up in Finland within our excellent education system. Now they have become adults.
One of them is called John Ntaganda, the owner and founder of John’s Coffee Shop on Iso Roobertinkatu 15, in the centre of Helsinki.
He has created a great business concept by importing coffee and roasting many different coffee bean varieties which he sells at his shop. The cafe is a cozy affair with comfortable chairs and a great range of coffees carefully prepared by this skilled barista. Small snacks are also available – sweet and savoury.
Personally, I like the Rwandan beans that leave the competition in the dust! Memories of long days and nights in the airport offices and in the hotel room, toiling over the airport feasibility studies, were always helped along by excellent cups of their coffee!
John is an entrepreneur who has faced extreme challenges to achieve a harmonious and interesting coffee shop. His adoptive Finnish parents also must take a lot of credit for the way this young man has turned out. He is an excellent example to us all – how a young person can succeed when many others just sit on their backsides and wait for help to knock on the door.