When one door shuts, another opens.
This rings true for EsQoffee, a scenic café overlooking the Great Rift Valley escarpment along the Nairobi-Nakuru highway.
The popular establishment, with the potential to grow into a 24-hour franchise across major highways, was staring at collapse owing to a high cost of operation due to a lack of electricity connection.
Almost two years after paying and meeting all the requirements for electricity installation, Kenya Power has failed to connect the café to power.
This forced the budding coffee shop to use a 10kva generator with a daily consumption of 20 litres of petrol and incur an estimated Sh100,000 monthly bill.
Co-founder Wang’ombe Ng’ang’a had told Enterprise earlier in the year that the frustration by the giant power utility had seen them pivot their strategy to green energy banking on solar system installation to ensure business sustainability and profitability.
However, such an installation requires intensive capital and the start-up at that point had depleted all its resources.
Ng’ang’a had estimated that a solar system to run a coffee shop with a 6kva capacity inverter set to cost the start-up about Sh1 million.
But some months after Enterprise first aired their plight, a foreign green energy investor stepped in to rescue the idyllic establishment from failing.
Mr Ng’ang’a now says that as the country gears towards hosting the inaugural Africa Climate Change Summit in September, the green café is silently driving green growth and climate solutions in Africa through its establishment and container café along the Great Rift Valley escarpment viewpoint.
“For a long time, the café has been in darkness and resulted in using fossil fuel as a way to sustain the business, with a daily usage of 20 litres of petrol to run a generator-operated café,” he said.
“This has not only made operations expensive and unsustainable, but a great menace to the environment and that has been a great motivation towards their renewed strategy to move towards sustainability.”
The firm has recently developed a solar-powered coffee café with 24-hour operations being driven by this important cost reduction and power availability as it aims to attract local and international coffee lovers using major highways in the Rift Valley.
“We are providing solutions that are adoptable across Africa and beyond, with coffee being the common denominator in their project,” said Ng’ang’a, with the café having since expanded to the Mai Maahiu route.
The solar-driven café attracts local and international coffee Lovers plying major highways in the Rift. Their strong language on climate action is currently at the centre stage and have invited the world for a cup of Kenyan Green Coffee made through sustainable renewable energy at their Café.
The Popular highway café, with a recycled but creatively designed 40-feet container that supports zero waste management, targets travellers traversing to the Maasai Mara, Narok, Naivasha and Nakuru.
Ng’ang’a adds that with freshly roasted coffee, the breathtaking views of the Great Rift Valley have for a long time been under-utilised with souvenirs and African art and craft as major businesses across the attractive viewpoints of a major tourist corridor in Africa.
The stopover café, integrates a signature coffee experience with the vast Rift Valley Escarpment viewpoint, 8000ft above sea level, overlooking Mt. Longonot, Mt Margaret, Suswa, Mai Mahiu-Narok road.