Startup of the Week: Saudi students wake up to delights of new coffee shop

Updated 11 September 2019

Startup of the Week: Saudi students wake up to delights of new coffee shop

RIYADH: Students and workers in Jeddah are waking up to the cultural delights of a new community coffee shop venture.

Coffee & in Jeddah has been set up by three friends with marketing backgrounds to offer quality drinks in a personal, homey, local cafe environment.

The coffee house in the city’s Al-Fayha’a district is within walking distance of Dar Al-Hekma University and King Abdul Aziz University, and its owners aim to cater mainly to students and professionals.

“Whether you are looking for a place to finish your school project, or just want to enjoy some time on our patio between classes, we are here for you,” said joint owner Nada Akhonbay.

Her partners in the business, Essam Akhonbay and Ali Azhari, are both veteran marketers with fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies such as Procter & Gamble, Abudawood, and Basamh.

Their love of good coffee, board games and books were the inspiration behind the shop and influenced its design.

The trio studied abroad where they enjoyed the experience of visiting neighborhood coffee shops and decided to recreate a similar haven for students in Jeddah to relax and get their daily caffeine fix.

In contrast to big multinational coffee shop chains, Coffee & aims to be all about culture and community. “Our goal is to make our customers feel at home by providing quality services and recognizing our regulars by name,” Akhonbay added.

She said they sought to enhance the richness of their interactions with customers and each other and that everyone was welcome.

“We pride ourselves on serving carefully crafted coffee drinks made from 100 percent organic coffee beans, along with non-caffeine drinks. My personal favorites, exclusive to Coffee &, are the red velvet frappe and red velvet latte, which are perfectly sweet with a hint of coffee.”

As well as providing a place for customers to relax, study or work, visitors can also enjoy playing a range board games from around the world while sipping their favorite drinks.

Although the menu consists mainly of coffees, a variety of juices, sandwiches and desserts are also available.

“The next time you come to Jeddah, please stop by to experience the real college campus independent coffee shop, managed and owned by locals,” said Akhonbay.

It is located at Abdullah Sulayman Street in Jeddah’s Al-Fayha’a district. Coffee lovers can follow them on Instagram @coffeeand.sa.


What We Are Reading Today: GDP: A Brief but Affectionate History

Updated 14 August 2020

What We Are Reading Today: GDP: A Brief but Affectionate History

Author: Diane Coyle

Why did the size of the US  economy increase by 3 percent in one day in mid-2013—or Ghana’s balloon by 60 percent overnight in 2010? Why did the UK financial industry show its fastest expansion ever at the end of 2008—just as the world’s financial system went into meltdown? And why was Greece’s chief statistician charged with treason in 2013 for apparently doing nothing more than trying to accurately report the size of his country’s economy? The answers to all these questions lie in the way we define and measure national economies around the world: Gross Domestic Product. This entertaining and informative book tells the story of GDP, making sense of a statistic that appears constantly in the news, business, and politics, and that seems to rule our lives—but that hardly anyone actually understands.
Diane Coyle traces the history of this artificial, abstract, complex, but exceedingly important statistic from its 18th- and 19th-century precursors through its invention in the 1940s and its postwar golden age, and then through the Great Crash up to today.
The reader learns why this standard measure of the size of a country’s economy was invented.