“As I’m sitting here right now, a few people are on their laptops, working on new projects, and it’s exciting to see that. This is exactly what we wanted,” says Isreal Adeyanju, one of Ko Café’s lead founders and CEO. Ko Cafe opened its doors to the public at 722 Grand Street in Jersey City in February of this year and aims to be a hub for local movers and shakers – anyone who needs space to make their dreams a reality. Isreal explains that while yes, this is in fact a coffee shop, it is also much more than that. Read on to learn all about Ko Café and how they hope to help their community.
A Family Business
Approaching Ko Cafe isn’t unlike approaching other coffee shops, however, the experience customers get might be an entirely new experience. The shop is founded by a group of five friends and family members – Isreal Adeyanju, Victor Adeyanju, Daniel Adeyanju, Samuel Afriyie, and Olubanwo Aruleba. The group has never owned a business before, but they are excited to finally have Ko Cafe up and running. It was a dream of theirs that had they’d been talking about for years, and when the space at 722 Grand Street in Jersey City opened up, they knew they had to pounce on the opportunity.
So What’s Different About This Place?
Ko Cafe is what happens when five people come together with extremely different, yet cohesive backgrounds and make a business plan. The cafe serves top notch coffee, honing in on African beans. The decor also pays homage to their African roots. In the back of the cafe, customers can find a fully equipped podcast studio, available to be rented out. This idea came from Isreal and his team’s desire to create their own podcast about entrepreneurship and they figured combining the two spaces was a great way to accomplish their main objective: Ko Cafe aims to serve as a hub for entrepreneurs, creators, and anyone looking for support in their projects and work. While it is a nice place to sit with a laptop and get some work done, the staff also makes a point to ask people what they are working on and if there’s anything they can do to support them. They aim to go above and beyond just being a space to get free wi-fi. They want to take that extra step in helping people achieve the dreams that the founders of Ko Cafe themselves are just now achieving. Isreal knows firsthand how tough it can be to open up a business, and he is eager to share the knowledge he’s gained from his experience.
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The team also wants to be heavily involved within the community. The cafe can be rented out for private or group events. So far, they have hosted live musical guests and even had a slam poetry night at the cafe. They hope to continue on with a weekly live event.
A Local Spot
Isreal is excited to bring a coffee shop to the Bergen-Lafayette area. Before Ko, there wasn’t a coffee shop in the immediate area, so he is happy to make that coffee-shop-commute a bit shorter from some JC residents.
This is also the first coffee shop in Jersey City that provides an African-inspired aesthetic, as well as drinks, food, and programming. Ko is working directly with African farmers to provide the best quality coffee beans, emphasizing the importance of ethical sourcing.
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The Best Is Yet To Come
This is just the beginning for Ko Cafe. With only a few weeks in the game, they are bringing in great business and are excited to continue expanding on their mission. They want their customers to feel at home and supported whenever they are working or eating at Ko Cafe. Stay tuned for some exciting events, live music, open mics, and much more.
Ko Cafe is located at 722 Grand Street in Jersey City. They are open Monday-Friday from 8AM – 4PM and Saturdays from 9AM – 4PM.