Much before a virus made everyone a homebody, social-distancing a common phrase and all the different “waves of coffee” somewhat obsolete; we had started our journey of building a new kind of coffee experience. Imagine a place with professionally certified Baristas handcrafting your favourite Latte or Americano from freshly roasted and ground premium coffee beans using state of the art equipment aided with technology and crafting an experience that is designed to delight. Now imagine that such a place has no storefront and exists only in the cloud.
The idea and the effort for this started 5 years ago when the entrepreneurship bug bit the 4 of us- regular professionals with happy jobs in New York City. After relocating to India, exiting an online education startup, we realised a glaring hole in our daily routines- a good cup of handcrafted gourmet coffee that can be picked up on our way to work or just ordered online. Sounds basic, but this was in the heart of Bengaluru’s food district where every coffee brand worth its name had set up shop. Yet, the coffee was not ready to be taken out beyond the confines of the cafe or to be ordered online for drinking at the comfort of your desk or home.
This was the beginning of DropKaffe- an online cafe that introduced the city to a good cup of coffee at their desk, at their home or wherever else they wanted. Our coffee angels carried hot and cold coffees in temperature retaining flasks and poured them into a cup in front of the customer- an experience that many said reminded them of home. But, the operational model soon became unfeasible. India’s poster child of online delivery Swiggy had just started their operations from the same neighbourhood. The economics of delivery outweighed the cost of coffee, thereby forcing a change in strategy to bottled beverages.
4 years, 2 co-founder exits and a few pivots later, the “coffee outside the cafe” space was still wide open. Maybe it was in our destiny to have a go at it again.
Thus, was born SLAY.