RWANDA – Java House Africa, one of the leading coffee shops in Eastern Africa, has opened its maiden outlet in Rwanda, opening the first of its restaurants in the capital city, Kigali.

“We are super excited to be in Rwanda, really thrilled,” Ken Kuguru, the Group Chief Executive Officer of Java House Africa told The New Times newspaper.

“We are in three countries now, nine cities, 56 branches with 2000 employees. And soon we will open in Tanzania. Why we are here? Rwanda is easy to do business; an ethical environment, clean and well run and our core values encompass all that – and above all is the integrity element which we have here in Rwanda. 

That is why we are super excited to be coming to Rwanda,” Kuguru explained.

Kuguru said that at Java House Kigali, there are about 50 employees and about 25 of them are Rwandans with the remaining 25 having been outsourced from other regional branches.

The coffee chain has recently added a significant footprint beyond Nairobi, where it has 34 restaurants, to include other towns in Kenya like Kisumu, Nanyuki and Nakuru.

It also has 5 outlets in Uganda’s Kampala and Jinja cities

“The Rwandans we have here were all trained in Kenya for about three months, they worked in the Kenya branches and now they have come back,” he told the newspaper.

He said they are to open other branches around the city in the next 12 months, but first judging from the success of the maiden branch.

Java House Africa’s new Rwanda outlet in Kigali is located at the recently opened Kigali Heights, one of the key developments in the country, as it ramps up investments in shopping malls, hotels and other retail outlets.

According to Kuguru, the company’s goal is to carry the East African coffee to the rest of the world – but first, to “fill” the regional market, hence explaining a move to expand to all corners of the East African Community.

“We fully recognize that Rwanda has some of the best coffee in the world. In fact, we believe that East Africa has the best coffee in the world, (it is undisputable); so we source our coffee from across East Africa (Rwandan coffee, Ugandan coffee, Kenyan Coffee and Ethiopian coffee).”

Kuguru says that Java House joins the Rwandan market with “great respect” for other established coffee houses however, he says that, “it is how best you package your product and how professional one is that will earn the hearts of coffee lovers.”

January 13, 2017.