Where people may see lack, otherssee an opportunity to become innovative. This echoes truth for Ramalefo Thamie, who has decided to take a leap of faith and launch his own mobile beverage business. To capitalize in the growing ‘coffee culture’ that is mushrooming in Botswana, RYT Refreshments, which was recently launched, has taken to the streets of Gaborone to offer locals a unique experience with coffee.
Inspired by his love for coffee, he describes the move to create his company as inevitable. “I worked a long time in the coffee distribution industry and that experience sparked my interest in this field. I realized that there is a gap in the mobility of beverages and it grew my desire to bring the experience to people,” said Thamie, who has partnered with Goaba Monyepi in the business. He added that he wants to demystify the stereotype that associates coffee with blandness and people thinking it is a monotonous and stiff drink.
Having gone to school to study coffee making thereby earning his right to stand infront of an espresso machine, Thamie explains that there is more to coffee than its use as a morning boost. “Many people do not know how to make coffee in a manner they can best enjoy it. There is a skill to it, the coffee beans vary in quality and RYT Refreshments is best equipped to bring that special experience to people. We make both hot and cold coffee infused beverages and a variety of other options such as desserts and smoothies.”
Thami said they have been well received and it has motivated them to keep pushing. “We have served in corporate events, some personal gatherings such as weddings and funerals and social trendy events. Because we go to people’s functions as a mobile business and take the experience to them, people thoroughly enjoy that and ask questions about how they can do this at their own homes,” Thami said. As with most businesses, he stated that the challenging part has been finances as the company is a self-funded project.
The company plans to become a fully-fledged mobile unit and a leader in beverage services in the next few years. “Eventually, we aspire for this business to expand and also offer coffee lessons and coffee events tailored for our customer’s needs. There’s a growing need to be innovative in business and we want to do that with RYT refreshments. The company is driven by our love and appreciation of great coffee,” he said.