Introducing ‘Coffix’, where everything is N$20

As the cost of living continues to empty our wallets and shrink our social calendar, Coffix, a newly opened coffee shop at Maerua Mall, meets the discouraging reality of inflation with a heartening declaration: “Fresh coffee. Fixed price.”

If you can believe it, that price is N$20. And that’s not just for the coffee. Teasing a selection of sandwiches, croissants, muffins, cake slices and creamy pasteis de nata, Coffix’s claim to fame is that everything, yes, everything, costs two tens.

If you’ve recently dared to leave your house, you know that just about nothing costs twenty bucks.

In fact, at most Windhoek coffee shops, a cup of regular, freshly ground coffee will set you back upwards of N$30, while an accompanying slice of cake can seem utterly out of the question.

It’s no wonder that since Coffix’s opening in February, I’ve sat at my preferred perch at their solo bar, astride a Buddha statue and a thriving Monstera, and watched patrons double take at their amount due.

“They’re stunned. They’re like: What? Do you guys make money?” says freelance chef and Coffix co-founder Nicolas van der Merwe.

“People are amazed by the concept, but don’t really understand how it works, and they wonder if we’re just here to popularise our brand and then up our price in the future,” he says.

“A lot of people think we’re gonna double it in the next couple of months, which is definitely not the case. It’s not the plan.”

Instead, Van der Merwe hopes Coffix can be a light during challenging economic times, as well as a place for people from all walks of life to meet and build community.

“We wanted to create something that really includes everyone. A place that offers quality products so that a person who can afford something that’s forty bucks from a different coffee shop would still want to be here,” he says.

“At the same time, we also want to include people who are not so well off. We want them to come and experience the same leisure and luxury and still enjoy life to some extent, because not a lot of people can do that nowadays.”

Everything on Coffix’s menu is N$20, but patrons have the option to upsize and customise their food and drinks at an additional cost.

While plenty of Coffix’s clientele are hardworking mall staff, the inviting little coffee shop is already buzzing with a diverse array of patrons who happen to stumble upon its charms below the escalators in front of Food Lover’s Market.

“Because it’s so affordable, some people literally come every day. It’s part of their routine at this point,” says Van der Merwe, who mentions a pair of pensioners who regularly spend time in the space.

“They are also so many people who sit here to do their work or to study. Coffix is also an internet café, so we try to put on some mellow music and people can work on whatever projects they have.”

While the coffee shop is off to a solid start as its bestselling pastrami and mozzarella toasties, foamy cappuccinos, fizzy espresso bombs and thick iced Matcha enchant new and regular patrons, Van der Merwe credits the early success of Coffix’s business model to everyone who has visited so far.

“This concept only works on volume. So the public makes it work. They make Coffix stand on its feet,” he says.

He says he has plenty more up his sleeve, such as live entertainment and open mic events.

“Coffix’s colours are black and white, but we want the public to know they bring the colour to the business,” says Van Der Merwe.

“This is really a place for everyone.”

A sweet sentiment from an inviting nook at Maerua Mall, Coffix, your N$20 coffee bar, is open from Monday to Sunday from 07h30.

–; Martha Mukaiwa on Twitter and Instagram;

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