Nairobi has a lot of places where you can take a break, sit down and have a cup of coffee or tea. And we´ve seen quite many modern and posh chains like Javas or Artcaffe that have conquered the CBD and the districts of Nairobi. Those definitely have the charm of a Western Café that you can also find in places like New York or London. But if you are looking for an individual place, with charm, creativity and lots of eco-friendliness you´d rather visit Wasp & Sprout in Lavington, founded by Angela Neale and her husband Chris.
Angela never had the intention to open a café. She also didn´t intend becoming an entrepreneur. Funny enough, that we are sitting together in her established coffeehouse at Loresho Ridge, where she is telling us, that the thing she cared most about is her sense for the environment…and accidently slipped into her own business.
As typical for Lavington Wasp&Sprout is a place where you can find a lot of Kenyans sitting together with Expats. Mommies are chatting together, kids are playing. “A lot of cafés don´t really appreciate kids. But we want to be a children-friendly place”, says Angela. But the main attraction are not the customers or the Latte (which is also very good) but the interior design, that is either made by recycled materials or provided by local artists, to showcase their work.
How the café accidentally was born
Before opening Wasp&Sprout Angela was simply looking from materials from several construction sites to design their own furniture, literally out of leftovers. Now, after some time, they are hiring seven carpenters, who design furniture and accessories. Wasp&Sprout is packed with unique art pieces, from small pillows made out of gunnysacks, lamps made out of used fishnets from Lake Victoria to whole self-made tables and huge pictures. A lot of these masterpieces are coming from local artists. Angela provides a space for them, to showcase their work. “We give artists the gallery to showcase their work here”, says Angela. “The good thing: People have time to look at the paintings and the different designs, while they are spending some time here. They look at these things and think: Hey, this piece would fit perfectly in my living room. If people decide to take a piece, we sell the piece and get a small commission. The artist is getting almost all of his money for the piece, and has now the possibility to display another piece.”
Angela has already plans of expanding Wasp&Sprout to other areas in Nairobi or across the country. But these places can also be franchises and might an individual touch, that differs from the café at Loresho Ridge. As long as it creates an environmentally friendly and welcoming atmosphere.
So where do you like to see a café like Wasp&Sprout? And do you know of places, that have a similar approach like Wasp&Sprout? Give us your opinion!