In the Viva Sara Kaffée's of Kortrijk and Bruges you get to taste delicious coffees in a trendy setting. But that is where the resemblance with most other hip coffee bars stops. Viva Sara produces its own coffee. Since 1987! Time to meet this company that took a 20 year head start to the coffee hype.
Today, Viva Sara is owned by the brothers Bart and Peter Deprez. It was their father who, in 1987, entered the world of coffee and became a coffee roaster. At the streetside of his business, customers could buy coffee and tea to drink at home. In the back, there was a coffee and tea room. In those days, this was something never seen before in Kortrijk. It was a coffee bar avant la lettre, long before baristas rose to fame.
After a few years, the establishment became too small to fit its success. Father Deprez took over another roastery, and another couple of years later, both sons also joined the business. Bart Deprez: “Today, I am responsible for the general management of all of Viva Sara’s activities. My brother Peter is in charge of production and sales.”
Local bars and international sales
Viva Sara’s core business is still coffee production. The company not only sells its coffee in Belgium, but also exports to customers in Denmark, Russia, Qatar and other countries. They discover Viva Sara on trade fairs or via word of mouth.
“We are also surfing the waves of the globally renewed success of coffee”, Bart explains. “About 10 years ago, big companies such as Starbucks and Nespresso turned drinking coffee into something hip and happening. Ever since, both traditional coffees and specialty coffees are performing really well.”
In 2012, Viva Sara’s coffee house moved to a new, spacious building on the Grote Markt of Kortrijk. Bart: “In our Viva Sara Kaffée, we now have 700 square metres at our disposal to show you all kinds of things you can do with coffee. We offer visitors a very elaborate and innovative coffee menu.” Last year, a second Viva Sara Kaffée opened in Bruges, and the smaller Viva Sara Corners have set up shop in AZ Groeninge (Kortrijk) and BE-Okay (Deerlijk).
“I do like to adapt the music to circumstances like the weather, the time of day or the number of people in the coffee bar."
Bart Deprez - Viva Sara