Viva Sara: 20 years ahead of the coffee curve
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
Responding to the weather and the time of day
Together with the opening of the Viva Sara Kaffée in Kortrijk, Bart decided to replace his CD collection with music from Tunify. Bart: “I first tried out the application for free. After that trial, I bought a subscription basically right away. By now, 6 years have passed already.”
“We are using Tunify Blue. That is the right subscription for me, because I do not want to create my own playlists. I simply don’t have the time for that”, Bart continues. “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. In the morning, I go with pretty typical coffee bar music. In the afternoon, I usually pick a more up-tempo channel. Unless there are only a few customers. In that case, sociable jazz is just what you need.”
Tunify in both Kaffée’s
Both the Viva Sara Kaffée in Kortrijk and the one in Bruges are Tunify customers. They use the app independently from each other, precisely to be able to respond to things like the bustle in the coffee bars. Bart: “The flexibility and the minimal time investment fit us like a glove. Certainly in combination with the large music catalogue and the fair price.”
“The introduction of Tunify was also a moment of joy for our employees”, says Bart. “In the past, a CD could play on repeat for hours on end. This was not a problem for our customers, because most only pass by for an hour. But the repetition could really get on my employees’ nerves. They are now very happy with the variation in songs, moods and genres.”
Do you want to know more about Viva Sara’s coffee and the Viva Sara Kaffée’s? Visit www.vivasara.be (in Dutch).