Coffylosophy combats COVID

Last updated 28 Oct, 2021

Coffylosophy on Hutt Street has a simple philosophy – good coffee and good conversations. Winner of The City Awards 2020 for Best Coffee Spot in Adelaide, Coffylosophy specialises in four different brewing methods – espresso, cold drip, pour over and syphon – while also having a single origin on hand along with their house blend.

Over the seven-year journey, owners Harsh and Sneha have expanded from a 20-seat café selling just coffee and cake to now having 42 seats with a commercial kitchen which delivers a full breakfast and lunch service.

And while their regular customers keep coming back for the wonderful coffee and food, it is the community feeling you get at the small family-owned business – the welcoming conversations with staff and fellow customers and the warm atmosphere filled with friendly banter with those they’ve made a rapport with – that keeps them coming back.

So, when the COVID-19 pandemic forced Australia into lockdown in March 2020, the core of Coffylosophy’s business was no longer there with their local customers now unable to come in for meals. However, thanks to the community support from the regulars and locals and the assistance received via the City Business Support Package, delivered by the City of Adelaide in partnership with Business SA, Coffylosophy proudly never shut their doors even one day throughout the lockdown.

Still open for takeaways, Coffylosophy reduced its opening hours and implemented online ordering so that their customers could grab and go. The community made sure they still turned up, coming to get their daily coffee despite now working from home, while some fellow local businesses started tabs and paid ahead, not just for themselves but for other businesses struggling with the pandemic.

Coffylosophy City Business Support Package 3

That support meant that Coffylosophy retained most of their staff despite sales not being where they previously were. They were on reduced hours though and when working through that, Harsh and Sneha tapped into the HR Hotline as part of the City Business Support Package to help them navigate the difficult time.

“We needed to know how to deal with the staffing, how to go ahead with the Job Keeper payments, how to deal with their work contracts, what variations of terms can be adopted, when paperwork is required, etcetera,” Harsh said. “That was super helpful especially in those times.”

The HR Hotline wasn’t the only aspect of the City Business Support Package that helped Harsh and Sneha. They received a lot of information and updates on the evolving situation which helped them plan how to proceed.

“We took advantage of the discounted package and they kept feeding in all the information,” Harsh said. “There were Government updates about what's happening in the state, how you should be more careful, what's your next step and how can you recover back from what you’ve lost and more. There was information on what strategies people are applying, there were all these webinars that we could look at and that was so helpful in understanding and moving forward as well.”

It’s not only throughout COVID-19 that Business SA has helped Harsh and Sneha. They’ve attended a number of their networking events and have enjoyed meeting likeminded people in similar or different industries. As part of being a member, they also get Coffylosophy shared across 30,00 Business SA contacts, which they say is great coverage.

Coffylosophy City Business Support Package 2

Now, business at Coffylosophy is as normal as it can be. They still have time limits on seating, they have maintained their reduced hours after realising there was no need to be open until 5pm and they no longer get newspapers in the café to ensure people support the local newsagency down the road.

With Coffylosophy now back in full swing, Harsh and Sneha have launched a new restaurant, called Tangkaira. Tangkaira is the Aboriginal name of Hurtle Square, where the restaurant is located, and while stocking Coffylosophy coffee, it is a completely different dining experience. Tangkaira is where ‘native meets new’ and the brunch and lunch menu feature everyday dishes made with native ingredients.

Only five weeks old, the restaurant’s décor pays homage to the Kaurna land with anecdotes doted throughout, telling the story of Hurtle Square’s history. Tangkaira suits a more casual upscale market, with the 70-seater with liquor license and it is the perfect place for a long lunch while you try the unique dishes. Check out the new menu here.

Harsh and Sneha often recommend signing up to the City Business Support Package to other business owners, so they also can take advantage of the help that Coffylosophy and Tangkaira have received. Access to the free specialised services offer by the City of Adelaide in Partnership with Business SA goes until June 30 2022, so make sure you register your business now.