Mon 10 Jul 2023 • European Coffee Symposium
TALKS PROGRAMME 2023: INTERVIEW WITH YASSIR RAIS, FOUNDER OF SYRA COFFEE
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Yassir Rais is the founder, CEO and first Barista of Syra Coffee. In 2015, Yassir opened the first coffee shop in Barcelona with the mission to bring good coffee into people’s daily routines. With a background in Architecture, he has managed to build a brand that harnessed a community around his spaces, as well as a disruptive business model that made specialty coffee more accessible to everyone.
Tell us how your business idea was born.
Syra Coffee was born in 2015 while I was studying for a degree in Architecture and travelling between Barcelona and Paris. I drew similarities between architecture and coffee, and wanted to create a non-intimidating specialty coffee.
What critical problem were you intending to solve?
Removing the elements that say a space is reserved for the elite. Democratisation of an outstanding product.
Describe your offering in one sentence.
Our mission is to give coffee to everyone, everywhere, every day.
What has been the most rewarding part of your business journey so far?
Seeing how customers switch from commercial to specialty coffee.
What has been your biggest mistake? How did you handle it? And what have you learnt from it?
Not quantifying the space needed in the roastery very well. Waiting too long to employ a Head of Finance.
What’s it like to work for your business? How’s your company culture? What would your team say about you as a leader?
We have a design-based, DIY culture. We do everything in-house.
How do you feel about the current socio-economic environment? What’s your crystal ball telling you about the future?
It depends on the country, but the growth of specialty in the mass market is unavoidable.
What advice would you give budding entrepreneurs wanting to launch a new business in the coffee/hospitality space?
Multiply the space you think you’ll need for a roastery by 1.5 or 2!
What is your vision for the future? What can we expect from your business in the next 1, 2 and 5 years?
Tripling every year, which we have achieved every year since launching.
Yassir Rais: Behind the Scenes
What’s your personal mantra?
Enjoy the journey – it’s cliché but true. Also, keep learning.
What’s your favourite book of all time?
L’Arabe du Future by Riad Sattouf
Where do you find inspiration?
Tell us something about you that your LinkedIn profile doesn’t reveal.
I box 2-3 times a week
Your favourite place for coffee?
In Paris where I discovered specialty coffee, and in our Barcelona HQ training room.
What would your last meal be?
My grandmother’s couscous in Casablanca, Morocco.
Learn more about Yassir Rais and Syra Coffee at the ECS 2023 Conference.