Mamacoffee’s tiny new Prague ‘non-profit café’ has a big mission

Café Nezisk

The newly opened Café Nezisk is quite possibly the smallest café in the whole of Prague with big ambitions – to raise awareness of (and money for) Czech non-profit organizations. It is part of local coffee house chain Mamacoffee, the oldest “fair trade” roaster in the whole of Central Europe.

Mamacoffee has been roasting green coffee from around the world since 2008, exclusively under fair trade contracts, which help producers in developing countries achieve sustainable, equitable trade relationships.

The Czech coffeehouse chain sales help small green coffee growers from Vietnam, Ethiopia, Honduras and a host of other nations.

A few weeks ago, Mamacoffee opened its smallest café ever – in a Prague storefront just 10 square metres large, around the corner from Černínský palác, the biggest baroque palace in Prague and home to Czech foreign ministry since the 1930s.

The grand idea of Café Nezisk, or “the non-profit café”, is to extend the Czech roaster’s foreign fair trade mission, so to speak, to do greater good also on the domestic front, says its manager, Rachel Pojarová.

Rachel Pojarová | Photo: Mamacoffee

“The concept is that every month we will feature a different non-profit organization. We want to help them by offering a platform to make themselves more visible.

“That means not only physically, presenting them here in the non-profit café, but also through Mamacoffee marketing and through our social media networks.

“Also, as a bonus, all of the profits, after operating costs, VAT and so on, go to that month’s non-profit organization.”

For December, the tiny non-profit café’s first full month in business, Mamacoffee chose to support Loono – a team of medical students, young physicians and other medical and healthcare professionals, such as nurses, paramedics and nutritionists.

Among other things, Loono hold free workshops to raise awareness among young people about what they can do to help prevent breast and testicular cancer, cardiovascular disease, and stay in good sexual and mental health.

(No prizes for guessing which of these hashtags Loono use on social media to raise awareness about which issue – #boobsandballs, #yourheartforlife, and #allgooddownthere.)

Café Nezisk manager Rachel Pojarová says they are lining up other Czech NGOs to promote and aid over the coming months.

“For some of the smaller non-profits we hope to work with, we would like to offer their products. Some have written to us that they bake their own sweets and dishes, so those could be sold here.

“And we would like to promote them also more on our social media networks. We will have the opportunity to record podcasts about their projects and make them known.”

By the way, Rachel Pojarová used to drink mainly flat white coffee and South American dark roasts, but since joining Mamacoffee has developed a taste for more bitter brews from Ethiopia – the birthplace of coffee itself.

Authors: Brian Kenety , Václav Müller
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