The dream brew: how one man’s vision became a thriving coffee hustle

by | May 29, 2024

They say if you can dream it, you can achieve it. For local entrepreneur Harry Mohlala, that phrase has never rung more true. His humble coffee kiosk, Coffee on Grayston, was quite literally born from a recurring dream.

Harry used to have these vivid visions of himself running a little coffee tent near the Department of Home Affairs in Alexandra. The images were so crystal clear, that he felt compelled to make them a reality. So in January 2023, after years of job-hopping, Harry took a leap of faith and set up his first coffee cart along the M1 onramp from Grayston Drive.

His early days were a bit rocky (the first two customers got half-empty rooibos cups due to poor robot timing!) but Harry remained passionate and focused on stellar customer service. As word of his aspirations spread, he started receiving support from some incredible mentors.

First, the Chefs Association of South Africa took notice and connected Harry with a coffee pro who provided barista training. As he delved into the art and science of coffee culture, Harry’s appreciation for the beverage bloomed. Learning that coffee is the second most traded commodity after oil opened his eyes.

Then, in a wild turn of events, a video of Harry selling his brews went viral on TikTok – a platform he didn’t even have an account on at the time! The newfound attention led to more guidance from industry insiders and an opportunity that would truly allow his dreams to brew.

Enter Jacobs Coffee, a brand impressed by Harry’s hustle and vision. They provided branded gear, product training, and connections to help Coffee on Grayston expand safely. With Jacobs’ support, Harry hired his first employee last July and has big goals to create more jobs by opening additional hustle hubs.

These days, he’s serving up to 25 cups daily from his eye-catching backpack setup, operating from 6-10 am to catch the morning rushers. But coffee isn’t all they’re craving – Harry has answered the call for fresh snacks too by baking up tasty scones with plans for more treats like biscuits and muffins.

While the burgeoning business’ success is impressive, Harry’s ambitions stretch far beyond coffee. His true dream is to create a “hustle hub” that guides other aspiring entrepreneurs in making their visions a reality just like he did.

In Harry’s own words, “I’m not just here for the coin; I see myself as a vessel who can help others who want to start their own business.” And with the powerful partnership he’s built with Jacobs, including upcoming mobile coffee bike stations and spaza shop coffee corners, that dream is brewing up nicely.

From a humble pavement pint to the hustling hub he’d envisioned, Harry Mohlala is the ultimate example of how big dreams really can transpire with dedication, hustle, and a support system that believes in your vision as much as you do. If there’s a moral to this delicious story, it’s to never let a dream remain just that – because you never know what kind of incredible reality it might brew up.

I’m just a girl who loves new beauty products, alternating between being a blonde and a brunette, travel tips, parenting hacks, eating out, and having fun!

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I’m just a girl who loves new beauty products, alternating between being a blonde and a brunette, travel tips, parenting hacks, eating out, and having fun!


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