By Shankar Kr. Turha
As one enters Click Café in Dhankheti through the narrow steel staircase, a cosy room with elegant design elements, comfortable seats, and the most advanced coffee-making machines in the town captures our attention. It is run by two youngsters in their mid-20s – Deepak Singh and Prantish Francis Narzary.
For Singh and Narzary, coffee making is an art that few can learn and master.
They are passionate about their job and love to serve people with their exquisite coffee-making skills. The duo’s passion for experimenting with the beverage has taken them places. Their bigger aim is to understand the different varieties of coffee and bring it to Shillong, which made them come up with their start-up – at present, one of the most happening places in the town, buzzing with activities throughout the day.
Singh, who is from Uttarakhand, loves to blend coffee and is an avid videographer, and promotes his cafe through his travelling sojourns across the state. As a Barista coffee expert, trained in Dehradun, he arrived in Shillong to train a bunch of coffee makers, however, with the lockdown in 2020, he ventured to take up entrepreneurship, along with Narzary to start Click Café.
The name, he said, is derived from the shutter sound of a camera, which is exemplified in the interiors of the café displaying vintage cameras from the eighties and the nineties.
Narzary, likewise, has studied Computer Science at St Anthony’s College and is passionate about programming and video editing. He is a coffee enthusiast, with an experience in coffee roasting, and collaborated with Singh when both of them met in Shillong to make their vision of starting a business, a reality.
“Both of us had a common interest, and that was our shared love for coffee, photography, and editing. We merged all the ideas together and gave our café a unique name while serving equally distinct beverages in the town. The café blends coffee, photography and other aesthetic elements together to give the visitors a different feel altogether,” Narzary, the co-owner, said.
Narrating his journey, he further added that it was during the lockdown that he and Singh conceptualised the idea of starting a café that would focus on teaching people, the art of brewing coffee, along with giving them an opportunity to learn about different varieties of coffee from across the world under the initiative “make your own coffee”.
They also recounted the challenges and risks involved in entrepreneurship and the start-up culture. Going forward, they plan to expand their franchise in prominent locations and are optimistic that it will click soon.
Another interesting feature that makes them stand out is that this one-of-a-kind café has some of the best coffee-making machines in town, something they proudly boast about. The latest brewing machines stand as testimony to the passion these guys have for brewing the perfect blend of coffee, apart from the impressive service they offer.
The café owners have multiple ideas in mind, to jazz up this space – making it more attractive so that youngsters can find an ideal place to hang out – keeping this in mind, the duo want it to be a place where the youths will not only relish their cuppa of coffee but also exhibit their works and share ideas on connecting with people, in particular, like-minded travel enthusiasts and promote them on social media.
The young shutterbugs are optimistic about the way things are progressing. Like the name of their café, this initiative will click soon. Apart from their love of coffee, the young entrepreneurs would also love to promote adventure tourism in the state and participate in different festivals like the Cherry Blossom and others. These, they say, will help in promoting their products.
The duo, in collaboration with Red Bull, have also organised a photography session for the youths in Shillong and together want to do more in the near future.
Despite challenges, the response from the youths of Shillong has been that of enthusiasm, testimony that coffee lovers may have found a paradise in this ambient café.