CREATING a safe and welcoming space for all is top of the agenda for two city centre cafe owners.
Klaudia Chciuk and Ysabel Nelson are the owners of Klaud9 Coffee on Thomas Street, having opened their doors for the first time last October.
Speaking to the Limerick Post, Klaudia said that it had always been her dream to open her own coffee shop and when the opportunity presented itself with friend Ysabel, she decided to jump at it.
“It was a dream always to open my own coffee shop. I love coffee and anything to do with coffee.” Klaudia says.
The young entrepreneur says it had been the pair’s ambition to open a space that’s “for everyone”.
The cafe is kitted out with cosy furniture and seating, and features a book nook for those who want to sit back and read while sipping a coffee.
Despite both only being in their 20s, Klaudia and Ysabel have a combined 14 years experience working and managing coffee shops.
However, Ysabel explained that people sometimes don’t take them seriously because of their age.
“I think a lot of people that walk in here assume that we’re just workers, that we’re not the coffee shop owners. I had a man the other day who said ‘you should tell your boss to do this’ and I said ‘I am the boss’ and his face just dropped,” she said.
Even though Klaud9 is still a relatively new arrival to the city, Ysabel and Klaudia say that the support from people has been incredible.
“Business is great, we’ve got good support around and we’ve got regular customers as well,” Klaudia said.
The long-running O’Connell Street road works have been a bone of contention among many city centre businesses, but it doesn’t seem to bother the Klaud9 duo.
“I think we’re a good bit away from O’Connell Street, if people want to get to us, they do.”
“The workers are actually some of our regulars. We’re going to be sad when [the works] are over, because they’re [the contractors] some of our regulars,” Ysabel said.
While the owners of Klaud9 have plans for the future, they say that, for the moment, they just want to focus on enjoying the fruits of their labour on Thomas Street.
Klaudia explained: “We want to expand but we don’t think about opening another shop yet.”
“People always ask that and it kind of annoys me,” Ysabel agreed.
“We’re literally just open,” she added.
Klaud9 also sell locally-made pastries from neighbouring Angel Dust patisserie on Thomas Street, as well as treats from local chocolatier Braw.
The art adorning Klaud9’s walls is all by local artists, who Klaudia and Ysabel are happy to exhibit. The colourful murals in the bathroom and the shutters outside are painted by local artist Ohhi Ohno.
“Lulu [Ohhi Ohno] is my friend,” Klaudia said, “but it’s not just that, I wanted people to see her work.”
“We have our local artists we like to support because I know it’s difficult for them to sell stuff, so we wanted to a open space where they can put up anything,” Klaudia explained.
Klaud9 is local on 25 Thomas Street and is open Monday to Friday 8am to 4pm and 9am to 4pm on Saturdays.