Brewing real good coffee since 2016
Sleepy Owl Coffee is as much about coffee as it is about passion and drive. If it wasn’t for three young and restless souls in love with caffeine, we wouldn’t be here to tell this story.
This goes way back. Imagine kids discussing business plans in a playground full of 10-year-olds. Ashwajeet and Ajai met in boarding school and hit it off instantly. A major chunk of their conversations since childhood were surrounding starting their own business someday.
Going to Law School
Times changed but not Ashwajeet. He met Arman at law school, a passionate law student who wanted to be, well, a lawyer! By then the bug of entrepreneurship was planted in Ashwajeet’s head and with a little push here and a little pull there, he was able to convince Arman to join him on his endeavours.
A year before the (humble) launch
College was over and everyone went their own way. Until—Ashwajeet quit his first job within three months to couchsurf with Arman, who was working in Mumbai. The deal was, if the duo came up with a business idea, Arman would quit his job.
At the same point in another time zone, Ajai graduated from college and started working as an investment banker in New York (the Big Apple dream). There, he was discovering coffee from a new perspective, understanding how different it can be from just the instant option.
The idea is planted
Once their mutual love and passion for real coffee was realised, Arman’s resignation letter was next on agenda. It was, enthusiastically, co-written with the help of Ashwajeet. It was around this time that Ajai too made up his mind to leave his highly reputed job in New York, and return to India. Once they had assembled, it was time to get down to work!
Ever wondered where the name Sleepy Owl came about? Ashwajeet says that if it wasn’t for Arman’s strict deadline and initial name suggestion ‘Red Cherry Coffee’ (which he absolutely hated) he wouldn’t have had the epiphany which led to the brand’s oxymoronic name.
Another fun fact: Ashwajeet was sitting in a Mumbai local, travelling from Andheri to Churchgate, when the idea had hit him. And here is where he came up with the name Sleepy Owl.
All the ‘First’s
Initially, the founders contacted farmers who sent in their samples. All the brewing experiments took place in the boys’ kitchen, which became the hub of all happenings.
It was during this time that they decided to take their first work trip to Karnataka to recce coffee plantations. The foundation was laid when they cracked a deal with a plantation owner in Chikmagalur.