Traveling the World in Search of the Finest Coffee Shops

Kingstown SVG

This story begins in Nairobi, Kenya. The year… 2007. After spending four amazing weeks in the rural town of Kakamega – the then Provincial Capital of Kenya’s Western Province – my Caribbean bandwagon of friends and I ventured back into Nairobi for our final exploration of a city we had seen so little of in our time there.

We arrived in Nairobi at an odd hour… at about 7:45 am… amidst stagnant, impenetrable traffic and thick crowds of bustling pedestrians. After all, we did leave Kakamega at an equally “odd” hour the night before. That however is a story all by itself.

Most of my colleagues had slept through our trip into Nairobi; but not I. I was much too pensive for the better part of those eight hours of traveling through total darkness, in what felt like the most unfamiliar place on earth. Needless I say that my greatest respite was that first ray of sunshine that gave birth to the morning in the final few hours of that eight-hour trip.

I was tired and in need of a solid breakfast – a “picker upper” of the sorts… one good enough to keep me running for at least a few more hours on less than one hour’s sleep.

So there we were, walking through Nairobi at a completely different pace to everyone else, suitcases in-tow, clueless about food outlets, menus, or prices, when out of nowhere we came across a quaint organic health restaurant. Quite honestly, I had no clue what an “organic health restaurant” was. But in the famous words of Leonardo Da Vinci, “Learning never exhausts the mind.”

Lola's SVG

Breakfast was great! I had organic pancakes with organic honey sauce, and scrambled eggs… apparently organic as well. The coffee was amazing, and the ambiance was… well… let’s just say the ambiance sparked a whole new passion for me.

Somewhere between walking into that restaurant and covering my KES500 bill, an idea was birthed in mind – to find the best coffee shops in every city that I visit, until I can someday unveil my own idea of the Caribbean’s finest coffee shop.

Since then, I have visited Panama City, Montevideo, London, Dallas, New York, New Jersey, Miami, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Washington DC, Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Dubai, Abuja, Ankara, Frankfurt, The Hague, and a handful of Caribbean cities; and the one thing I seek to discover in every city, is a fine coffee shop.

I am big on great ambiance, good coffee, and service with a smile. Those are the main things that I look for when visiting a coffee shop. Unfortunately, I had never really found that in my hometown, and always saw it as my duty to bring a world-class coffee shop to Kingstown.

Well, all that changed recently when I decided to visit Lola’s – a new restaurant… <slash> coffee shop… <slash> café located on Halifax Street (the main street!) in Kingstown, St. Vincent. I can hardly believe that it took me two full years to discover this place! In my own hometown!

With zero biases intended, Lola’s is an amazing coffee shop, with most of the amenities, services and products of some of the finest coffee shops and cafés that I have ever visited. Today, I raise a special toast to the visionaries of Lola’s as they prepare to celebrate their second anniversary.

Cheers! To many more years of fine service to the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

As for me, I will continue frequenting coffee shops in every town and city that I visit, with the hope of someday joining this global tradition of serving the world with fine coffee.

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