Café Zoe is easily one of the most interesting cafes in Mumbai. With its unique space modeled out of an abandoned mill to its careful curation of live events, it is the place to be for some great food and with just the right buzz in the air. We met up with Tarini Mohindar, its founder, to find out more about Café Zoe and her vision for what lies ahead.
Can you take us through your Café Zoe journey so far?
My partners and I felt the city really lacked a space like Café Zoe, a place where people can feel at home and be able to enjoy quality food at reasonable prices in a beautiful environment. A cultural hub and a place for community with a calendar of interesting events spanning from live music gigs, photography and art shows, movie screenings to book launches, theatre and so on. I love traveling and a lot of my experiences have manifested into Café Zoe. The endeavor has always been to have a restaurant that lives up to international standards and embrace like-minded, easygoing people. Café Zoe will turn three on Jan 31st, 2016, and we feel we have achieved what we set out to do. Along the way, we have met some wonderful people, had some amazing experiences and learnt a great deal.
What advice would you give to someone who was trying to break into the café/restaurant business?
With more and more good restaurants opening, you have to find a way to differentiate from the others but without being gimmicky. At Café Zoe, apart from good food (which is a given!), we also try and do events that are not run-of-the-mill but at the same time appeal to our patrons. For us, the end goal is not profit making but instead finding ways to engage with our patrons meaningfully and successfully.
We are looking to open another restaurant in Bombay soon.
Now for some fun questions. How soon do you check your phone in the morning?
If you opened up a fortune cookie, what would it say?
I see lots of travel in the near future.
Tell us something no one knows about you?
I love solving crosswords.
How would you describe Café Zoe in 80 characters?
Café Zoe; your happy place!
Quick-fire Question Series:
Hummus or tehina? Hummus
The mountains or the beach? The beach
Hollywood or Bollywood? Hollywood
Coffee or Tea? Tea
Android or iOS? iOS
A real book or Kindle? Real book