Omukago Coffee Shop is not your ordinary cafe, it does not come with exaggerated coffee tables, flowers or those marble floors. It is one place you will not see a patron ask for Wi-Fi passwords. Located on George Street, near the Universal Church of the Kingdom and opposite the Unicef offices; on a busy day, you will pass it by believing it is an office.
Omukago is as ordinary as they come, normal plastic tables and chairs outside. It is a different affair inside, the seats are better but the simplicity stays.
The big part of the interior are different coffee machines and of course two artworks that are hard to miss — one is a woman taking care of a coffee plantation while the other is of a woman roasting coffee beans.
And the two pictures almost breakdown the story of the coffee place; it is an initiative intended on getting trendy coffee to middle and low income earners in Uganda through their relationship with the National Union of Coffee agribusinesses and farm Enterprises (NUCAFE).
Besides coffee, there is more to the place, for instance, when you visit in the morning, you will find many enjoying coffee with katogo and snacks, yet when you pass by during lunch hours, you will see ordinary food.
Of course there are also those that choose to have coffee at all times, you cannot miss them.
The menu indeed reflects their mission — to get the middle and low class Ugandans appreciate trendy coffee; hot chocolate, for instance, goes for a paltry Shs7,000, Cappucinno for Shs6,000 and foods such as katogo, pilau placing between Shs8,000 and Shs20,000.
The place gets its name Omukago from an African practice, at least according to one of the banners in the restaurants. In the medieval Africa, it has been believed that our forefathers used coffee seeds to seal relationships; each man would eat a coffee bean smeared with the other’s blood and the belief was that they became blood brothers.
In the same spirit, the service at Omukago comes with the extra friendship, from helping with suggestions, especially patrons that do not seem to make up their mind.
The only downside is that the workforce does not seem to be as big in case there is an overflow of clients.