Much like the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, Daily Dose is our local lucky charm, occupying a prime slice of coffee real estate at the very end of the Umhlanga promenade. With its bright yellow branding and its bustling café scene, Daily Dose epitomises the very best of coastal coffee culture. Whether you’re a fan of their perfectly blended beverages or their tranquil ocean-adjacency, this team of coffee-enthusiasts has taken “seaside sipping” to a whole new level!
As I chatted to Dean and Ed, the dynamic duo behind Daily Dose, it became abundantly clear why this particular coffee shop has maintained such a loyal and ever-increasing customer base. Authentic, personable and full of charisma, these best-friends-turned-business-partners have managed to create an entirely unique experience for coffee lovers the world over. Dodging raindrops in a sunshine-coloured sweater, Dean’s joyful smile was on full display as he exclaimed, “I’m just throwing it out there Pri, I’m very excited about this feature!” Thrilled by his genuine enthusiasm, I couldn’t wait to hear all about the Daily Dose origin story.
“After nine years in the corporate world, I decided that it was time to start my own gym. Ed was actually one of my clients! Over the years, our friendship expanded into a business partnership. We identified a potential opportunity within my own gym. We both thought that it would be a really good idea to provide a coffee service within the gym, because we were amazed by what a simple beverage can do in terms of bringing people together”, Dean explains. I look over to Ed, a born and bred Durban boy with a whopping 25 years of experience in the world of construction. Well known for his signature sense of humour and lovable social media presence, I’m happy to report that Ed is just as delightful in real life! “We opened for business four years ago on 11 February. We started with a humble trestle table and a couple of chairs; however, they didn’t last very long against the gale force winds! We have been here every single day since we opened. We haven’t closed once in our entire four years of existence. When we weren’t busy with corporate events, we were right here at Daily Dose, serving coffee on all major holidays, come rain or shine”, Ed continues.
From his inherent passion for all things coffee, one would assume that Dean was drinking the stuff no sooner than he could walk or talk. The reality however, is the complete opposite! “I actually only had my first cup of coffee at the age of 28. I guess you could call me a late bloomer! It was a bulletproof coffee though, so it wasn’t exactly the best tasting or most traditional form of the beverage. Through that first experience, I realised how much I enjoyed socialising with fellow customers. That’s why I love my time at Daily Dose. We have all walks of life, multigenerational families, tourists and people of all shapes, sizes and colours coming together to chat over a cup of coffee. We’re all about good vibes and community centrality,” Dean continues. Ed is already chuckling when he says, “I’ve been drinking coffee my whole life. But it was instant coffee. Only now that we have been exposed to proper, authentic, full-bodied coffee, do we realise that there is a whole world waiting to be discovered. We love learning the ins and outs of the industry, so we’re super hands-on. We’ve met so many people through our work, and, in turn, we have managed to bring so many different people together. This coffee shop is our yellow pages. Everyone knows each other here! It’s almost like a mini getaway – you just sit, talk and enjoy your coffee by the seaside.”
Umhlanga is undoubtedly one of the most coffee saturated suburbs in Durban. So, what is it exactly that makes Daily Dose so unique? “You’re not just a number here. It’s not just about the coffee either. We know our clientele and we know what they want. We listen. It’s the experience that comes with the coffee. It’s an entirely unique setting because it’s outdoors, and yet somehow it’s still very personal. 99% of the people who sit here don’t use their phones, they just chat. It’s different compared to a conventional coffee shop – it’s a communal area where we all interact with one another and share the space. Basically, it’s forced old school communication, and it really works,” Dean says.
As a local Daily Dose ‘fangirl’, I can confirm without a shadow of a doubt that the small team working behind the scenes is the secret to the café’s unbelievable success. “Besides myself and Dean, we have two permanent staff and two other guys on our events team. We keep it simple and small. Once you have a good team and you get them to buy into the heart of the business, great things happen. In two months from now, SK, our friendly barista, is going to own shares in the company. We recognise that our staff has families, and we firmly believe that running a business is not about being on your high horse while everyone else idles by. We believe in growing together, because at the end of the day, we are a family,” Ed says.
From the sunshine souls who brew cups of happiness each morning, to the unparalleled sea views and Insta-worthy succulent garden, Daily Dose is an absolute must for those in pursuit of good vibes, good company and, of course, good coffee!