Little John Beans

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Analisa Amu

NESTLED along Jalan Maulana in the Belait district, the Little John Beans café welcomes patrons with its homey warm ambience and the aroma of freshly brewed coffee. 

The coffee guy behind the kitchen bar may seem not to pay attention to incoming customers but he certainly knows what coffee best suits you. 

“He previously worked in several eateries and cafes so he has prior knowledge and experience in making coffee as well as other drinks. The initial idea to have this café concept was from him while I have been wanting to open a F&B business,” said the owner of Little John Beans café, Ahadnan Hj Abdul Ghani, as he spoke about his son, Muhd Nizam. 

Pictures by: Analisa Amu

The one-year old establishment is not located in any of the shoplots in Belait town. Instead it is based at home with the café’s building connected to the main house. 

“The day to day operations of the café is managed and supervised by my son while my wife and I as parents, we monitor and support him behind the scene.” 

The choice to have the café at his home was partly due to convenience and to cut costs.  

“We want to start small where we can manage it. We can easily take care of hygiene, the quality and standards of our products… we offer items that are worth the money spent,” added the private sector employee. 

Ahadnan said that his son Muhd Nizam came up with all of the drinks menu which he personalised according to his own taste and experiments. 

“He would sometimes prepare something that is not in the menu for customers and get them to try it. He would adjust something to it like lessen the sugar a bit or put only a few caffeine shots.”  

Since its inception in December 2016, the café received positive response from the locals as well as expatriates living around the area. 

“Previously, we cater only drinks then slowly as per customers’ feedbacks, they wanted food too. So, we take in their comments and assessed to our own capability, we decided to include food too. Foreigners from various countries liked the concept as it reminds them of their home,” said Ahadnan who travels frequently and got inspired by café concepts and designs overseas. 

The minimalistic feature of the brick walls painted in wood varnish and a little bit of white definitely gives a different feel when you sit down for coffee. The wide glass window allows you to see through most of the café’s interior and not intimidating. 

“Before we started the business, of course we have to study the market around here…what people like and don’t like. Drinking coffee is not new and people of all ages drink coffee. Here our market is for everyone may it be family, teenagers or working professionals dropping by for lunch,” he said. 

Looking to the future Hj Ahadnan said “Apart from expanding the premises, I thought of giving opportunities to school students to gain their experience and some income for themselves… we are willing to train them to do proper brewing or serving, something that they can learn from.”