Mexico City Favorites: Chiquitito Cafe

Spending an incredible week here in one of my favorite cities reminds me of what gems are hidden away here. Chiquitito is one of these. Enjoy this interview I did with them about how they are redefining coffee culture.

When and how did you start the business? What is the concept?

We started this project back in 2008, when there wasn’t really any specialty coffee in México City.  For a variety of reasons - primarily the financial crisis - we didn’t start the business that year, but it was when we went to Portland to learn the business side of things and to really have an idea of what it would be like.

It wasn’t until three years later that we seriously entertained the idea again, as we were debating whether or not to stay in México or go to another country.  To shorten the story a little bit, we found the ‘locale’ that we have now and it was perfect for us to take the plunge of starting a business, and the rest is, as they say, history.  

The concept, in its most simplest terms, has always been to provide the best product and service that we can in a stimulating and warm environment (with strong design elements).

What has inspired your work?

We love the romantic ideas of what a café represents - the coming together of people, the sense of taking a moment to stop and enjoy and contemplate the world - and romance was a strong motivator for us in starting the café.  However, the everyday reality of a café is what Chiquitito Café is really all about - making sure that everything is the way that it should be all the time, this is what keeps us striving for more, and so when you see a customer enjoying your product it is extremely gratifying and motivating!

Is there something you are currently working on, or are excited about starting that you can tell us about?

Yes! We’re about halfway through the buildout of a new project that is scheduled to open at the end of January. It is very exciting as it will have a slightly expanded food menú.  It’s lightly influenced by Australian coffee culture.

What do you love about your neighborhood? What inspires you? 

The people and architecture, that it is always changing yet it stays the same...

Where would you tell someone to go on their first trip to DF?

It really depends what interests that person has, because there is everything here.  I wouldn’t miss certain sites like the Zocalo/centro, but I would seek out the contrast between old/modern because for me it is what is so fascinating about D.F. And, of course the restaurants, there are too many to list, but the great thing is that it is difficult to have a really bad meal here, unlike many other cities.  In terms of culinary delights, we are spoiled.