Written by Alix Rassel
I have said this multiple times to people and they know ‘exactly’ where I mean. Yes after 8 years in business, Ready? has reached the most ‘sort after’ of all Luxembourgish things, status; a road named after it. Not bad for 2 women with just a little bit of practical experience working in a café to achieve in 8 short years.
As anyone who ever goes to ‘Ready?’ will know; Connie and Yuki make the place what it is. Everything about Ready? is Connie and Yuki ; from the quirky bikes on the walls, to having crates as chairs and the mandatory ‘friend’s’ sofa next to the wall. Everything was found, transported, installed and painted by them and their friends who they say were the key factor in opening in Luxembourg. “We had thought about Austria because we love the outdoors,” says Connie, “But having so much support, belief and help from friends and family in Luxembourg made us open here.”
They had a clear concept of what they wanted the business to be; always true to their values, authentic and with a community feel. I think these are things that they can certainly be proud of. “At the start of Covid-19, we opened as a take-away,” Yuki says,” There were queues up to the Victor Hugo parking and people hanging out of their windows taking photos. That was a really special moment for us, knowing we had achieved that sense of community.”
When it opened, Ready? was certainly unique to Luxembourg, bringing with it that minimum décor and hipster chic style that you find in cities like London and Berlin, not somewhere like Luxembourg. People (apart from those who frequented Knopes of course,) didn’t really know a lot about coffee. Connie and Yuki seized the opportunity to not only offer coffee but to add cakes and sandwiches to their menu, and it just snowballed from there. Yuki says, “At first we weren’t so confident about the menu we were offering and were wondering if people would like it. Even though it was small, there had to be something for everyone.” She pauses for a moment and adds, “I guess that’s what experience and being open for 8 years has taught us, to have confidence in the menu we offer and that people will like it.”
Judging by the few sandwich options left just after 2pm, I would say Connie and Yuki have it right on the mark. The menu does change slightly every week, with seasonal options on the menu and other creations to tempt the taste buds, “Now we are more people, 6 in total, we can offer a bigger menu than we did when we opened,” Connie explained. “We just try to use seasonal products as much as we can, like last week’s asparagus and strawberry sandwich.”
Even though they are now a team of six, Connie and Yuki are still very much hands-on. “It can get tiring working 10 hour days and there is a lot of stress, but we absolutely love what we do!” they both say. Of course it’s not just the physical running off the café itself but all the paperwork that adds to even longer days, but as Yuki admits, “We aren’t that good in delegating things.” Connie laughs,”It’s true,” she says, “Ready? is our baby, so it’s sometimes hard to let go of things.” That doesn’t mean that they don’t trust the team they have, if anything that couldn’t be further from the truth. “It’s a good team and we all get on well,” says Yuki. “We have been lucky that all the members of our team share our vision of community.” “Yes, it’s like we are one big family.” Connie adds.
So what’s next for Ready? I ask intrigued if they will move to larger premises. “For the moment, we are lucky with what we have,” Connie replies, “We certainly would never move or franchise Ready? out,” she adds. “If we were going to do something else, it would be a completely different concept,” Yuki interjects. “We would never do a copy and paste, Ready? is unique.”
For now they are quite happy with the community they have created. “All different types of people come to Ready? from school kids doing their homework, to mums to office workers. We really have everything.” Connie explains. “That was our goal that everyone feels equal no matter who they are or why they’re coming in,” adds Yuki
As I look at people sitting on the makeshift terrace, office workers ordering coffee to go and mums /dads popping in for some cake, I realise how true this is and how nice it is to have that community feel in a capital city.
Ready? is open Monday – Friday 7am – 4pm, and Saturday 9am – 4pm.