OpenVillage House Kathmandu (Twisted Turns)

Hello everyone, warm greetings from Nepal :slight_smile:

Quick Update on Open Village House Kathmandu

Keeping up with the discussion we had last time about OpenVillage House Kathmandu, I want to share the progress we have made in terms of planning and operating it. The original idea to initiate OpenVillage House Kathmandu was to form a common welcoming place to bring people together by creating a co-working / co-housing space along with a coffee roastery.

Progress Made in Planning

After our discussion here, @matthias and I began to prepare budgets and also decided on location to start the roastery. Kathmandu is a crowded city … as being capital of the country, it is densely populated (capitals are always crowded I guess :grinning:). Not being much of city person myself, I really want the location of OpenVillage House Kathmandu to be little free from chaos and traffic, away from main city area. I began to see a few houses away from the main city with possibilities of having OpenVillage House Kathmandu there. Which helped us to get more information about rents and facilities. In the process of location hunt, we were invited by wonderful @shei who owns a beautiful travelers hostel Cora Nepal.They wanted to sublease the ground floor of the building to next tenant. I went to see if the space itself will be suitable to start roastery. Cora Nepal is situated in Sanepa (one of the nicest location of town) and has a beautiful lawn in the backyard.

Cora Nepal has comfort with artistic decor, created by wonderful people like @shei and Sid who are operating the house. But sadly the space available in Cora Nepal and the budget we had allocated for rent did not match so we had to let go the space. Rent in Kathmandu is expensive and for startups like us, the most challenging part is sustainability. We need to make sure that we do not lose the place until the space itself starts to create some sort of profit to keep itself running.

Twisted Crazy Turn :sweat_smile:

During the planning phase I took a quick escape from Kathmandu and went to the nearby city “Hetauda” . Hetauda (Nepali: हेटौडा) is a sub-metropolitan city in southern Nepal. It is the administrative headquarters of the Makwanpur District, the headquarters of Nepal’s Central Development Region, and one of the largest cities of Nepal. It is often famously regarded as “Green City” because the city has planted trees on either sides of the road and is the pioneer city in the plantation of the trees.

Hetauda city is located at a distance of 76 km from the capital city, Kathmandu, via the fast track, at a distance of 132 km via Daman Tribhuvan Highway and 224 km via Narayanghat. Another highway (“Kanti Lokpath”) will be built until May 2018 and then it will take only 2 hours to travel from Hetauda to Kathmandu.

There are many interesting cities in Nepal which are underrated but have almost all basic facilities that Kathmandu can provide. In my three days stay in Hetauda, I found Hetauda city very interesting and it bears quite good potential in terms of starting an OpenVillage House. So far, most of the interesting things happen only inside Kathmandu. So why not set up our OpenVillage House at Hetauda? It has nature and quite a calming environment, along with the basic facilities we need to operate our OpenVillage House. I am very excited to share that I now have planned to set up an OpenVillage House in Hetauda, making it OPEN VILLAGE HOUSE HETAUDA from now on. I will be travelling to Hetauda to see some of the suitable properties and decide on location on 21st January and will update here on what I found :slight_smile:

Progress on the Roastery

In terms of coffee roaster machines, @matthias and I have decided to see if we can bring a coffee roaster machine from India – see the first two machines from the list of Designing an open source coffee roaster. I have sent a couple of emails to the sellers but have not got replies yet. But luckily I happen to know a friend from India and he is now helping us on assisting the machine inquiry.

We are also finding an appropriate name for the roastery, as the rostery will be a separate entity but operated under OpenVillage House Hetauda. We are still searching a name for it. Any suggestions for names are welcome :slight_smile:

So far we have got “NAMAS COFFEE” as our brand name. “Namaste” or “namaskar” is used as a respectful form of greeting, acknowledging and welcoming a relative, guest or stranger. This gesture is widely used throughout India, Nepal, Bangladesh and other parts of Asia.

Sending best wishes to everyone for OpenVillage Academy happening in Morocco :slight_smile:


Well @anu you summed it all up nicely. So that’s how things look now. Pretty much a big puzzle :slight_smile: Business-wise, my vision for this small coffee roastery is to be the world’s first fully open source and direct trade coffee business, for everyone to duplicate the model as easily as possible. Given that about 100 million people worldwide make their living from coffee farming right now, quite some impact is possible.

We’re not trying it all at once though. Right now @anu and I have worked on a few parts of the puzzle (and we’re inviting everyone interested to join or start work on a new part):

  • open source optical coffee sorter, a project for our team in OpenVillage Academy
  • an open source coffee production manual, started here, with 40 pages of more content I have written locally that has to be integrated; esp. covers DIY coffee import / export
  • beginning of an open source coffee roaster, but not all at once; we’ll start from a simple commercial model to which we add open source electronic control, and later move to a complete open hardware product

Sometimes I still wonder how I got involved with coffee :smile: But then again, it still seems a low hanging fruit to improve livelihoods of small-scale farmers in Nepal, as they have the perfect conditions to grow a high-value crop. So why not combine it as the business model of an OpenVillage House. I hope to visit Nepal again in fall this year and help Anu get OpenVillage House Hetauda going. (And to enjoy another winter without snow.)


@anu You can also check with @charanya who is in Mumbai if she maybe can help?


Hi Anu,

Let’s connect over the whatsapp?

One of my ex-colleagues is a coffee farm owner and I’ll be happy to connect you with him for details on equipment etc as well as any other questions / help.



Thanks for the update, @anu. Great you guys are on the move.

Curious: have you scoped out the possible market for coffee in Hetauda? Roasteries in Europe make their money in two ways:

  1. They sell coffee to other businesses (hotels, restaurants) and consumers through some kind of distribution chain.
  2. They run in-house cafés where they sell prepared coffee to people who like to hang out there.

The second stream of revenue is far and away the most stable. Organic, open source etc. latch nicely onto the “coffee culture” that comes from America and Australia. They hype it, of course: they even sell courses to learn how to roast and make coffee. They are quite successful. In Brussels recently a new local chain (I think they have 5 shopfronts now) called Or became all the rage. I tried to get Matt to visit them, but I think he did not go in the end :slight_smile:

Anyway, this kind of stuff, here, is mostly an urban experience. The kind of person that shows up with a laptop, sits down and drinks coffee at 3 EUR the cup tends to gravitate to large, vibrant cities. Not sure where Nepal stands in this respect, and know nothing about Hetauda. They do have a university: that might help, if Nepalese uni students are anything like their Western counterparts.


Hello @charanya . So nice to get connected here. Yes, we are willing to buy roaster machine from India but sadly sellers have not replied our emails/query. It would be great help if your friend can connect us with some coffee machine sellers and is also interested to know what your ex-colleague is doing in terms of coffee farming. It is always good to get connected with like minded people :slight_smile:

Hello @alberto. Yes , market for our coffee will be cafes/coffee shops /restaurants of Hetauda as well as of Kathmandu. As coffee culture is growing in this both cities it is very much possible to get market for our coffee. I know few coffee chains in kathmandu who are willing to buy Nepalese coffee. Hetauda is not very far from Kathmandu and we will be getting our coffee to Kathmandu in weekend and distribute to customers. Also take a help from my brother who is good at marketing for first phase and gradually learn :slight_smile:


Anu, do you know if there is any hackerspace, makerspace or publicly accessible workshop in Hetauda?

If not, it seems a natural fit to combine that with the co-working space. Because we’ll need a lot of tools and materials to set up the roastery anyway. And it would grant additional income options such as producing the coffee sorter machines in Nepal …

1 Like

Cece! long time no see, how’s tricks?

@matthias i know its toooootally off centre but remember that idea we discussed about healthcare costs, and a place for foreigner patient recovery? :slight_smile:

1 Like

Or old age care, yes. We’ll get back to that idea as we age :smiley:

1 Like

I did a quick research and No, There is no makerspace or publicly accessible workshop. Yes it will be nice addition to our Open Village House. Couldn’t agree more :slight_smile:


That’s another nice thing of not being in a capital city … we can be the first in many things in Hetauda.


Yayyy I have some cool ideas on how our Open Village Hetauda (Makerspace) will look like but its too soon to share it now :smiley:


Been good. Working on food, nutrition and travel related things :slight_smile: Been a good start to the year!

Feel free to ping me if you want to involve me somewhere, I have been out of loop on this for sometime now.


1 Like

Hey @charanya! Nice to hear from you again. We miss you in Brussels, they must miss you even more in Maastricht. :slight_smile:

Likewise @alberto, both cities were home to me because of the people and experiences! Definitely missing it all.