Brewing up tech access and support.
After Atlanta-based Maasty Computers Internet Cafe opened its doors, technophiles began drifting through the doors for a cup of joe, some e-mail access, and the cozy atmosphere. Even Ricki Lake couldn’t resist–she filmed a show there in February about Internet chatting. Maasty co-founder Mischa Thomas talks about cappuccino, skill sets, and what keeps a cafe owner’s heart beating.
What made you decide to open an Internet cafe?
We wanted to open something different that the community could really dig, something with technology, something fun, and relaxing. Almost everyone out there has been exposed to a computer in one fashion or the other.
Most people check their e-mail at least once daily, so we thought, why not open a spot for them to do it along with the ever-traditional relaxing coffee or tea to complement it? So we created a place that has totally wireless Internet access, DVD movies, a secluded lounge, and a patio. We also have the best cappuccino and cheesecake around.
What else do you offer at the cafe besides Internet access and hot beverages?
It’s true that here at the cafe, we don’t just log on and sip beverages. We have the skill set to teach and repair any computer someone could be inquiring about.
We sell, service, and repair computers, laptops, printers, networks, and so on. We do this both in the cafe and through our site. We also provide a training room that’s good for both individuals and businesses to use for different kinds of training, from hardware and software topics to more in-depth subjects like networking, Web development, and database administration.
What were some of the challenges you encountered when you started the cafe?
It was difficult getting people to experience a new type of creation, and come out to see what it’s all about. Learning about the business was also kind of tricky, since we really didn’t have anyone to mimic. We just kind of stepped out on faith and left it to our Creator to solve.
Why do you think there’s a need for a cafe like yours?
The people in the Atlanta area need us because we have so much to offer besides just Internet access and cappuccino. We want to get the youth involved as well as our elders and teach instead of just do.
We get kids and adults introduced to technology in a way that’s affordable for anyone to learn. Then, sometimes they even leave with a PC or a laptop and feel very comfortable about their purchase because of what they’ve learned here.
What aspects of the business do you find especially rewarding?
Seeing our regular customers keep coming in is what keeps our heart beating. We enjoy it when they compliment the business, and thank us for bringing it to life for them to enjoy and call their second home.
Our motto is “Computers, Cappuccino, Comfort.” We say computers, naturally, because that’s what you see throughout the cafe. Then comes the coffee aroma and flavor, and finally there’s the comfort of having a place you can chill out and, without even realizing it, become attached to. We plan to be the best Internet cafe ever created.
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