Mo Hamzian says the future of work revolves around the reimagining of the standard coffee shop.
He’s launched VEL, a tech-forward work cafe chain designed for flexible work, to help remote employees.
Yes, the coffee shop has long been a favorite work spot for digital nomads, freelancers, and those looking for an office alternative. But at their core, Hamzian said they “were never designed” for deep work.
“Coffee shops prevent social isolation and provide a steady stream of stimulants, but are noisy and lack privacy for conference calls or team meetings,” he told Hypepotamus. Co-working spaces have gained popularity, but Hamzian said the traditional co-working space might not be the best alternative for small teams and solopreneurs on a budget.
VEL designs spaces with the remote employee in mind. Those looking to get work done at a VEL coffee shop will find reservable cubicles, secure and individualized wifi, and an environment designed specifically for remote workers. And yes…robots are part of the workplace magic.
“The beauty of VEL is that it can accommodate any person for any length of time. Whether you’re looking for a quiet place to take a quick call, or if you need a more private space for an all-day zoom conference,” Hamzian told Hypepotamus. “We’re not looking to replace the home office or your favorite coffee shop, but we have designed a complementary workspace where you can achieve twice as much in half the time.”
Caffeinating The Southeast Tech Scene
VEL borrows its name from the word velocity — something Hamzian and the team is gaining across the Southeast region right now.
It opened its flagship cafe location on the popular Bull Street in Savannah, Georgia last year.
“Savannah is this really interesting intersection of arts, culture and classic tradition, but simultaneously fueled by a younger population that is very edgy and futuristic,” said Hamzian.
VEL will be opening in Charlotte, Nashville, and Charleston in the near future. But Hamzian said VEL’s model could also be coming to airports and other transportation hubs to help keep up with remote worker demands.
“Currently, we are planning to open 250 stores in the next five to seven years. In terms of future markets, we are close to penetrating a mall in Boston, a fabulous train station in Chicago, and are on the eve of signing a deal at a major airport hotel in the northeast. We’re also getting good traction in Austin, Miami, New York and locations in five different major airports. Offering our product in the airports would revolutionize the experience for business travelers who currently have no equivalent. Business lounges offer space but no privacy and the only other similar business that does offer privacy costs more and has less availability. VEL is affordable, open to anyone, and provides a comfortable, private space to work and enjoy food and a caffeinated beverage,” he added.