Kimolia Art Café is a small backstreet café in Plaka, Athens in Greece. Kimolia (greek word for chalk) began in 2011 and continues to be a family-run business.
During the global pandemic, many small businesses, including Kimolia, were forced to close following government mandated measures to fight against Covid-19.
Initially with no other goal than to keep business going, the family motto ‘we’re in the memory-creation business’ rang true as a week into the quarantine, Kimolia reopened its doors, albeit in a completely different way.
Kimolia faced 2 different sets of challenges, both for the locals and for the cafe as a business. On a societal level, people needed a room to connect, to hold private lessons or to simply to enjoy themselves with some simple online games. The goal was to support the simplest form of entertainment, and the most important one, the kind that involves human connection – a connection that was being challenged by the pandemic.
On a business level, not only did Kimolia have to continue running, it had to remain relevant within the community. The cafe’s followers needed to have a sense of belonging and show pride, and as a family-led business, they wanted to show that they are more than just a café: if you can put your mind into it, you can have an impact on people’s lives.
“Many years back, in 2011, I was visiting Calgary, Canada and as I was walking through the Calgary Zoo, I saw on a wall a quote by Margaret Mead: ‘Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.’ Albeit with not the same impact, this quote has been on my mind since we started our little project”.
– Nikos Palavitsinis, Co-owner, Kimolia Art Cafe and Business Development Manager, Eummena
This catapulted a new project: the reopening of Kimolia as the first online cafe in Greece.
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