“Bolivia is a fun place to start something in. You never know what is going to happen. Anything could happen here,” says Sukko Stach, Founder of Antigua Miami, a café in the heart of La Paz’s bustling tourist district.
Sukko grew up in the Bolivian restaurant industry. When he studied at a Canadian University, he worked for and helped open several restaurants and bars in the area. “It was a lot of work and I put in a lot of energy for something that wasn’t my own.” So, Sukko decided to pack his bags and return to Bolivia to start his own venture.
“One of the great things about opening a business here in Bolivia compared to Canada is that the initial investment is A LOT lower,” explains Sukko.
“I decided to open a coffee shop as opposed to a bar or restaurant because a coffee shop is manageable by a single person and involves less energy,” says Sukko. Sukko sees Antigua Miami as an incubating space for future ideas. “It’s a way to test and better understand the Bolivian market in La Paz,” explains Sukko. In the future, he plans to open other businesses, starting with a micro brewery.
Despite the fact that Sukko opened the coffee shop only 10 weeks prior to our interview, Antigua Miami was already listed as the #1 restaurant /café to visit in La Paz on Trip Advisor. So far, about 80% of Sukko’s customer base are tourists. That’s because tourists tend to be more in tune with the coffee culture than do Bolivians.
The coffee shop itself is an accumulation of Sukko’s travels. “I was super inspired by traveling through Europe. I’ve been taking ideas from other places and have finally been able to put them all together and to manifest Antigua Miami’s identity.”
When it comes to entrepreneurship, “It is about taking a risk and really following through with your ideas. A lot of people have great ideas. Having a good idea is just 5% of success. The rest is when you make those ideas a reality.” For Sukko, making his dreams a reality starts with putting his ideas on paper. “I carry around a moleskin journal and write down all of my dreams and ideas. You never know when one of those ideas will come in handy a few years down the road.”