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Five Elephant Coffee: Our story with SumUp

The city of Berlin is packed to the brim with unique, small businesses that ooze character. Whether you’re a resident of the city, or just passing by, Five Elephant is a name that pops up in any conversation about finding the perfect coffee and cake in the German capital. 

The founders of Five Elephant—a speciality coffee roastery, bakery and cafe—describe their mission as creating wholesome communities with their customers, through extraordinary coffee and cake experiences. The team at Five Elephant pride itself on sustaining durable and healthy partnerships with its suppliers, while caring for our planet in the process.

The coffee shop and roastery business now has several branches dotted around Berlin and has teamed up with SumUp to offer their customers easy, contactless payments

So, how did they get to where they are today?

Kris and Sophie Schackman, founders of Five Elephant, Berlin.

Where it all began

Kris and Sophie Schackman founded Five Elephant in the summer of 2010, when they felt it was the right time to share their passion for freshly-roasted coffee and delicious baked goods with the world. Although a huge achievement for both Kris and Sophie, this wasn’t either of the pair’s first adventure. Before making the move to Berlin, Kris worked on some impressive movie productions in New York, with the likes of Steven Spielberg and Ben Stiller. Sophie, who grew up in Vienna, had worked as a stylist and makeup artist in several industries, from fashion photography to music videos.

It was in 2008 when Kris and Sophie first met in the heart of Kreuzberg, Berlin, where one of their most iconic coffee shop locations would open its doors just a few years later.

Their recipe for success

Over the years, Five Elephant has become one of the most raved-about coffee and cake spots in Berlin—so what is it that keeps customers coming back? Starting with the obvious, their product is consistently tasty. Not only known for their top-quality coffee, they’re also renowned for one of their most-ordered treats: a thick slice of decadent cheesecake that melts in your mouth with every bite. Whatever the secret recipe entails, people can’t get enough of it.

As well as their baked goods, Five Elephant have their own coffee roastery that provides ethically-sourced ‘green beans’ to its cafes, bakery and retail store, spread out across the city. The team make sure that everything they do has sustainability at the forefront, working with the same coffee farmers over the years and having direct relationships with them; this is something that their customers really appreciate.

“By drinking our coffee, they can be sure that in their cup is an ethically-sourced product that is fairly paid for and produced.”

The team at Five Elephant told us about how their loyal customers showed up every day during the COVID-19 lockdown periods, to grab a coffee and support them. This had a huge impact—boosting team morale and allowing the coffee business to stick out tough times and come out the other side, stronger than ever. 

Cashless coffee with SumUp

The team at Five Elephant provide easy, contactless payments to their customers with SumUp card readers—especially at the events they organise. One of their recent events—the 2021 German AeroPress Championship—was a great success, and they were glad to have “a reliable and trustworthy tool” to make payments fast and stress-free. Going cashless with SumUp card readers also means transactions are always safe and secure.

“Payments are processed in accordance with the highest industry security standards, and it’s the most valuable asset for us.”

Compare card readers

Before teaming up with SumUp, Five Elephant only accepted cash payments in their bakery and cafes. Now, customers can pay with a tap of their card or phone in seconds. The team also noticed that their customers seem to be already familiar with SumUp products, which is reassuring for them when spending in-store. 

“SumUp helped us to fulfil our customers’ expectations. Offering that option is an important part of our customer service quality.”

Kris and Sophie’s hopes for the future are that they continue to grow and nurture these communities that they have created through Five Elephant over the years, as this is what is truly important to them—not only as business owners, but as people. 


If you’d like to get to know more about Five Elephant, their products and locations—you can check out their website or head over to their Instagram.

Aaron Nevin

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