About Kudu

About the Kudu and the Kudu Coffee “Herd”

“. . .perhaps the handsomest antelope in the world.”

The Greater Kudu (Tandala Mkubwa in Swahili)(Frederick Selous, A Hunter’s Wanderings in Africa — 1881)

Kudu Coffee House is named after this antelope, the owner’s totem, and aspires to offer an atmosphere of dignity, authenticity with Africa and the Greater Kudu. The Kudu is known for its beautiful coat, the chevrons on its face and the beauty of its horns. But far beyond these aesthetics are the mysteries of the Kudu Spirit and the wonder of the Kudu’s character. The horns have often served to symbolize powerful spirits and to call people to come together even as they have also been used for playing music and for storing honey.

The Kudu is a large and powerful antelope that moves quietly and with dignity all across Africa, from Chad to the Red Sea, from the Cape up through Namibia and Angola even into Kenya and Tanzania. The male Kudu is basically a loner, sometimes traveling in very small herds and the Kudu generally avoids violent situations and prefers to side-step danger rather than to create it. All told, the Kudu has mysterious power in its stature, its character and its spirit—and Kudu Coffee house, likewise, opens itself to a peaceful and dignified setting where guests may enjoy excellent African blends of coffees, teas, and pastries in the company of a relaxed environment and good conversation and music.

KUDU HOURS: Mon-Wed 6:30am to 8pm Thurs-Sat 6:30am to 10pm Sundays 9am to 6pm

Meet the Baristas

Monika O’Quinn
book-keeper and barista

Guests are often met with Monika’s unequaled smile and adeptness at ensuring that each guest’s choice is made precisely to order. Monika not only keeps the books for Kudu and tries to teach John how to count, but she also is the “wonder-woman” of keeping the shop looking pristine and inviting. Born in Darmstadt, Germany, Monika is a long-time resident of South Carolina, yet still offers the “old-world” charm in her manner and attention to detail. Other than her smile, her specialty beverage can include anything . . . as long as it is chocolate!

John Saunders
owner and barista

Kudu Coffee was given birth in John’s imagination and has found its life on No. 4 Vanderhorst Street. John’s deep connection with the African soil comes through not only in his stubbornness in staying with African coffees and fare that “leans” towards an African experience, but also in his openness to people, conversation and laughter. Always at the “bottom line,” however, is the coffee. The House Blend as well as two new blends coming soon (Kudu Nguvu – a dark and “strong” coffee / Kudu Kiliberry – a light and fanciful blend) were developed by John in working with Stockton and Graham’s premier roaster, Brandon Riggs. John lives on both sides of the counter and may be found either pulling shots and brewing coffee or discussing theology and/or politics . . . either way, it will cost you!


Chad – Member of the Kudu herd from the beginning, he is the ever smiling and gracious host whether behind the bar pulling shots, serving pastries or chillin’ on the patio. From Greenville, SC, Chad is a student at the College of Charleston.

Meet Liz. Comfortable and composed at Kudu, Liz Is Cool. She is from Statesboro, Ga. studying history at the College of Charleston. Her smile and zest for life is contagious.

Ashley’s smile is a welcome to the guests of Kudu that is unforgettable. She works diligently and efficiently. Ashley is Peaceful. She comes to us from Pawley’s Island, SC. and is a student at the College of Charleston.

Ryan. The early bird. His boundless energy sets the mood at Kudu each morning. A Sr. Philosophy Major at the College of Charleston, Ryan is the “World’s Friend.” Challenge him on your favorite topic, you will not be disappointed.

Meet Sarah, our newest Herd member. She is cheerful and engaging, always wanting to know more about you. Sarah is contemplative. Tuxedo, NC is her home and she is a Religious Studies major at the College of Charleston.

Erin – Meet Kudu’s Super Sub! Always smiling, Erin is the go-to barista when extra help is needed pulling shots. She’s bright, happy and whimsically sincere. Rome, Ga is her home and she is studying at the College of Charleston.

Ruston: Stepping in as natural at Kudu, Ruston is welcomed to the herd. A recent graduate of Appalachian State, he is an avid reader and writer and enjoys bicycling in his spare time. Join him for a shot of perfection.