Quality coffee since 1937

High-quality coffee for the connoisseur, roasted with more than 80 years of expertise. Our mission is clear: to offer the best freshly roasted coffee. We have been doing this in a traditional way since 1937.


Start up Mokabon as a coffee roaster

Erminio Mazzaro moved away from Padua to Zelzate in the 1930s. There he met his wife Bertha Gauwe and they moved to the Donkersteeg in Ghent, where they started a coffee roasting company. He roasted the beans in the cellar, she sold the freshly roasted coffee beans on the ground floor


The oldest coffee house in Ghent

In the 1950s, the taproom was also added, and that "Salon du Café" was an instant hit. The first Turkish and North African labor migrants also immediately felt welcome here. And that word mokabon? Shouldn't that be done with two k's? No, it's just a short Italian way of saying 'good coffee'. Did you know that there is also a Mokabon in Verona?


Erminio Mazzaro develops his own espresso machine

Erminio soon noticed that the Belgians drank their coffee differently than the Italians. He conceived the plan to design a coffee machine himself, which would serve coffee according to the taste of his Belgian clientele. In Italy he set up a small coffee machine company, which he transferred to Destelbergen around the mid-1960s.


Tom Duran: Passion for the profession and an eye for detail

When Erminio reached retirement age, the children would normally continue the business in the Donkersteeg. But they also felt the pull of migrating and moved to the United States. Mokabon came into the hands of new owner Tom Duran.

Tom took the coffee shop to a higher level with his expertise and knowledge. For example, he roasted his coffee blends fresh every week using the slow-roast method. Premium coffee beans carefully selected, roasted and inspected, that was his motto.


Generational change

Grace and Quentin took over the business from Christine and Tom in early 2023. Grace is Christine's daughter and grew up above the Mokabon, so to speak. She played a lot in the business that her mother took over with Tom Duran in 1991. It is therefore obvious that she is the new face of the business. In the meantime, Quentin is perfecting himself as a coffee roaster under the watchful eye of Tom.

A cup of coffee as a great social connector

In a rapidly changing world where many people need a resting place, a place that does not change, and where not ten people suddenly find themselves working with a laptop... there is Mokabon: a safe haven, a rare haven where time seems to stand still. Without wifi and sleek decor. Step inside and you immediately get a piece of history. And stories, because what you hear here, you hear nowhere else.

"The small, cozy coffee house in the Donkersteeg has been the place where people of all backgrounds go daily for decades for a cup of comfort and freshly roasted beans."

What is unique about the coffee house is that there are absolutely no social boundaries: a chic, freshly coiffed lady from the Latem bourgeoisie sits comfortably next to a scruffy painter or a well-known Fleming has a chat with the postman. That friendly, relaxed atmosphere is a legacy of the past and is reinforced by the fact that there are barely ten tables. Anyone who enters and does not see a free table joins a noble stranger, which creates a nice conversation - almost every time.

Opening hours coffee house & shop