Updated: Dec 21, 2021
Though big-name coffee brands threaten to saturate the market, independent coffee businesses in the Philippines persist. In fact, there’s a whole subset of local coffee companies called third wave coffee.
Third wave coffee brands believe in producing high-quality coffee as an artisanal experience –not a commodity. These brands take their coffee very seriously, often going as far as sourcing their ingredients from all across the globe themselves. To these brands, coffee is an experience. The result? An interesting breadth of coffee companies with different business models and approaches.
Different, of course, doesn’t guarantee success. As an entrepreneur aspiring to start your own coffee business in the Philippines, it’s crucial to assess what makes successful coffee companies work.
In this post, we’re rounding up five successful independent Philippine based coffee businesses that have gotten it right. Learn from their experience and success and apply it to your own coffee business.
The Philippines is seeing a renaissance for local barber shops and salons. While the focus on top-dollar tech and equipment has always been a priority, lately it seems that they are putting emphasis on experience.
Take KAPWA, for example. A unisex salon situated at the heart of Poblacion in Makati, KAPWA offers professional haircut and hair coloring services. By adding coffee to their experience KAPWA elevated the hair salons into event spaces where hip and young art enthusiasts meet and perform.
What to take away from KAPWA:
If you’re in the service business, you’re selling an experience. Elevate your customer experience by going above and beyond. In KAPWA’s case, artisan coffee was the point of differentiation needed to elevate and grow their brand and customer base.
Visit KAPWA: 5059-A Padre Burgos Street, Poblacion, Makati City
Contact #: (02) 805-7947
The Nook Cafe sits quietly in the ever-magical food scene of Maginhawa in Quezon City. There’s already a lot of interesting food stops nearby, but Nicole Guanio’s passion project sticks out.
First off, it’s a Harry Potter-inspired cafe. The very core audience consists of Potterheads and general bookworms. A sign sits outside the coffee shop and beacons, "Harry Potter-inspired drink: Butterbeer." We dare you not to enter.
However, a solid concept is not always enough. The Nook Cafe makes sure that their coffee game is strong by focusing on craft and quality. Their bestselling Butterbeer is made using very good brew—at par, dare we say with the one you get at Universal Studios.
What to take away from The Nook Cafe:
Fandom and nostalgia. This can be hard stuff to nail, but when done right, it can be magical. Just be sure to check the legalities surrounding the use of trademarked titles, characters, and media.
Visit The Nook Cafe: Maginhawa Street, Sikatuna Village, Quezon City
Contact #: (02) 805-7947
Unit 27 calls its bar + cafe an apartment. That choice is not arbitrary: the shop, which consists of two stories designed to feel like a place a New Yorker would frequent. The first floor is a cozy common area where you can “play music, have a drink, and invite some friends over.” The second floor is a dining area where you can get your grub on from their all-day brunch menu.
Situated at the crest of the busy district of Eastwood, Unit 27, has quickly become a preferred go-to place for professionals and creatives alike. Most come in the morning and return after a long day of hard work for drinks.
Unit 27’s whole vibe feels very homey. It’s easy to imagine yourself settling in among its beautiful interiors and homey setting.
What to take away from Unit 27:
Know your USP (unique selling point). For Unit 27, it’s the fantasy of emulating that New York apartment experience, which translates to a “second home”.
Visit Unit 27:
Citywalk 1, Bagumbayan, Quezon City
Contact #: (02) 894-1692, 0998-556-9125
Café Adriana by Hill Station
Hill Station is one of the most revered restaurants in the Philippines. Featuring cuisines influenced by chef Mitos Benitez-Yñiquez’s journeys across Europe, America, and Asia. The constantly packed fine-dining restaurant is a true force in the food scene in Baguio.
Café Adriana is an extension of Hill Station’s food offerings, focusing on Spanish dishes from chef Mitos’ childhood. The flavors are distinct and fresh, thanks to Baguio-grade produce. Patrons frequent the cafe for its famous salads and stay for their signature coffee blend. It’s ground and brewed to perfection and will not feel out-of-place alongside the cafe’s grade-A food offerings.
What to take away from Café Adriana:
Nothing trumps excellence. Quality coffee is good on its own but is even better when paired with good food. That, chef Mitos and her team nails down.
Visit Café Adriana: DMCI Outlook Ridge Residences, V. De Los Reyes St., Outlook Drive Baguio City
Contact #: 0927 077 1602
Slurp is all about the roast. Focusing on locally grown coffee beans, Slurp’s brews taste earthy and hearty with a kick of a bitter. They are best known for their cold brew, which is also available in Salted Caramel flavor. Their menu includes wine, cheese, lunch bowls, pasta, and pastries.
Located on the third floor of Venice Piazza Canal Mall in Taguig City, Slurp is a perfect sit-down stopover for shoppers and a cozy place to work.
What to take away from Slurp Coffee:
Simplicity is a big pull for Slurp. They bring high-quality coffee to your table, and you are to enjoy it however you like. And just like their name suggests, it’s okay to slurp.
Visit Slurp Coffee:
3rd Level (Cineplex Area), Venice Grand Canal Mall Upper McKinley Road,
Fort Bonifacio, Taguig, Metro Manila, Philippines
Contact #: 0998-987-2959
Ready to start your own independent cafe? Send us a message HERE and let us help you get it up and running.
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