Paulís BrewHouse is hot on the heels of Brown Coffee for the title of Cambodiaís biggest coffee shop chain as it opens its sixth store in Phnom Penh on Thursday, with the company looking to open another branch later this year in the capitalís rapidly expanding cafe market.
The new outlet on Sothearos is decorated with a mini replica of the Leaning Tower of Pisa and modern art sculptures, inspired by CEO Mengly J. Quachís love for European coffee shop designs.
Although the decor is European, the flavor is distinctly American, he said. Donuts in particular distinguish Paulís BrewHouse from competitors such as Brown and Costa.
ďWe do a good job with donuts and we have the original U.S. taste. Everything is from the U.S.óthe baker, the flour, everything,Ē Mr. Quach said.
The sixth store reflects the companyís lightning growth since it opened its first store in Boeng Keng Kang 1 commune 18 months ago, and there are plans to open a seventh this year if it finds the right location, which could be Tuol Kok, Teuk Tla or Chak Angre, Mr. Quach said.
Phnom Penhís coffee scene has been driven by Westerners and a burgeoning middle class who crave more sophisticated coffee rather than the traditional Cambodian coffee, said Bunleang Chang, co-founder of Brown Coffee, the countryís biggest chain with seven outlets. ďIn 2010, [Boeng Keng Kang] had only about five coffee shops; now there are more than 20,Ē he said.
The arrival of competitors and the rise of Paulís BrewHouse is nothing to worry about; in fact, itís a good thing, Mr. Bunleang added.
ďI think itís good for Cambodia to have coffee houses. Itís important for the city because it gives people more places to go and hang out. Also, itís good for investors who come to Phnom Penh and see a modern city. It shows the city is developing and makes them optimistic that they will have a future in Cambodia.Ē
© 2014, The Cambodia Daily. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced in print, electronically, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without written permission.