When is a café not a café? Singaporean-based coffee company Papa Palheta is trying to solve this riddle by doing it all – sourcing and roasting beans; serving coffee in its own outlets; selling espresso machines and brewing equipment; conducting coffee appreciation classes and workshops; and even running an online coffee subscription service.
Founder Leon Foo, 31, started the company as a coffee-roasting and wholesale business from the back of a little shophouse in Bukit Timah in 2009. Today the brand also includes a trio of cafés – Loysel’s Toy and Chye Seng Huat Hardware in Singapore, and most recently Pulp in Bangsar.
The former banker says, “I’ve always wanted to create a Singaporean-Malaysian brand but it was a matter of timing. The Singaporean market was ready first so we started there. For Pulp, our Kuala Lumpur entry, I wanted to collaborate with local partners hence we have Bangsar-based Art Printing Works as our landlord.”
The avid locavore reasons that as Singapore is only four hours away from Kuala Lumpur by land, the two cities are still close enough for Papa Palheta’s coffee to be considered local. He says, “What we are trying to do is build our brand identity within this stretch of the peninsula. Roasted coffee does not travel well so we’re keeping operations within these two countries.”
Pulp is housed on the grounds of a Bangsar paper mill. Unlike their earlier cafés where raw, almost-bare furnishings reigned, here almost every surface is finished; expect of a lot of laminated wood and glass. A very big portion of the space is dedicated to the back-of-house that includes the cupping room, the C-Platform training area, the warehouse to store the beans and an office upstairs. By contrast, the café portion is quite small.
Foo explains, “We deliberately did this so that we come across as a support centre. If you notice, the espresso and brew bars are designed in such a way so they can be rotated to showcase our equipment and the openness of how we do things. We are trying to create that curiosity of ‘Hey, they are cupping coffee inside. Maybe I should go have a look since I’m interested?’”
For coffee enthusiasts, the C-Platform is a space where they can play with various coffee paraphernalia and machines with the guidance of a professional, whether it’s the dedicated staff on hand to answer their every query or by attending small group classes.
而旗下的再成發五金（Chye Seng Huat Hardware）和Loysel’s Toy更是星星國的人氣咖啡館。
Pulp by Papa Palheta
29-01, Jalan Riong, Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur
Tue-Fri 9am-7pm / Sat-Sun 9am-10pm / Mon closed