Barista turns sari-sari store into a chic Japanese-inspired coffee shop

The sari-sari store turned Typica Coffee shop

Just imagine having a café in your neighborhood. No more driving, just minutes away to get your favorite cup of coffee. Wouldn't that be great? What about a humble sari-sari store turned into a chic coffee shop? Now that's awesome! Former Starbucks barista and founder of Typica Coffee Drew Magana made that happen by bringing his café right to his home street.

What started out as an online retail store for coffee beans in 2019, Typica Coffee became the manifestation of Drew's dream coffee shop. Named after a sub-variety of the Arabica family of coffees, a more specific division of what are generally considered high quality coffee beans, the coffee shop was first opened in Antipolo earlier this year. Sadly, after two months in business, the pandemic struck, forcing Drew and his team to close down due to financial difficulty.

"During ECQ, I continued studying everything about coffee and was inspired by the little café’s in Japan," Drew tells Manila Bulletin Lifestyle. "To test my product knowledge, I concocted different cold brew recipes and sold them online and saved the money earned since I’m looking forward to creating a new shop."

Typica Coffee shop interior plays with the concept of “Ma,” a celebration of not things, but the space between them.

After the success of his online sales, Drew went on to pursue his goal of building a coffee shop. This time, he started in Taytay, Rizal, by converting a sari-sari store into a Japanese-inspired café.

"It took me a month to reconstruct a sari-sari store into a coffee shop," he says. "I would personally go to different suppliers for secondhand woods, metals, etc., just to save money since I have a limited budget. My inspiration is the minimalist café in Japan. I asked my architect friends for tips and advice. This is totally a team effort."

Typica Coffee's Basque Burnt Cheesecake

Now, his neighbors and other coffee-loving fellow near the area can have a chill time at his shop and enjoy his brewed drinks (price starts at P60) made from local beans from Benguet and other countries like Vietnam and Brazil. Typica Coffee also offers artisanal cakes and pastries such as Hokkaido Cheese Tart and Basque Burnt Cheesecake.

"It was overwhelming. We had a warm reception not only in Taytay, Rizal but to nearby towns as well," Drew says. "They said the concept is something new, like a breath of fresh air."

The shop's Hokkaido Cheese Tart

Typica Coffee opens on Nov. 14. Guests are expected to don health protective wearables and observe physical distancing in accordance to health safety regulations.

"We did ensure that all our products are price friendly," Drew says. "Our main goal is to provide quality food and beverages at an affordable price for people to experience."

Facebook and Instagram: @typicacoffeeph