This tiny rustic coffee shop is thriving amid the pandemic

Can you believe the store is only 40 sqm. big?

This pandemic may have brought out the worst situations people could ever experience but it is definitely not too great to break everyone's spirit. In fact, it gave many the push they needed to make their dreams a reality. 

One example is this humble and quaint coffee shop in Marikina City called Inarawan Café. Led by couple Nicolette Gutierrez and Paul Carsen Torzar, the shop first started as an alfresco café along Marilaque Highway, serving brewed drinks to motorists and bikers on Sundays since October 2020. 

Pop-up store at Marilaque Road

"My girlfriend has some basic coffee brewing skills and we tried to sell coffee along the highway. Nothing is impossible and we took the risk," Paul tells Manila Bulletin Lifestyle. "We had our physical small coffee shop in Concepcion Uno, Marikina City last Dec. 22, 2020. Our inspiration came from a lot of rolling stores selling coffees and pastries."

But what made their store a stand out is how they used the 40 sqm. space and turned it into a rustic café, complete decorative bicycles, paying homage to their first patrons back when they're still a pop store. Another detail they highlight is that unlike the store name Inarawan, which relates to the words "sun" and "light," they opted for a darker hue for their coffee shop.

"Some of the newly created coffee shops are themed by white and brown or just all white. Then we decided to go for the opposite of the color which is black," Paul muses. "Most of the customers are amazed by our small coffee shop. Some can’t imagine how we maximized our idea and design in a 40 sqm. area. We are extremely grateful for their appreciation of our café."

Beauty and aesthetic go a long way. But the key to their success lies on their brewed offerings. They use coffee beans roasted in Batangas for their Benguet Arabica (for strong coffee drinkers), Barako and Kalinga Robusta (for mild drinkers), and their flavored coffee like Hazelnut, Mocha, and Butterscotch.

With their physical store, they're able to add new items in their menu, from non-coffee drinks like Lychee and Green Apple Fruit teas, and Iced Chocolate to  breakfast meals and snacks like fries and nuggets, and sweet cheesecakes.

Due to the enhanced community quarantine, Inarawan Café is open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. and only for takeaways and deliveries. But on normal days, it operates from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. We don't know about you, but this place is a must-visit when the government allows dine-in again.

Instagram: @inarawancafe