The coffee industry has taken off and social media has been bombarded with photos of coffee cups on which their names were written and were often misspelled. There may be more than tens of thousands of coffee shops in the Philippines, and still growing. It wasn’t much of a thing from where I live, but now more and more cafés and diners are starting to sprout and are quickly becoming a hit.
Although these cafés offer almost the same items on the menu, it’s the taste, the cooking, and the presentation that will make one stand out from the others. But in my opinion, it’s initially the concept that attracts the people.
On Maginhawa Street, which is a haven for foodies, my favorite would be the Harry Potter themed cafe. In White Plains, it would be the café library owned by my favorite celebrity/blogger/band vocalist.
Here in Laguna, there’s a café that’s perfect for those who are into coffee and photography. Currently located near University of Perpetual Help System in Biñan, Laguna, Cafegraphy has been a favorite rendesvouz of college students. Prior to that, they used to be near Pavilion, but now they’re in a bigger place and can accommodate about fifty people or more.
Chell, also a blogger for WishCard, and I had the privilege of interviewing the owner, Mr. Kyro. To know how Cafegraphy started, its mission, struggles, as well as a few tidbits about the owner himself, (and to get your promo code), please read on.
Don’t judge a café by its facade.
When Guil and I arrived at the Lady Rose Building, it reminded me of the entrance to an old movie house. 😅
The outside looked old-fashioned, but as soon as we went through the door, we were welcomed by the Cafegraphy logo on a wall of artificial green leaves.
There was also a tall coffee table set which I think is a really good spot for taking selfies or usies with a friend. As we went up the stairs, we found a royal single seater sofa where Chell and I took photos at before leaving.
I really love the homey and artistic vibe of the café. There’s a lounge where customers can wait for their take away orders. There is also a balcony for people who prefer eating in the open air.
Inside, I first noticed the umbrellas and the bulbs that hung from the ceiling. In photography, white umbrellas are used to soften the effect of flash. Also, the white umbrellas create a beautiful contrast to the café’s black wall.
The white wall on the right, though, is where I was triggered with nostalgia. Incredible cassette tape artworks line up the wall; those were images of our favorite music legends. My favorite part were the murals of two of our beloved childhood computer games Pacman and Galaga, but with a twist. They included cute drawings of coffee, egg, and fruit!
Enough of the café, let’s talk about coffee and food!
Cafegraphy offers a wide selection of food from rice meals to cake, to hot caffeinated drinks to iced sparkling sodas. When I feel like having frappe, I usually pick coffee jelly. So I felt like I also had to try theirs.
I really love this! I love that it’s not pa-cute and it still has the strength of coffee I love. It’s not bitter, it just has that really nice richness to it that I enjoyed. The jelly bits are soft and chewy, so if you don’t prefer tough jell-o’s, then this is the one for you.
Chell originally wanted to get their Java Chip, but it was unavailable at that time, so she picked Oreo Cream instead.
It was not Chell’s first time at Cafegraphy. It used to be her and her friends’ favorite hangout when she was in college. Read her post here.
Their frappe is served in two sizes: 16 MP and 22 MP. 16 MP is their regular size and is served in their famous lens cup, while the 22 MP is served in the typical plastic coffee cup. Staying true to its concept, Cafegraphy used megapixels to indicate the ounces. Simply put, 16 MP is 16oz. Just in case you don’t know, megapixels is the term used to refer to the resolution of digital cameras and phones.
I wanted to try their pasta so I ordered their Fettuccine ni Ka Alfredo. It was served in a huge plate with two pieces of delicious garlic bread.
This dish was truly indulging! For only P90, who would’ve known it was affordable? The pasta was cooked right and the sauce was really flavorful.
Chell chose the Barkada platter which consists of hotdogs, onion rings, fries, and nachos. The nachos were drizzled with a rich cheese sauce, and the onion rings tasted amazing. For only less than P200, it can be shared with a group of 3 to 4.
We were later served with their Sparkling Sodas that were really colorful and cute! We had the Blue Raspberry Soda, the Green Apple Soda, and the Strawberry Soda. All of which were super refreshing and thirst-quenching.
All of us really enjoyed everything that we had that day, and we’re all looking forward to going back and trying the other items on their menu.
The story behind Cafegraphy
Rika: Could you introduce yourself?
Kyro: Hi, I’m Kyro Loanzon. Graduate po ako sa University of Perpetual Help Biñan. Marketing graduate po ako. Cafegraphy started 2016 pa.
R: Napansin ko kasi puro photography, camera ganyan. May background ka sa photography?
K: Hilig ko lang talaga yung photography. Kami ng mga barkada ko, mga pinsan ko, hilig lang talaga namin. Ang nag-isip nito is bata na mahilig din sa phography. Sabi niya, mas maganda siguro coffee shop then photography. Magandang concept. So ano’ng pangalan? Sabi niya gawin natin yung ano: café tapos photography, caféphotography. Bigla na lang din niya sinabi sa’min na CAFEGRAPHY. Cafegraphy is para lang dapat sa’min yan. Private lang siya, hindi namin siya ipu-public dapat. Kumbaga, barkada-barkada, mahilig lang sa coffee-coffee, meeting. Then ‘yung pinsan ko nag-decide siyang i-open siya sa public nung 2016. Dahil kami yung unang-unang coffee shop na malapit sa school, kami yung pinakamabilis na nag-trend. Now, na two years pa lang, meron na kaming 36,000 followers sa FB.
R: Paano ka nagsimula sa coffee? Nag-aral ka [ba ng coffee making]?
K: Hindi ako totally coffee-lover. Na-introduce sa’kin yung coffee dahil din sa batang ‘yon. Mahilig din siya sa coffee and then cakes. Tapos sabi niya sa’kin, try natin. Nag-frappe siya. Ang una kong nagustuhan na ginawa niya is yung matcha. After nun, nag-invest na ‘ko. Tinutukan na namin siya nang tinutukan until sa doon na ‘ko na-in love mag-coffee.
R: So yung blends niyo, kayo talaga ang gumawa?
K: Oo, yung iba, turo rin ng supplier sa’min and then ‘yung iba formulated na rin namin. ‘Yung iba natutunan namin sa kanila, yung iba timpla na namin.
(Then I asked about their struggles. I believe that in every thing, whether in studies or work or business, there will always be that one thing that will test our will and our passion.)
K: Ang struggle namin [dun sa unang puwesto namin] is poor customer service. Sobrang mura namin, pumipila yung estudyante, lahat ‘yun pending talaga. As in.
R: Paano niyo inayos ‘yun?
K: Bumili kami nang bumili ng machine — nang mabilis na machine.
R: Parang games din, noh? Upgrade ka ng machine.
K: Dati kasi, ice crusher pa kami. Kasi yung mga cube ice, hindi kaya ng blender. Ang blender lang namin is ‘yung pang shake lang. Eh dapat pala mas upgraded pa do’n. So bili kami ng worth P15,000 na blender, mura pa ‘yun! Kasi ang alam ko mga P90,000 yung pinakamalaki at pinakamaganda. Upgrade kami nang upgrade. Ang pinaka-struggle namin is yung pending [na orders]. Kumbaga, pila kasi. Kasi sa isang tao, ang order niya lima. Kumbaga blockbuster ‘yung nangyari. Kasi ang puwesto namin sa isang building is 2nd floor and 5th floor. So ang nangyari, puno yung 2nd floor, inaakyat namin yung frappe hanggang 5th floor. Kaya, mapapansin niyo, kung babalikan niyo yung mga reviews namin, 2016 or 2017, bad talaga siya, kasi delayed.
R: Pero siyempre ‘di ba, nakaapekto sa’yo ‘yung mga negative comments, how did you get through it?
K: Minsan kasi tinitingnan ko yung accounts. Kung okay naman, tinatanggap ko, so upgrade kami. Nagme-meeting kami, upgrade, meeting, upgrade. Tuluy-tuloy ‘yon. Minsan kasi naninira lang. Kung titingnan mo ‘yung profile, si Cardo Dalisay yung profile parang ganon. Hindi ko siya pinapansin. To be honest, hanggang ngayon nag-u-upgrade kami nang nag-u-upgrade. Sinasakto namin na may value for money yung binibigay namin sa tao. Gusto namin quality kami, syempre naglalabas kasi ng pera yung mga tao. Kumbaga yung value for money yung pinaka-focus namin. ‘Yung nilabas mo [na pera], ‘yung sarap niya, mas higit pa dun sa nilabas mo. ‘Pag naglabas ka ng kunwari P75 for Oreo, ang malalasahan mo P180, o higit pa.
C: Kasi nakita ko sa Facebook page na may photography class this month.
K: Free lang siya. Walang hidden fees. It’s a FREE photography class. Magha-hire kami ng photographer, sikat na photographer, na magtuturo sa mga gustong maging photographer talaga, mga amateurs and professionals na gusto pang ma-enhance yung mga skills nila. Itong photographer na’to nag-e-exhibit na talaga siya. Magkakaroon din ng photo exhibit dito. So photography class muna. Tuluy-tuloy na session hanggang sa magkakaroon ng contest. Tapos kung sino yung manalo, siya yung mag-e-exhibit. Idi-display yung photography niya dito, yun yung bibilhin ng tao. Para sa kanya yun. Kumbaga bilang isang photographer, parang achievement na nya yun.
R: How do you see yourself in the next few years? Are you still gonna stay here?
K: Ang target ko talaga, mag-focus ang Cafegraphy sa Laguna lang. Pero meron na kasi kami ngayon sa Makati, magbubukas pa lang siya. Pero ang main target ko, Laguna. “Ay pagpunta sa Laguna, daan tayo sa Cafegraphy.”
R: Any advice na lang…
C: Yung sa mga mags-start pa lang ng mga coffee shops ganon.
K: Siguro kahit hindi coffee shops, kung anuman yung gagawin nilang business, dapat yung gustung-gusto nila. Mas makakapag-isip ka pa kapag gustung-gusto mo yung ginagawa mo, eh. Mag-i-innovate ka nang mag-i-innovate at hindi ka matatapos. Yun din yung natutunan ko sa Wish. Sobrang tindi ng isip ni Kuya Daniel, eh. Sobrang innovative talaga siya. Gusto kong maging ganun.
R: Speaking of Wish, paano ka nag-start doon and ano yung nakikita mong advantage of being a partner merchant?
K: Nung nagtayo kami ng Cafegraphy, kakalabas lang din ng Wish FM non. Nagkaroon ng booth sa loob ng Cafegraphy. Yung Wish Notes, yung mga estudyante, naghiling-hiling sila don. Dun kami nag-start kaya ko nakilala yung Wish. Hanggang sa nag-email sila sa’kin yung Wish ulit, para maging partner ng Wish Card. Ngayon kasi nagte-trend talaga yung Wish FM, eh. Sobrang tindi talaga niya, as in on the top siya, eh. Tingin ko hindi na sila babagsak.
PROMO CODE: V9S905M
“Value for money is our ultimate focus.”
Kyro definitely gained our respect during the interview. Though quantity is the main focus of most businesses, he makes sure that theirs isn’t. It’s always been quality for him, as he aims towards customer satisfaction — that the customers will leave knowing that what they had was their money’s worth, or even greater. If you are to ask me, I’ll say that Cafegraphy is indeed worth the visit when you come to Laguna.
Cafegraphy’s story is truly inspiring, especially for those who want to start their own businesses. Like Kyro, maybe we can start doing a different job. He even entered the world of networking, before finally building something he can call his own.
We should not stop pursuing the things that make us truly happy. We must also NOT forget that great things begin from something small, and that in every journey, stumbling blocks are inevitable. It’s our courage and determination that will take us towards success.
Cafegraphy is open daily from 10AM to 9PM on Mondays to Saturdays and at 2PM to 10PM on Sundays. It’s located at 2/F Lady Rose Building, National Highway, Brgy. San Antonio, Biñan City, Laguna. You may contact them at 0999 546 1337 or 0945 785 4904.
Here’s our first vlog on #BeautifulWishers channel! Hope you SUBSCRIBE! 🙂
Hope you follow me on YouTube: MyRikaness
And on Instagram: @MyRikaness
On Twitter: @rixbajns
Like my Facebook page: @RikaNobela
Follow me on Bloglovin’: @RikaNobela
Let’s be friends!