[This is a sponsored article with Gigi Coffee.]
The market for third-wave coffee has become increasingly competitive in recent years. Homegrown brand, Gigi Coffee is one of them, with at least 50 outlets around Malaysia and Korea.
With a passion to train its staff into competent baristas, coupled with the mission to solidify Gigi Coffee’s name in the market, the company has upped the ante for its newest flagship store.
Located at Glenmarie, Shah Alam, the coffee brand has rolled out Gigi Coffee Home Barista. The term “Home Barista” refers to the flagship store’s new concept, which doubles as the team’s home base.
Spanning 7,000 sq ft, the concept of the space is vastly different from the regular Gigi Coffee grab-and-go kiosks you’ll find at malls.
Focused on ambience and vibes
Walking into the store, it’s clear that a lot of thought had gone into its design. After all, founder and CEO Marcus Low intends for the space to be the image of Gigi Coffee, showcasing that the brand is, in fact, serious about coffee.
The CEO told Vulcan Post that it took the team seven months to bring their flagship store to life, from ideation to launch on September 26, 2022.
When you enter, to your right is a pour-over coffee station with brewing kits lined up on the countertop.
On your left, preserved plants sit under a large blue lightbox emulating the daytime sky, acting as an artistic backdrop for the customer seating area.
Past the space’s centrepiece—a tall indoor tree—you’ll be met with the espresso counter and delicious-looking pastries sitting in a glass panel at the cash register.
Gigi Coffee Home Barista’s exclusive menu items light up on the screens above the coffee stations, highlighting the espresso mocktails and signature drinks crafted by its in-house team.
Speaking of developing food and beverages, the space features the team’s R&D station and roastery where coffee beans are roasted and supplied to all Gigi Coffee outlets.
There’s also a merchandise corner where customers can shop for Gigi Coffee’s home-roasted coffee beans, along with local brands Gigi Coffee has collaborated with.
Not only is the flagship store a cosy space for customers to enjoy the ambience and menu items, but Gigi Coffee Home Barista is also home to the company’s HQ, with offices above the café area.
All about the people and quality
Tasting Gigi Coffee Home Barista’s espresso mocktails and signature coffee, our team was impressed at the creativity and execution that went into the drinks and pastries presented. It’s a testament to the in-house barista’s skills in understanding flavours and balancing them.
Gigi Coffee’s team shared that it’s exactly what the company wants to train their staff to do.
Referencing the pour-over offering at the flagship store, its team stated that this was a move to teach their staff to master the skills of a barista.
It’s also the brand’s way of preparing Gigi Coffee to be the title sponsor for the Malaysia Barista and Latte Art Championships 2023 happening in May.
The direction isn’t just to serve coffee and expand though.
On the customer experience end, Gigi Coffee has plans to offer coffee brewing and latte art classes for the public at the Shah Alam flagship store in the near future.
Marcus even plans to have the brand roll out merchandise that would include home brewing kits and a coffee subscription service so customers can make their own coffee at home.
Accounting for the existing works and future plans set for Gigi Coffee, it can be said that the brand has found its stance in third-wave coffee, both locally and potentially beyond.
Featured image credit: Vulcan Post