Photographer sets up cafe for creative folks
It started with the need for a place for artists, photographers, writers and other creative folks to hang out, relax and just talk about their work.
A graduate of fine arts, 21-year-old Rachel Arandilla made the dream a reality when she opened Sprockets Cafe last month with the help of her dad Noel and his close friend Alan Sienes.
“In 2010 they got together and brainstormed on good ideas for business. They had a common interest in investing in a coffee and milk tea cafe where I could also incorporate the concept of an alternative hangout,” said Arandilla.
With an initial investment of P1.5 million, Arandilla, with the family’s help, set up her first cafe in J Block Building along Apitong Street corner Escario Street, Cebu City.
They started with six baristas or coffee house employees and five kitchen crew, including two chefs.
The site used to be occupied by a Japanese restaurant that closed.
Arandilla and her partner redesigned the place as an “alternative” cafe.
Arandilla said they wanted the place to be homey, comfortable and offer affordable prices for young professionals and artists.
“Sprockets Cafe is envisioned to become a creative hub for artists, photographers, writers, imaginative young people, innovative young professionals and entrepreneurs, a third venue to chill and unwind,” said Arandilla.
The cafe features a space called the “Sprock-outs” where customers can post advertisements, photos, messages and announcements of exhibits, concerts, and other events of interest to people who come to the cafe.
“They can post anything in the wall for free. That’s our way of supporting them especially the start-up photographers who want to announce their services or an event. Just about anything,” said Arandilla.
The cafe serves coffee, healthy milk teas, pastries and other dishes.
One can enjoy coffee for P50 and a frapuccino for P100. Their milk teas start at P80.
“We are still developing our menu for the pastries and food that we serve as well as the pricing but we assure costumers that they will be very affordable,” said Arandilla.
The menu was developed by chef Andrew Manila and Adam Pilapil, who were both trained in the International Culinary Arts Academy in Cebu.
“We will have an American-style bistro menu in the cafe, which our chefs have developed after years of working in the Philippines, United States of America and United Kingdom,” said Arandilla.
Being a photography enthusiast, Arandilla had one part of the cafe wall decorated with photos taken by her and friends from Analog Cebu, a group of film photography enthusiast.
“I will also be selling film cameras here as well as films,” said Arandilla.
The photo wall with the homey ambience of comfortable chairs and camera-themed throw pillows create the kind of comfort that Arandilla envisioned for her cafe.
“We’ll use a lot of colors as well and infuse indie music to stimulate the artists’ creative juices,” said Arandilla.
With many coffee shops and restobars opening in Cebu, Arandilla said she trusts that her cafe will be remembered for its unique ambience and wide selection of milk teas.
She said she and her partners plan to grow the brand and look ahead at expanding through franchising.
With her dad being in the business of wealth management, Arandilla said that she is confident they can achieve this goal.
“We target to expand in malls and in areas where foot traffic is high like Asiatown IT Park,” said Arandilla.
She said a new branch is set to open within the year in Cebu.
The cafe is open daily from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and can seat up to 50 people.
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