Taking a peek into someone else's home is always fascinating. It can give you inspiration, but it is also an opportunity to look at other people’s design choices shamelessly. In Rethink Stories, we give a glimpse into the interiors of format clients. This one is slightly different, because this time we meet the young entrepreneurs Kelvin (27) and Melissa (25) and we have a look inside their café Chun in Amsterdam.
FIRST THINGS FIRST
Kelvin has a background in IT and worked at a bubble tea shop during his studies where he gained a lot of experience. Melissa graduated as a designer two years ago and worked as a freelancer until Covid also broke out in the Netherlands. As a result, her work came to a standstill. Melissa: “In that period, Kelvin and I started doing business. We started with bubble tea and matcha delivery from home, but very quickly could not keep up with the demand, so we decided to look for a space after three weeks.” Kelvin: “Covid was the perfect time for us to experiment. What started as a webshop quickly grew into our own café in the Jordaan.”
VISION & STYLE
Melissa: “It's kind of funny, because we never want to describe in words what our style is. We find it tricky to use trendy words and we try to avoid labels. It is important to stay very close to ourselves and stay true to our own style. Kelvin: “But if we had to give it a name, we would describe our style as 'minimalist, functional and calm'. The starting point is always to create something cool for the customers. This applies not only to the interior, but to everything we do.”
"Format's expectation management is on point, they always circle back with clear communication. You can just tell how hard they work and we love that, because we are just like that.“
Collaboration with Format
Kelvin: “We are fans of another place in Amsterdam, called Coffee District, and they told us about Format, so that's how we ended up with them. When we came to Format we already had drawings of the interior and based on this we started selecting materials.” Melissa: “Our space is not very big, so the layout was very important, as working efficiently is essential to us. Our café is located in the middle of the Jordaan and has a fast turnaround, so if you order a drink you want to receive it quickly. That’s only possible when you have a large bar with a lot of production capacity”. This was an important focus point for us during the design process.” Kelvin: "Format's expectation management is on point, they always circle back with clear communication. You can just tell how hard they work and we love that, because we are just like that.“
MOST PROUD OF
Melissa: “For me, that's the bar or the wall near the kitchen with the window in it, because you don't see that anywhere. The window is inspired by the Japanese 'Shoji' sliding doors or windows made of wood and translucent plates, in our case glass. It is very beautiful, but also functional at the same time.” Kelvin: “Floor and Jikke also thought this was super cool to create. Floor was glowing when it was being installed.”
And looking at the future - what does it look like and what plans do you have?
Kelvin: “Many people ask about a franchise opportunity, but at the moment we are not open to that. We first want to expand in Amsterdam and then possibly in Rotterdam.” If we open a second café, we will really go next-level in terms of interior design. In this café, we had to make concessions at the start, for example with regard to materials.” Melissa: You will always recognise elements of our own style, because it remains ours. We still have so many ideas, so when we open a second location, we will take it to another level.”