In our May’s issue about coffee, BSD, Tangerang was often mentioned as one of the fastest growing region for coffee shop business. However, when Angeline Lauwrence and Joseph Erwin started Turning Point Coffee in 2014, it was the pioneer of coffee shop in the region. “Our initial concept is neighborhood café that aim for local residents. We want to be a part of residents’ activities so we can create our own community, unlike coffee shops in malls that are visited occasionally,” said Angeline.
From Melbourne to Tangerang
The story of Turning Point Coffee began when Angeline and Joseph were living in Melbourne, Australia for 10 years. After graduated, Angeline worked in financial planning, while Joseph was in IT. In 2012, Angeline decided to make a turn in her career by becoming a full time barista and worked in some local coffee shops, the last one was Market Lane Coffee.
“Actually, office life in Melbourne is very nice, (economically) very stable. But, we wanted to build our own business in Indonesia, the one that not only profitable for us, personally, but also to give positive impacts to broader audience,” she explained. After knowing about the promising coffee shop business opportunity in Indonesia, finally on 2014 the couple returned to their homeland to establish Turning Point Coffee in BSD, Tangerang.
Of course, adopting the coffee habit from Melbourne to Tangerang does not happen overnight. “In Melbourne, coffee is necessity. A person may visit a coffee shop 2-3 times a day, and the local coffee shops can, at least, sell 200 cups of coffee per day, that’s the absolute minimum number. Meanwhile, in here, if you can reach 200 cups, it’s already wonderful. We’re talking about coffee here, not including any other drinks,” said Angeline.
“In the beginning, our outlet is not too big, only consist of 1 floor, we didn’t even have wifi, nor main course. At the time, our resources are very limited, we didn’t have proper kitchen, we didn’t even know how to run one. As time goes by, we evolve. After moving to a new location in the beginning of 2018, we have bigger outlet and we can serve various main course,” she said.
In the new outlet that’s located still in the same business complex, Turning Point Coffee has become more artistic (and of course, Instagrammable), thanks to their new partner, Antony Liu, owner of Studio Tonton which was actually run the architecture business. It’s no wonder to know that the 3rd floor of Turning Point Coffee is used as gallery for Antony’s crafts.
To be able to exist for 4 years in the middle of coffee shops’ fierce competition is not an easy task. Turning Point Coffee did it by maintaining its brand’s identity through their product selections. The place’s house blend is a mix of 60% Brazil Rainha bean and 40% Dolok Sanggul, Sumatera. “Personally, I love coffee with acidity, sweetness, and a bit of bitterness with medium body. Once, we switched the bean, but in the end, the customer always prefer to our initial house blend, that’s the one they love,” she explained.
In Turning Point Coffee (and in every coffee shop, actually) to tell the taste preference of the place, it’s best to go with espresso. We ordered their double ristretto that has flavor profile that perfectly match Angeline’s description, plus a very pleasant sweet after taste. It doesn’t take genius to tell that they serve specialty coffee here. Or, if you’re a milk-based type person, have a Magic, basically, a flat white with double ristretto for more pronounced coffee flavor. Prawn Aglio Olio and Cinnamon Bread Puddingis some of the most favorite menus to accompany your coffee experience here. But, they don’t serve the typical Fried Rice nor Oxtail Soup here.
There are numerous ideas form friends and families that the couple reject, solely to keep the identity and concept of Turning Point Coffee. “I don’t enjoy selling something I don’t really like, such as the regular Ice Lychee Tea, Green Tea Latte, Red Velvet Latte, or Taro Latte. Whenever possible, the products that we sell are the natural homemade products, such as Pandan Latte or Earl Grey Latte. Now that we have bigger place and wider range of food, we try not to loose our initial identity,” Angeline added.
The New Roastery
After moving to a new place, the next phase for Turning Point Coffee would be to open a new business in coffee roaster. Of course, the business expansion is not without proper calculation. They might only have 1 outlet, Angeline and Joseph are also involved in Titik Temu Coffee in Seminyak, Bali. The coffee shop is a business with many partners involved in it. Even though the couple is only responsible in running the beverage business in Titik Temu Coffee, we can safely say that they already have their second outlet.
“I’ve talked to many people, and to sum it up, having your own roaster started to make sense when you already have 2-3 outlets. I question new guys in the coffee shop business who already wanting their own roaster for the sake of saving cost, because the investation is very costly, it’s like (the cost of) building a new coffee shop. It’s a small step toward our long journey in controlling the whole supply chain to the coffee farm,” she concluded.