Phnom Penh’s Post Office Square is quickly becoming the epicentre of a home-grown cafe scene. With existing businesses expanding, new ones opening up, and “For Lease” signs disappearing, the neighbourhood has shed its image of economic blight. One new business that recently opened its doors in this area is Camcup Cafe.
Just 20 years of age, owner Nuth Monyneath may lack experience, but she makes up for it in enthusiasm, daring to step into a competitive multinational market and committing herself to promoting a local cafe brand. She sat down with YT to offer some insights into what her new business is all about.
YT: Could you briefly introduce yourself and your start-up business?
Ms Monyneath: I’m a second-year accounting major at CamEd University, and I believe I bring a range of relevant skills and lots of passion to stir up the business sector with my new café, Camcup Cafe, located adjacent to Phnom Penh Post Office.
YT: Do you have any experience in this field? Why did you choose to open a cafe? It’s such a competitive market.
Ms Monyneath: Honestly, I had no prior experience in this business. But I have dreamed since childhood of establishing my own cafe brand in cooperation with my parents and friends, who supported me. Though there have been many challenges, I believe my business will be a success.
YT: What unique qualities set your coffee brand apart?
Ms Monyneath: My business model can be summarised as the five P s: people (I provide good service and hospitality to customers of all ages); place (the 120-year-old historical site of the Phnom Penh Post Office); price (fair and affordable); product (tightly focused on health and quality. Our coffee is fresh, natural and organic); and promotions (to be offered periodically, including all festivals and ceremonies throughout the year). Also, my shop’s interior has a postal museum theme, which attracts customers interested in the history of our neighbourhood.
YT: Do you plan to expand your business?
Ms Monyneath: Currently, I am still developing the initial concept of “Have a post office; have my cafe.” I will monitor my business performance first prior to jumping to the next step.
YT: What is your message to youth who plan to run a business or are hesitant to start one?
Ms Monyneath: Using innovative and creative thinking to make something your own is the key. Don’t copy others! At least, use your creativity to improve on an idea. Most importantly, believe in yourself! Teamwork is also important; it helps to put ideas in context, as we cannot work entirely alone. Lastly, I recommend that anyone who wishes to establish a business have a clear business model serving as a map to guide you to your goal.