What happened to % Arabica PH? Japanese coffee chain pens letter to Philippine customers

January 31, 2022 - 12:11 PM
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An undated photo of % Arabica Manila W City Center (arabica.coffee website)

A popular coffee shop confirmed to its patrons that it has ended its current franchise in the Philippines.

% Arabica issued this in a statement on Facebook on Monday, January 31.

“Dear customers in the Philippines, our franchise period with the current partner has ended yesterday, and we have agreed not to continue the collaboration for the next term,” the company said.

“We appreciate very much for their efforts running the business in the difficult COVID time,” it added.

Last Sunday, some of Arabica Philippines’ patrons were surprised to see the closed signs in its Bonifacio Global City branches.

They took to social media to share their sentiments about it.

“Nyare sa Arabica PH please tell me this is just a PR stunt hahaha,” a Twitter user wondered.

“What happened to Arabica? Both branches in BGC are closed,” another Twitter user asked.

Other online users quipped that they felt “ghosted” by the coffee store because it did not issue any statement ahead of closing shop.

Moreover, the social media pages of Arabica Philippines are also no longer accessible or have been deactivated.

“Ginost mo kami. It hurts. My first heartbreak of 2022,” a Facebook user said following the announcement.

“Not Arabica PH ghosting everyone,” a Twitter user said.

Some online users also speculated about a possible rebranding of the coffee shop.

% Arabica assured its customers that it has already found a new partner in the country and will still continue to expand here.

“We have selected a new partner already and will make a fresh start this year to expand throughout the country. Please wait for a couple of months for the new opening announcement. We cannot wait to serve you our simple delicious coffee to you once again,” the company said.

It did not elaborate if it will still carry its bestsellers or if it will rebrand.

The Japanese coffee chain also advised its customers that its Instagram has been hacked.

“Arabica.journal Instagram account has been hacked for the past few days. We have been already communicating with Instagram, and they will recover the account to us this week,” it said.

% Arabica is an independent Japanese coffee shop that was founded by Kenneth Shoji and World Latte Art champion Junichi Yamaguchi.

In 2018, it opened its first branch in the country in BGC, Taguig City.

It soon became a favorite hangout spot in Manila because of its coffee offerings and picturesque, minimalist interiors.

% Arabica PH previously ran two branches in Bonifacio Global City in Taguig and one branch at The Podium in Mandaluyong City.

Amid the imposition of tough lockdowns in the National Capital Region due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the brand also offered its coffee beans and bottled beverages via delivery service.