“It’s amazing how a simple thing like a perfect cup of coffee and a delicious pastry can bring so much happiness to people,” says Chut Cuerva, owner of Toby’s Estate here in the Philippines. It seems that despite the increasing number of specialty coffee shops in Metro Manila, the Australian franchise remains to be one of the stronger contenders in the industry, with stores continuing to open across the city and consistently delivering quality coffee.
Having opened a new store at Ortigas last January 17, this Toby’s Estate branch happens to be the largest one yet, with a wider, cleaner space with a seating mode that caters to their different kinds of customers. “We wanted to offer a variety of seating modes at the café. We have medium-sized tables where a few people can sit together. There are barstools in one corner for more solitary situations, and barstools at the Slow Bar for a more interactive experience with our baristas. And then, we have the communal table. Not too long ago, we weren’t sure if Filipinos would respond well to a communal table, but it’s been a big hit with our customers, and people really gravitate towards it now,” Chut tells me.
According to Chut, each Toby’s Estate café features a unique design that allows each neighborhood to have its own identity. “At Ortigas, the materials are different and the design elements are new. But the common thread between our different stores is the fresh, natural, and warm character that is consistent with our brand.”
Chut designed the interiors of the space collaboration with local graphic designers and artists. The Toby’s Estate signage was done by none other than longtime collaborators—Inksurge, and a mural on the right side of the wall upon entering the store was done by street artist Chichimonster.
“We feel that the Ortigas scene could use some shaking up. It’s a bit like how Salcedo used to be, with a scarcity of high quality food and beverage establishments. We feel that the citizens of Ortigas deserve better,” Chut says. The new Ortigas branch offers the same favorites at the Salcedo branch such as the Traviata, Dutch Eggs, and Patty Melt sandwich, but one item that is served at Toby’s Estate Ortigas that’s not currently available in most of the other stores are the Belgian Waffles that come in both sweet and savory variants. “The Chili con Carne waffle is quite awesome! And the Speculoos waffle has become a sleeper hit,” Chut answers when asked about his favorite flavors. If you’re at the Fort area, these Belgian Waffles can also be found at Toby’s Estate SM Aura.
So where will be seeing a Toby’s Estate next? “We have several stores in the pipeline, which we will be launching by mid-year,” says Chut. “I can’t exactly say where they’ll be right now, but when they launch, I think our customers will be pleasantly surprised.” True enough, the Ortigas crowd in search for quality specialty coffee need not look far anymore. “Our dedicated team works hard everyday to try and create these little happy moments in people’s lives. As long as we keep doing that then we know we are doing a good job.”
Have you been to the new Toby’s Estate branch in Ortigas? What did you think of it? Tell us with a comment below!
Address: G/F Robinson’s Cybergate Beta Building, Ruby Road, Ortigas Center, Pasig