Ground Floor Coffee: This hole-in-the-wall coffee shop operates out of a HDB flat

No regular operating days nor hours, but worth the trip

Written by
Izza Sofia
City Life Writer
Ground Floor Coffee
Photograph: Izza Sofia

Ground Floor Coffee officially turned a year old this June 24. This home-based café went viral last year for its unusual concept, drawing customers from as far as Jurong to get a taste of its unique brews – served equally uniquely out of the window of owner Hasif's own ground floor HDB flat in Pasir Ris. 

After a few short months of well-deserved break, he's back serving cups of joe out of his window. As usual, no regular business hours apply here – Ground Floor Coffee works on a preorder and pick-up basis, which you can keep up with on the café's official Instagram page. To reintroduce you to this quaint little business, we're bringing back the original feature we did when Ground Floor Coffee was just two week's old. Read on to find out why you should make the trip down to Pasir Ris for a taste (if you haven't yet). 

July 12, 2022

When it comes to hole-in-the-wall coffee shops, Ground Floor Coffee truly takes the cake.

Situated on the ground floor of Pasir Ris, this quaint space is aptly called Ground Floor Coffee – and it is what its name suggests. Ground Floor Coffee operates out of a residential unit of a HDB flat. Owner Hasif takes orders from customers through his window, where each cup is freshly brewed.  

Ground Floor Coffee
Photograph: Izza Sofia

This isn’t your typical cafe though, it operates only on “Friday, Saturday, Sunday, or whenever I’m free,” its Instagram bio claims. The unconventional operational hours however, have never stopped coffee aficionados from flocking over. Ground Floor Coffee officially started selling two weeks ago, but it has already gained traction, with many waiting in line to get a cuppa. 

On the menu: regular latte, lavender latte, caramel latte, dark mocha and Pure Chocolate. The lavender latte comes highly recommended and has a subtle ​​aromatic floral clean note to the usual brew. Accompany your drink with the homemade Kek Gula Hangus (a traditional caramel cake) for those who have a penchant for sweet things.

While it isn’t a cafe, Ground Floor Coffee has a few al fresco seats available for you while you wait for your cup of coffee. We chat with Hasif to talk more about his new venture.

How did Ground Floor Coffee come about?

It started out as a passion. As a coffee lover myself, I already started experimenting with many different types of coffee beans, syrup mixtures and milk. I’ll invite friends over and let them try anything I whipped up. How did it become a business? I see many young kids lepak at the road behind my house, and they will bring food and snacks. It dawned on me that perhaps I should sell coffee to them. I was reluctant at first because people usually go for Starbucks or Coffee Bean, but I decided to try it out to see how it goes. 

Explain more about the process of making coffee?

I frequent a lot of cafes and try out coffee beans from brands from local/neighbouring countries. I went to a coffee convention at Marina Bay Sands, and landed on this current one I’m using. (Beans are a secret though!)

How has the response been so far?

The response has been great! I have customers from Jurong and Sengkang coming over to try my coffee. What started as a hobby blew up over time. 

Photograph: Izza Sofia
Photograph: Izza Sofia

Are you planning to open more days in the future?

For now, it is hard to say and we still operate on weekends. We are still firming up the logistics and gaining certifications to gain the trust of consumers. We also wish to create a better experience for customers as well in terms of interaction, quality control etc. We also don’t do bulk orders for now, perhaps in the near future.

Note to future customers…

For now, they are still a home-based business and are coping with the overwhelming response. Also as with all good things in Singapore, there might be a long waiting time. Those who come to purchase coffee, do remember to adhere to measures, make less noise and keep the area clean.

Because it is still a new concept, Hasif apologises for the store’s shortcomings. He explains that many customers think they operate like a normal café and sometimes knock on his door for coffee. It's worth highlighting that his family appreciates their privacy and refers to Instagram for opening hours. Opening hours (when they are open): 2 to 9pm.

Photograph: Izza Sofia
Photograph: Izza Sofia

What’s next for you?

He plans to create an app for Ground Floor Coffee, where people can order and pick up to minimise the crowd as well as the waiting time.

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