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Joe-to-go NGO

Joe-to-Go, a coffee shop supporting Siem Reap NGO Global Child, has reopened on “travel agent’s row” near the Old Market.

Joe-to-Go originally opened in 2007 but had to close in December 2008 because the landlord wanted to reclaim the building for his own business. But now the café is up and running again right next door to the old location.

The café’s modus operandi is to help sustain the parent NGO financially though sales of Americanos and iced lattes, reducing dependence on benefactors.

“We don’t want to rely on donors 100 percent right now,” said Nimol Pong, business director for The Global Child.

But 100 percent of the proceeds from the coffee shop do go to the NGO, which runs a school for impoverished street children. There’s also a boutique upstairs selling NGO handicrafts from throughout Cambodia, like dolls from Cambodia Knits and bags from Baray Occidental.

The Global Child invested US$6,000 in refurbishing the shop – Nimol Pong described the building as “quite old” – but saved cash on interior decorating fees by embracing a do-it-yourself approach.

Someone seems to have adequate design savvy as the café has turned out quite pleasant, with whitewashed walls, dark wood tables and a chalkboard menu.

And in its first month, the café has already broken even. “It’s a good start, I can say that,” stated Nimol Pong.

Joe-to-Go serves strong, tasty coffee from Ratanakkiri Province, with good results. Nimol Pong said she’s been going through guest satisfaction surveys, and the most frequent compliments are on the java.

The cafe also serves breakfast items like The Other PP – pancakes with a side of potatoes – and Western and Khmer lunch and dinner specials.

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