Coffee, Design, Brunch

NOC Co-founder, Benny Leung, on NOC Papillons & Bakery

22 JAN 2021

Many of you may have already been to NOC Papillons & Bakery, our first location in New Territories. Since the store launched in late December, our team has enjoyed brewing and serving coffee, brunch and freshly baked pastries to the Tseung Kwan O neighbourhood in our newest, beautifully designed store space.

It has been a while since our team at The Curated spoke to Benny Leung, one of our co-founders: this week, we sat down for a coffee with Benny and got him to walk us through the new features and space design of NOC Papillons & Bakery.

Q: What is the ethos behind the space design for NOC Papillons & Bakery?

Here at NOC, we always make use of a minimalist palette of white and grey and accentuate that with real plants and light wood. In the world of branding, colour is the secret to producing a solid identity for a brand, as colours convey emotions, feelings and experiences. For a designed-focused, food-and-beverage brand like NOC, it is important that our brand colours give out the correct messages, and are aesthetically pleasing.

Grey and white are my favourite colours, and I love how the two neutral colours allow us to create contrasting elements in our interior designs. Also, as an F&B establishment, the white colour plays a crucial role in our branding: not only does it create space and illuminate a room, it also reveals stains that need to be cleaned and acts as a reminder for our staff members to maintain cleanliness and hygiene at all times.

Although there are many positive aspects to creating a space design in grey and white, it is also important to balance our neutral palette with elements of nature to bring visual calmness. This is where we bring in natural sunlight, wood and green plants, so you can feel calm and at peace when you visit us for coffee and brunch.

Q: Which part of the new store design is your favourite?

My favourite part of NOC Papillons & Bakery is definitely the art piece near the vending machine, which was created with concrete and a few steel gear pieces that were originally placed in front of our Graham Street store. As we have previously shared, 2020 has been a year of self-refinement for us. One of the biggest decisions we made was to close NOC Graham Street, our first location in Hong Kong, as we felt like the space was not enough for us to create and serve a coffee experience that is up to our standards. For me, these gears are a symbol of teamwork: I removed them before we returned the space to its owner, and decided to place them here to celebrate our first-ever space and honour where it all began.

Q: Tell us more about the store itself. What is new?

As coffee professionals, we understand that the ‘perfect coffee experience’ may mean completely different things to everyone: some think coffee is best paired with pastries, some think it’s best sipped on its own. It is our goal to curate all elements that may be involved in our customers’ definition of the perfect coffee experience, which is why we dedicated part of our new space to set up our own bakery. To bring everyone closer to the baked goodies they munch on, we installed a window that allows pedestrians to look into our Bakery from Tong Chun Street. For now, our Roastery, Mercury, Whampoa, and of course, Papillons stores will be serving our signature croissants, egg tarts and cookies from the Bakery. Further down the line, we will be serving our own sourdough bread, cakes and other surprises.

After 2020, there is also no doubt that COVID-19 has changed the way we consume coffee. With social distancing rules and work-from-home arrangements still in effect, we feel the need to make coffee beans and other home brew products more accessible to everyone. For those who prefer quick and delicious brews, we installed a vending machine that offers our coffee selections in individual drip bags alongside individual tea bags.

While we continue to offer packs of our house-roasted coffee beans online and across our locations in Hong Kong, we hope to do our part in contributing to the waste-free movement by setting up a Zero Waste Beans Corner here at our newest store. To encourage everyone to bring their own containers, we offer a 10% discount off all BYOC coffee beans purchase.

Q: What is in store for NOC in 2021?

So far, we have celebrated the beginning of 2021 with our first overseas location, NOC POWWOWWOW in Thailand. Apart from further expanding our presence overseas, we look forward to putting our thinking hats on and coming up with even more creative ways for our customers to enjoy our coffee inside and outside of our spaces. Stay tuned!