Travelers trying to kill time in Davao could make a beeline for Blugre Coffee, arguably the city’s most popular specialty coffee shop.
Blugre was set up by husband and wife Gatchi and Larcy Gatchalian, both Manileños who consider themselves Dabawenyos by heart. The couple had been managing a clothing chain when they put up the cafe in 1998. “A trip abroad gave us an idea of putting a coffee nook inside the boutique. We thought that would be an extra service for our customers,” said Gatchi Gatchalian, who worked for a multinational company before settling with his family in Davao. In time, clients started coming for the coffee more than the clothes: It was at this point that the duo decided to close down their boutique business.
Aside from the usual latte, espresso, cappuccino, mocha, frappes, Blugre serves signature creations that incorporate the city’s famous fruit: durian. The Gatchpuccino coffee and Larcepuccino ice blended drinks, coined from the couple’s names, have durian tidbits in them and are among Blugre’s bestsellers. For non-coffee drinkers, they also have a variety of signature shakes, chocolate drinks, milk and flavored tea drinks.
In its pastry counter are desserts like banana cream pie, choco torte, durian cheesecake, oatmeal fudge bar and strawberry shortcake, all baked from scratch by Ms. Gatchalian, who has whipped up four new items for the holiday season: the Blugre Red Velvet, Blugre Apple Cinnamon Cake, Blugre Frozen Mocha Crunch, and Blugre Whoopie Pies.
The shop also serves breakfast but it is in the wee hours that people come in droves. “Coffee shops are a hit because the place provides a quiet alternative to bars where family and friends can relax,” he said, adding that Dabawenyos would also bring their local and foreign visitors to the coffee shop.
When asked about the deluge of foreign coffee brands in local shores, Mr. Gatchalian said they are gearing up for stiffer competition by launching new products and offering additional services. “We were the first to offer free Wi-Fi service among the coffee shops. Our store now sports a new look which we started two years ago and even the coffee we serve has been adjusted based on market acceptance,” he added.
Blugre now has five branches: three in Davao—in Matina Town Square, Landco Corporate Center and SM City Davao— and two in General Santos City. The latter, which are located in Osmeña and in Robinsons Place GenSan, are both the franchise of boxer Manny and Jinkee Pacquiao. It is also expanding to the Gaisano Mall in Tagum, SM City Davao Lanang and SM City GenSan, as well as the soon-to-open Abreeza Mall in Davao City.
Blugre Coffee can be reached at 09178080303 or at www.blugre.com.
Raul L. Locsin Building I
95 Balete Drive Extension,
New Manila, Quezon City,
Extensions: 706, 709-711
Direct Line: (632)535-9923
Fax No.: (632)535-9925
Email: New Media Group