|▲ espresso cafe Frank Coffin Bar / CEO Junsoo Jeon|
As the value consumption trend continues to dominate the market, more and more consumers are finding and enjoying the deep taste of coffee. In the midst of this trend, Frank Coffin Bar, an authentic Italian espresso café, has emerged as a healing place for coffee lovers. Frank Coffin Bar offers an unrivaled taste that dispels the perception that “espresso coffee is bitter” and a space that is greatly differentiated from existing cafes where modern sensibilities are the mainstream. Steeped in European sensibilities, the taste, music, and vintage props are all imbued with CEO Junsoo Jeon’s taste. Monthly Power Korea caught up with Frank Coffin Bar’s CEO, Jeon, who has been steadily increasing and growing the number of stores even during the pandemic, to hear about the secret of the popularity and the philosophy of the business.
Like an open-air café in Europe, Frank Coffin Bar flows with vintage vibes and jazz
The essence of sweet and dense espresso coffee! A magical hotspot for coffee lovers to return
Jeon started working part-time at a café in college years and has been a barista for 10 years. In 2020, he opened the first espresso bar, ‘Frank Coffin Bar’, on Jeonju Gaeksa-gil, Jeonju City, envisioning an open-air cafe in a quiet alley in Europe. Frank Coffin Bar, which means “honest”, is a magical hot spot where you can taste the essence of authentic Italian espresso, and once you have been there, you will likely come back again. When you come here, it is like an open-air café that you came across on your way to Europe, and the taste and style of Europe and the joyful jazz music combine to create a romantic and relaxed atmosphere. If the interior of the first floor has a European vintage atmosphere, then if you go up the narrow stairs to the second floor, it will turn into an oriental vintage feel. Eastern and Western sensibilities coexist, and the outdoors is a combination of greenery and fountains, making it a comfortable place where you want to stay for a long time.
CEO Jeon says “Similar espresso cafes are on the rise these days, but I think this was the beginning of an espresso café with vintage speaker cabinets and a long bar. Frank Coffin Bar doesn’t follow the trend, and I make the best coffee for each customer by decorating it with my favorite music and space. Even during the pandemic, I stuck to my own style. Luckily, many customers have liked it more than expected, and I have a lot of regulars. Frank Coffin Bar prides itself on being featured in several media outlets these days as a croffle and espresso cafe.”
It differs in taste and depth
“It took me 10 years to find my own flavor”
Popular coffee flavors that Koreans love
Sincerely focus on delivering the very taste
Frank Coffin Bar showcases the unsought-after fashion and the authentic taste of espresso coffee that the public prefers. ⅡCafe espresso where you can feel the pure taste of coffee as it is ⅡEspresso topped with cacao topping for a dark flavor of Cafe Albero ⅡSweet and gentle with soft cream and cacao, Cafe Baccio ⅡCafé Conpana topped with thick whipped cream ⅡCafé Romano with lemon juice ⅡIced Espresso Cafe Granita with coffee slush ⅡFRANK COFFEE, which is deep and sweet with cream and syrup, which accounts for more than 50% of total sales. Add a slice of freshly baked croffle to this and it’s the icing on the cake.
Jeon emphasizes that, like regular cafes, most espresso cafes have similar menus, but the difference in taste is important. “Coffee taste is subjective, so it’s hard to find a differentiated flavor if you don’t have your own clear beliefs or standards. Frank Coffin Bar is the culmination of my 10 years of experience as a barista. It’s different in flavor and depth. The point is where to catch the spectrum of flavors rather than copying others thoughtlessly. It took me 10 years to find my own flavor. We make all the coffee here within that framework.” As soon as you drink a cup of espresso from CEO Jeon, you will feel details that you can’t find in ordinary cafes.
In line with the growing trend of value consumption, this is also one of the growth factors of Frank Coffin Bar. He explained that Frank Coffin Bar’s espresso is perfect for the latest value consumption trend. “Our goal is to give our guests the value they seek when they come here with excitement. If our guests are satisfied with the taste of our coffee and feel healed during their stay, it’s more than worth a cup of coffee. We have a very high rate of returning coffee lovers.” In order to focus exclusively on the coffee, the desserts have been simplified to a single type of croffles. Croffles are freshly baked and served fresh with coffee ordered. As a result, Frank Coffin Bar has a wide range of customers, from the young to those in their 60s, and meets their needs.
‘Authenticity of taste’ is the secret of popularity
Aiming to open 30 stores nationwide this year
Frank Coffin Bar, which is leading the future of the café market, has been in full swing since 2021 thanks to word of mouth from customers. Currently, there are 4 directly managed stores in Jeonju and Daejeon, as well as 25 stores nationwide that have been opened or reserved. The company also opened a Jamsil store in Seoul last May, and is preparing to open in Olympic Park and Children’s Grand Park. Partners should be in line with the philosophy of CEO Jeon in running the business. The number of stores is limited to one in small cities and one in each district of large cities, and the goal is to open 30 stores by the end of the year.
Jeon says “Partners need to have a sense of mission as baristas and think of this space as a playground. They need to brew coffee that they are happy with and create a space where they are happy. If the customer is satisfied, success will follow. They should be proud to run the café.”
Jeon has been running breathless for the past three years. Power Korea asked him about the secret of Frank Coffin Bar’s growth in the red ocean market, where many cafes come and go every day. “It’s the authenticity of the taste. In the meantime, we have been focusing on the café business and providing coffee drinks that are not embarrassing to ourselves, so customers are the first to recognize us. I often hear from customers that ‘it’s so good to come after a long time’ or ‘the depth of taste is different.”
The Frank Coffin Bar brings the essence of sweet and dense espresso, shattering the preconceived notion that “espresso is bitter.” It offers the most preferred flavor of Koreans here, and is leading the popularization of espresso coffee. Jeon says “Our goal is to enter the core of Seoul and promote our deep, smooth espresso flavor and taste. I want everyone to enjoy espresso comfortably.” Frank Coffin Bar continues to grow with the philosophy and beliefs that satisfy all visitors. Power Korea hopes that Frank Coffin Bar, that delivers European sensibility, taste, and music, will spread throughout the country and becomes a healing space for busy modern people to find peace of mind.
원헤레나 기자 email@example.com