Harlan + Holden Coffee Is Redefining The Café Experience

July 30, 2021



Micah Mongcal

With time being a luxury, Harlan + Holden’s creative vision of simplicity and elegance is constructed to helping people get more of it. As the first cashless coffee shop in the Philippines, Harlan + Holden Coffee eliminates long lines and waiting times so that you can focus on the experience of enjoying your coffee in the minimalist, glasshouse-inspired cafe.

Here, BluPrint talks with Harlan + Holden’s marketing manager, Marianne Cruz, about how the Harlan + Holden cafe embodies the brand’s values and philosophy.

True to its mission,Harlan + Holden with its sleek minimalist facade, is providing a uniform approach to save time.

BP: Could you give me a brief history of your brand? What was the concept behind it?
H+H: Harlan + Holden started as a fashion brand, and the philosophy of the brand is
to provide a uniform approach to dressing and its mission is to save you time.

Harlan + Holden Atelier was the first concept store of the brand which benchmarked the all minimalist aesthetic.

Meanwhile in the F&B industry, the biggest pain point is waiting in line to pay for your
item, or place an order, a pain greater than even waiting for your order. People are actually forced to
skip their coffee fix, because of time constraints such as being late for a meeting, a shift, reporting back to
work, a movie, or just plain impatience. This is where Harlan + Holden Coffee comes in. It’s the only
coffee store that saves time and sells convenience through a cashless experience. It’s click-and-collect, no-waiting-in-line.

The brand's signature fig is the first element that grabs your attention.
Photo by Harlan + Holden
The brand’s signature fig is the first design element that grabs your attention.
Photo by Harlan + Holden
The Brand’s all about sleek aesthetic gives an immediate minimalist+cool vibe to the customers.

BP: What is the vision of the brand?
H+H: To save you time so you can do things that matter.

BP: What is special about your cafe?
H+H: We are the first cashless coffee shop in the Philippines with a convenient app that will save you time. We also have a ModBar type machine that coffee experts appreciate.

BP: Can you name the designer of your cafe?
H+H: The café was designed by Copenhagen design firm GamFratesi. They took inspiration from their first project with us in Rockwell called Harlan Glasshouse. The flooring and Fig trees were used as a starting point, then reinterpreted for coffee and faster service.

BP: How did you come up with the whole theme of the Interior Design?
H+H: We wanted to provide a cool + exciting experience for our customers. It’s all about clean lines, a fig tree in the middle of the store, and stools for that grab, sit and go coffee break.

BP Could you tell us more about your current branding and how were you able to conceptualize it amidst the pandemic?
H+H: The shop actually opened in 2019 so when the pandemic hit, we were already doing cashless transactions and were available online with our app. It was easy to manage COVID-19 protocols. We did shift into offering bottled coffees so that customers can have their favourite caffeine fix in the leisure of their home.

Photo by Harlan + Holden
Efficiency and elegance in action

BP: What are the key elements in designing the cafe? What were the considerations during construction?

H+H: The ModBar coffee machines are the focal point.  This is the only coffee bar that uses such a machine, and shows our commitment to quality coffee. The primary consideration was the simplicity of the ordering process: from ordering through our self-check cashless tablets, or through an app, and picking up the order to save time.

Harlan + Holden
Photo by Harlan + Holden

BP: Do you think this cafe can inspire your clients aesthetically?

H+H: Definitely.  Our customers come in here to get inspired and feel excited even

BP: Can you give us a tour of your cafe through 5 key words?

  1. Mod Bar- This is the first in the country, and shows our commitment to quality coffee.
  2. App – Provides a cashless and easy way of ordering even when not yet in the store. Simply pick up. We really don’t accept cash. Even pre-pandemic, our customers never used cash in the first place.
  3. Fig tree – The focal point of the store.
  4. Because Coffee sign – Everyone thinks this is our name, but it’s actually our tagline!
  5. The Coffee Bar – We have one singular module for the full coffee process. Baristas are trained with precise and approved movements including how to tamp, how to level the coffee, how to steam and even how to stand.

Whether it’s clothes, coffee or interior design, Harlan + Holden’s values and aesthetic revolve around reducing the friction in people’s daily lives as they pursue meaningful goals.

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