Hidden away in a 1/F location in old town, far from the madding crowd, is a little paradise for coffee and vinyl lovers. It is indeed a delight to find this tranquil place where one can sip a cup of good coffee and listen to music on vinyl records played on a turntable.
Joint owners, Peter Kwok and his wife Monica, decided early last year to change their respective careers in advertising and fashion to embark on this new business together. Peter admitted that at first they were expecting to lead a more relaxed life style working in things they both enjoy – coffee and vinyl records. They chose Sai Kung to open their shop instead of nearer their Tseung Kwan O home because not only is the rent lower in SK, but they also prefer to be away from the hustle and bustle of town. Catering to the masses is not their intention. Peter said during the week, sometimes only a handful of customers would drop by. They do not mind this as making profit is not their primary goal. Weekends are a very different matter though, when they are run off their feet serving coffee to weekend visitors to Sai Kung, who often just drop in out of curiosity.
Their mission is to introduce people to good coffee, Peter explained. They want to cater to the more discerning coffee drinkers or to educate those as yet uninitiated in coffee appreciation. This explains their choice of Ninety Plus Coffee, the premium single origin/single variety, as their signature brand. Peter said only a few other outlets in HK serve Ninety Plus coffee, and they may only serve a few taste profiles of the brand. Peter said Moni Stand is the only place in Hong Kong that offers up to 10 different taste profiles of this brand. Ninety Plus roast their coffee beans in their warehouse location on HK Island and retail to other outlets locally and overseas; their Sai Kung outlet can be likened to a showroom. Peter confesses that his wife is the one more adept in the art of making and pouring coffee, having not just received training from world champions and masters of the craft, but she also has that magic touch.
Aside from some small biscuits to go with your coffee, no other food is served; this is to purposely make customers focus on the coffee.
What started as an attempt to pursue their personal interests, giving up their former careers and embarking on a new and more relaxing life style, has since developed to such an extent that Peter said they had found they had to become more professional and that it had become a more time consuming venture.
Asked why they have combined coffee and related products with vinyl records, Peter said it’s because he himself owns many vinyl records already and recognizes that this format of music delivery is having a huge come back.
“It might even stay around forever”, said Peter. “The sound is so much better compared to listening to digital recordings”.
Anyone who would like to learn more about good coffee and/or vinyl records, a visit to Moni Stand during the week will find Peter and Monica more than happy to introduce and impart their knowledge on the finer points of their wares. Their passion and enthusiasm for their chosen new venture is clearly evident.
With the departure of ‘Colour Brown’, followed by the closure of ‘CC ‘ across the street in old town, this new coffee house with a stimulating environment is a welcome addition to Sai Kung’s coffee scene.