Just south from the bustling streets of the Xintiandi malls and nestled in a very small residential neighborhood, there is a small office park that is home to many NPOs based in Shanghai. Gongyi Xintiandi is a government-subsidized office park that supports and encourages the growth of nonprofit organizations in China. At the entrance of this office park, one is greeted with a small coffee shop with a facade that transports you to a miniature and quaint caricature-like version of the streets of Paris.
When you enter Paris Café, you are greeted with warm smiles and a very expansive drink menu ranging from “crop drinks” like dates and wolfberry shrub or red bean and sweet corn to your standard fare of specialty espresso drinks and premium imported coffee beans. For those who are not in the mood for coffee or vegetable drinks, they also serve over 40 different milk shakes and exotic tea concoctions. The combination of classic French tunes softly playing in the background and walls lined with deep hues of maroon and antiques on display make visitors forget they are in a commercial office park as they enjoy their warm beverages.
The location at Gongyi Xintiandi is one of three locations. The owner is originally from Hong Kong and prior to starting this chain of socially minded coffee shops, he help to start many social enterprises in Hong Kong.
What makes this coffee shop a social enterprise? Paris Café employs deaf individuals who are unable to find work because of their disability. Through partnerships with various NPOs in Shanghai, the café works with these individuals and pairs them with an experienced barista. After the training is complete, these individuals are able to find work in other coffee shops or have the option to stay and work for Paris Café.
Ms. Peng is an employee at the Xintiandi location and originally studied medicine. After deciding medicine was not her life’s passion, she worked in various industries before deciding quality coffee was her true love. She came to Paris Café through the recommendation of a friend and states she not only loves the warm work environment at the coffee shop but the ability to help others by serving coffee.
Coffee Rating: While their espresso cannot compare to Sant’Eustacchio in Rome, their coffee is fairly priced and the only decent cup in the neighborhood. The ambiance is perfect for a business meeting or if you are planning on bringing your laptop for a productive afternoon.
卢湾区 普育西路105号 (189 3093 8478)