‘Kopitiam’ on Canal Street Crowdfunds for Survival After 25% Rent Hike

Posted on: November 14th, 2017 at 5:11 am by

Canal Street snack shop, Kopitiam, is headlong into its search for a new space. Its brief tenure near the corner of Orchard Street will soon conclude, thanks in large part to increasing rents.

At the time we first broke the story, ownership informed us that a larger location was necessary. And while that might be, it appears the true impetus is a 25% increase in rent. (Recent real estate listings note the monthly dole at around $3,000.) To continue on and aid in the “expansion,” the two-year-old business just kickstarted a crowdfunding campaign via Indiegogo.

Kopitiam will reportedly terminate operations at the end of December, and plans on a March 2018 return. The goal is reportedly to stay on the Lower East Side.

Below is an excerpt from their elevator pitch…

Unfortunately, our current landlord has requested for another 25% increase after our 2 years rent ends. Therefore, we have decided to move to a bigger location and expand to a larger menu.  However, our abilities are limited and the expansion is expansive. So, please help us to keep this beautiful tradition alive by supporting Kopitiam.

Our final day will be until end of this coming December. We have found another location nearby and was hoping that we can lock down the location as soon as possible. With your help, the funds we received will be used for renovations and equipments purchases. We hope to be up and running by February/March 2018. We are not asking for just donation but for the amount you put in, will be used as gift credits and can be redeemed at our new store.

As of this morning, the campaign has raised $660 of the $250,000 target.

Kopitiam is exactly that. Broken into parts, the word is a blend of “kopi,” Malay for coffee, and “tiam,” Hokkien for shop. A veteran of the foodie market scene (e.g. Hester Street Fair), owner Kyo Pang opened the brick-and-mortar store at 51B Canal Street exactly two years ago. Its menu includes a host of sweet and savory treats, such as Kaya Butter Toast, Malaysin Seafood Spring Rolls, sticky rice, and coconut cake. Tea, coffee, and fresh juices are also available.

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