Street Talk Singha Kampon, 34, doesn’t run any ordinary coffee stall. After four years and spending more than B200,000 in equipment, she has transformed her kafae boran rig into a state-of-the-art coffee pushcart on the Phloenchit intersection, where a coffee is still only B30-50 a cup.

Where do you come from?
I am originally from Petchaboon and dropped out of school after grade 9. I am a very ambitious woman. I tried hard to make money to look after my family, so I had to pick up a lot of jobs. The last job that I did was as a coffee machine salesperson.

Why did you decide to open your own business?
I realized that it was a good business. I wanted to do it for myself so I started collecting money to open a coffee stall. I started to talk with municipal authorities at Pathumwan district about opening a coffee stall here. I mostly sold kafae boran (Thai-style coffee with sweet condensed milk). Then about a year later, I saved enough money to buy my first coffee machine. It was B42,000. Then I bought another one at B57,000 and another still at B67,000. Now I am using a B165,000 one, and the coffee grinder is B42,000.

Why did you want to have such state-of-the-art equipment?
Because I love fresh coffee. It was my life’s dream to have big machines in a big coffee shop, but because I wasn’t rich enough, I started off with just selling kafae boran. This is what I’ve always wanted: the machines are mine, but I’m still missing the place to open a café. I have been looking, though, but I don’t yet have enough money.

What did you do with the older machines? Are they broken?
I dumped the first one and donated another to a monk that I respect. He gave me the name for my new stall and acted as my fortuneteller. He advised me to sell coffee when I was very depressed about my career. It’s his power that made me this much money now.

How about your family?
I take care of my family now. My mom is sick. She has diabetes, and many other health problems. It’s quite a severe case now. I have to send her money. I have a husband and two kids, a 10-year-old son and a 4-year-old daughter. My son is studying in Roi-Et and he’s staying with my husband’s parents, and my daughter is with my mom.

How is your daily life?
I wake up at around 7am and get here around 7:30. I start selling right away. Sometimes there are customers already here waiting. The majority of my customers are teenagers or office workers. They order coffee, green tea, milk tea, and blended fruit juices. I manage everything alone until I close at about 7pm. I go to Mahanak market to buy fruits, while the coffee gets sent to my shop by the coffee company. I also leave my coffee machine at the police station every night without having to pay money. They’re so kind. I make approximately B1,000 a day.

What’s your secret?
I make money and I save it. It’s probably just my luck that I got so successful selling here. I don’t gamble, and I don’t get into debt.


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