The Shop Celebrates its 15 Year Anniversary in Phnom Penh

Popular outlet The Shop is marking its 15th year in Phnom Penh with a string of events and special offers.

Since opening the doors of its first outlet on Street 240 in 2001, The Shop has become one of Phnom Penh’s favourite eateries, bakeries and gourmet chocolate destinations. Now with five locations across the city, including two The Chocolate Shop locations, The Shop is a Phnom Penh institution.

For the next few weeks, each of the five locations will offer a special item to celebrate the milestone; at The Shop 240 a charcuterie board with paired wine is up for grabs, while The Chocolate Shop 240 will present a special high tea platter, something founder Griet Lorre says she has wanted to offer for a long time. Other locations will serve special cocktails, chocolates and a barbecue.

In explaining why she started the business 15 years ago, Lorre says, “I wanted to create a place where people could come and chat, relax and enjoy good food and drinks, but there was nothing like that in Phnom Penh at the time. On Street 240, away from the bustle of the city, I found the perfect setting: this colonial-era building where we opened our first outlet.”

Over the years, Lorre added The Chocolate Shop 240 two doors down from The Shop 240, then the Toul Kork outlet, followed by a second The Chocolate Shop on Street 63, and finally, in 2013, The Shop 102 at Central Mansions.

The Shop takes pride in supporting the local economy, especially quality local producers offering organic produce and the business operates as a social enterprise putting as much thought and care into taking care of their local staff as it does its valued customers.

“Our customers are very important of course,” Griet says, “but our staff are too – and you can see that in their loyalty to the group.”

On average, each of the more than 100 staff has been with the group for more than five years, and some since the very beginning in 2001. “That’s because we train people so that they can rise to senior positions, everyone shares in the profits, and they get excellent health insurance,” Griet says. “It’s a great work environment, and people really feel part of a family. It’s something special.”

Today with many new restaurants and numerous glass and concrete cafe competitors springing up across the city, The Shop’s locations still stand out for their relaxing garden settings, heritage decor, healthy fare and attentive service, which 15 years later have become a rarity in the quickly modernising city.

“Something else I’ve noticed in recent years is that, as tourism to Cambodia has climbed into the millions, and as the influence of social media has grown, many more tourists are visiting our outlets,” she says. “They spread the word through Facebook and TripAdvisor, which makes a difference. But our excellent reputation has allowed our group to grow steadily each year and I’m looking forward to continuing that for the next 15 years and beyond.”

15th Anniversary Specials:

• The Shop 240 & TK: Charcuterie Board with Glass of Wine for $12

• The Chocolate Shop 240: High Tea Platter with Fine Leaf Tea for $9

• The Shop 102: Happy Hour every day from 5pm to 7pm (half priced alcoholic drink with free canapes)

• The Chocolate Shop 63: Cambodian Flavors Chocolate Bar Giftbox for $9 (3 x 70g, salted caramel, kampot pepper,