Seoul based specialty coffee shop Wicker Park, is located near Seokchon Lake in Jamsil and offers delicious coffee as well as a small terrace infront of the shop to sit out on. Here you can feel the breeze of the chilly season in a little inner city shelter- you’ll love this space. During the winter, the cafe has a heartier and warmer mood than ever.
This year, Wicker Park joined YUN in their Seoul store serving up fresh, quality coffee. We decided to get to know the people behind Wicker Park a little better.
Why did you start Wicker Park and why did you decide to join YUN?
D I was working for 8 years and I did not like my job. It wasn’t fun, but there was a time when I continued working till 12 p.m. like a machine, like an addiction. As I went through those times, I felt that my life was so bad. I decided to do something interesting, and that was a starting point.
It’s so cool to be with YUN (laughs). When YUN suggested joining us, I fell in love with the visual aspects of YUN. The events you have been doing, store appearances and store concept appealed to me strongly. And when I met CJ, the boss for the first time he said the only things that matters is the person you work with. That was my motto too and it clicked. I decided to go for it.
What is Wicker Park’s end goal?
D Whoever asks about ten years later, my answer is always the same – I want Wicker Park to be a better place for baristas in terms of working environments, pay and working hours. As YUN aims to be the dream brand for opticians, it’s the same for Wicker Park for every barista.
How are you observing the coffee scene in Seongsu-dong? What makes Wicker Park different from the Jamsil branch?
D Seongsu-dong is becoming a specialty coffee spot these days. But we think it’s our charm that our baristas, our guests, and those wonderful people who fill it up, rather than where it is.
B I would like to serve a comfortable coffee instead of boasting too much characters. Rather than compete with the neighboring coffee shops, I hope to respect each one’s character. It’s slow but that’s what we’re good at and we’ll make it that way. The appearance of the store will be different, but I think the way we operate will be the same. I think there are a lot of aspects that are similar to YUN’s philosophy. The Onibus beans we use are really good in quality and expensive (laughs). Rather than packing a cheap one for marketing, I’ll simply serve you a good coffee with the good ingredients.
D And at Jamsil, our ‘Hand Drip Day’ event received a good response and it was a fun event. And for Seonsu, at some point we will come up with a fresh idea that fits this place too. I think I need some time.
You talked about Onibus coffee beans. What is the criteria for selecting coffee in Wicker Park?
B I have been putting lots of time into finding a good roasting partner. From the end of that search, there was Onibus. The Onibus Cafe (located in Tokyo, Japan) started out when the founder traveled to Melbourne, Australia. Experiencing their relaxed coffee culture, he thought he wanted to have a similarly relaxing cup of coffee in Tokyo too. Those stories and coffee tastes worked well with us.
Balance is an important value for YUN and likewise in Wicker Park. Our bean is somewhat easy, relaxed roasting taste wise, so you can slowly immerse yourself rather than leave a stimulating impression.
As you said, YUN believes in the value of balance. How do you maintain a balance?
D From an operational point of view, the answer is that each member does what they do best. We have talented baristas, so leave coffee entirely to the baristas. Doing what we do and not doing what we cannot do is the way we keep our balance.
B I think the key is an attitude of acceptance. Professionals should do what they are good at. Recognize and respect each other’s work. We almost never instruct our co-workers to do certain things. Since everyone is clear at what they are doing there is no need to pry. Also it is important to have a similar taste under the name of Wicker Park so we encourage to actively develop themselves in various ways.
This is also a favourite question of ours. What is your favorite place in Seoul?
D Seok-pa-jeong. The rooftop garden is situated in the Seoul Museum of Art. I went without any expectations but when I opened the door, I was surprised with the scenery. The mountain is right in front of me. It felt so good to be able to be close to nature in the city.
B Songpa is the best (laughs). I love Seokchon lake and I think it is a good neighborhood to live by yourself.
- WICKER PARK
- 66 Achasan-ro, Seongsu
- Seongdong-gu, Seoul, South Korea
- Tu – Su, 11 Uhr – 20 Uhr