Many students visit cafes in front of our school whenever they are free. Among the cafes, there is a famous one cafe because of the staff kindness, good service and quality taste. It is ‘OSAEK’.
Q. Hello. I want to know the meaning of this cafe ‘OSAEK’.
A. It means five colors and there’s a reason we went with a Korean name. Usually we think of coffee being a product from abroad, so some stores which sell coffee make their store name using loanwords. However, I felt that coffee has a Korean warmth so I wanted to express that with Hangeul.
Q. Why did you open the cafe in front of CWNU? Were there any special reasons?
A. I live in near the CWNU and that is the main reason. I’ve lived here since 1986. I was working in architecture and interior design and my company was in front of HongIk University in Seoul. When I was there, I saw how collegiate culture was made, disappeared and built again and again. During my long time of living near CWNU, I felt so sad when I looked at the culture in front of the school because many things were very different from HongIk University. There was little culture in front of this school at that time. Although the problem can’t be solved with only a minority’s effort, I believed if small spaces with a strong personality are coming slowly pop up around, the culture
s will be more beautiful than before. Some people in the trade s said that the college commercial district is very poor. When the vacation start, there is nobody in front of the college. However, I wanted to give comfortable and warm space to students when they go to school.
Q. Your challenge was really great! What is OSAEK’s specialty?
A. We have no particular color. I think it is our individuality. I prefer the culture that can do everything in one space and I wanted to tell others and make it for students. I didn’t want to sell only coffee like other cafes, so I prepared meals too. Moreover, we have diverse instruments. We prepared a space for music performance so students from the college of art and some small bands can visit our cafe and practice and play their music comfortably. You can experience the whole atmosphere of eating desserts after meals, feel the music and take a rest. In addition, our café is very fluid. Because we are not a franchise, we can change or simplify some menu items quickly if students don’t like them. Also if students give feedback about our taste to us, we can study more and prepare
the better tasting food. I think it is very powerful thing compared with other cafes.
Q. This place is famous for great service! Do you have a reason for that?
A. I just wanted to give special experience to visitors. Regardless of sales, I wanted to introduce diverse colors and tastes to people. I feel so happy when they compliment the service with a glad heart and enjoy eating here. Every day I’ll do my best for my visitors with my whole heart.
Q. You’re very kind. What do you remember most about working?
A. I’m very impressed when visitors write letters on their blog after visiting our space. We are not famous yet to many people and have shortcomings but they felt satisfied and invited other people to visit our space. It gives me a driving force of management.
Q. Lastly, what is your final goal?
A. My dream is that the new spaces continue popping up for student’s spare time. It’s okay that our visitors are decreasing because of new places. The most important thing is visitors’ happiness and relaxation. I hope that someday students can answer many things naturally if someone asks them “Do you have any interesting spaces in front of your school?” To look for this day, your voices are really needed. Express your hope more loudly for culture and for yourself. Culture is made by student’s voices. I’ll cheer for you. Thank you.
|Construction of OSAEK and its owner|
Kim Eun-hwa, reporter email@example.com
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