Farewell Spinelli: Beloved Coffee Chain in Singapore Shuts All Outlets
As we extend a warm welcome to the Canadian classic, Tim Hortons, in Singapore, we find ourselves bidding adieu to several other coffee brands that made a grand entrance into the local scene over the past few years.
We bid farewell to Flash Coffee (or rather, they bade farewell to us) back in October.
And now, in November, while the liquidation process for Flash Coffee is still underway, we must say our goodbyes to Spinelli Coffee.
Spinelli: Grand Entrance to Singapore, But Now Brewing Farewell Beans
Established in 1983 by the like-minded individuals Christopher Calkins and Italian-born Arnold Spinelli, the San Francisco-based coffee brand, Spinelli Coffee, swiftly captured the hearts of many upon its introduction to Singapore.
This American-style coffee chain has been operated by Singapore-based YTC Corporation, which also possesses hotels and properties locally and in Indonesia.
The inauguration of the first outlet and roastery in Singapore in 1996, strategically located in the bustling Central Business District, played a pivotal role in the brand’s expansion.
Subsequently, Spinelli Coffee clinched the prestigious title of International Franchisor of the Year in 2010.
As Spinelli Coffee’s popularity soared, they found themselves supplying freshly roasted beans from their local roastery to cater to the overwhelming demand from customers.
With time, the brand expanded to include three concept brands spread across ten public outlets, including locations at the National University of Singapore (NUS), Changi Business Park, Aperia Mall, and One Raffles Quay.
However, over the years, Spinelli Coffee gradually reduced its branch count to a mere six outlets.
Sadly, on 29 Nov, it was announced that Spinelli Coffee would be closing down all six of its remaining outlets.
This was confirmed by two employees from Spinelli Coffee in an interview with The Business Times.
The Reason For The Silent Exit
If we were to liken the disappearance of Flash Coffee to a sudden vanishing act, then Spinelli Coffee’s exit was more of a quiet, graceful spin out of the industry, leaving no traces behind.
There were early signs of trouble brewing for Spinelli Coffee.
Its sister brand, Daily Grind – A Spinelli Joint, seemed to have silently closed all its branches in Singapore. This included four branches at Aperia Mall, Galaxis, MYP Centre, and Ocean Financial Centre.
Another operating brand under the Spinelli umbrella, Brewing Kakis, however, still maintains a presence with a branch at Standard Chartered Bank in Changi Business Park Crescent. As the name suggests, this brand specialises in local coffee.
While individuals are shelling out around $1.5 million to secure a spot in a HDB flat, coffee chains like Spinelli Coffee and Flash Coffee are grappling with significant losses that have ultimately led to their business closures.
Spinelli recorded losses from 2018 through to 2022.
However, in 2022, the company managed to narrow its losses, reporting revenue of $1.8 million, compared to $1.6 million in the previous fiscal year.
The net loss for 2022 was $839,638, a reduction from the $1 million loss in 2021.
As of 29 Nov, neither Spinelli nor YTC Corporation has responded to inquiries on this matter, as reported by The Straits Times.
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