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'Stop By And Relax' at Rosie's Café in Hoi An

'Stop By And Relax' at Rosie's Café in Hoi An

Rosie’s Café is the product of young owners My and Thuy's strong entrepreneurial spirit and a deep love of all things coffee.  Tucked in a back alley of Old Town Hoi An, Rosie's Café is where playful aesthetics meet Vietnamese tradition in a charming and hip space.

Strings of glass bulbs hang lazily above handmade tables and stools. White cloth and white walls embolden simple earth tones with accents of floral color. Bottles and mugs and trinkets and beans line the shelves, a basket of fruit filled at the market this morning sits on the floor.  A breeze blows in from the alley filling the space with the warm sweetness of the late afternoon in Vietnam.

“It feels great in here, the design is perfect.”

“We did it ourselves,” the owners tell me. “We spent a month in Thailand finding inspiration in Chaing Mai. After a month we didn’t want to leave. Chaing Mai feels like our second home.”

Postcards from friends far away are pinned on a small board — “wish you were here.”

Rosie’s Café offers a great selection of Vietnamese coffees, teas, and fresh pressed juices. All their pastries are made in-house and cookies are served with each coffee. In the morning they offer almost anything over toast for a light breakfast.

Although Vietnam is known for its sugary coffees, I opted for a black coffee over ice at Rosie’s. This drip coffee is one of their specialties and is cold-brewed over ice in a large glass phin (Vietnamese cup that filters coffee) in the front of the café. It comes in a miniature amber bottle branded with Rosie's logo. While I enjoy my coffee black, those looking for something sweet can order iced coffee with condensed milk and sugar in the traditional ca phe sua da style.

More than the coffee and cakes, what delighted me most about coming to Rosie’s Café was the owner’s story.

“We graduated form university in 2014,” My and Thuy tell me.  “We always dreamed of opening our own café together. It has been a difficult for us but we are so glad we did it.”

“Is it difficult for women to start a business in Vietnam?” I ask.

“It is not difficult for a woman to start a business on paper, but it is difficult for a woman to be respected in her community as a business owner. In Vietnam, especially in the smaller towns like Hoi An, a woman doesn’t have many options. She can get married, have children, cook, or work in an office. There are very few female business owners and the community doesn’t know how to react to us.”

My and Thuy continued to tell me about the many roadblocks they encountered over the past year — many of which came from their own family and close friends. They worried that the girls were incompetent, that they would fail, that they would disgrace their families.  They even went as far as trying to separate the two.  Against the odds and societal expectations My and Thuy followed their passion and opened Rosie’s Café two months ago.

If you’re in Old Town and looking for a place to get out of the sun, I suggest "stopping by and relaxing" at Rosie’s Café. Bring your computer, a book, or just sit and have a chat with the owners. You will be very happy you did.

You can find Rosie’s Cafe at 8/6 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, not far from the Japanese Bridge, down the alley from Nu Eatery. They are open Monday through Saturday, 8 AM until closing (usually in the early evening), and closed on Sundays. You can follow them on Instagram and Facebook.

Nu Eatery: My favorite restaurant in Hoi An

Nu Eatery: My favorite restaurant in Hoi An

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A morning at Tokyo's Tsukiji Fish Market