Tag Archives: Peppers Bakery and Cafe

The Brew Coffee in Ubon Ratchathani

Just to prove to you that I am not completely biased towards Peppers Bakery I thought I would let coffee lovers in on a little secret. There is now another place (apart from Peppers) in Ubon Ratchathani that can deliver you a caffeine hit that is just as good as back home in Australia.

The Brew Coffee has just opened in the last month on the 2nd floor at Citymall (part of Sunee). The original place is still open on the main road next door to Kubota (very close to Big C) but due to it’s location I only ever went there once. It is quite a nice little cafe.

This place however is a tiny coffee outlet amongst the chaos that can be City Mall. If you like people watching then this is the place for you! The Thai owner lived in Australia for a few years and really knows his coffee. Mixed right, correct temperature and mild beans made the two cups I had there go down a treat. Remember though that this is a tiny place for coffee and cake (which is purchased from Peppers). If you want space, food or ambiance then head to Peppers for your fix but if you find yourself at Sunee and need a caffeine hit then please do try this place.

Compared to all the neighbouring coffee outlets this place could seem expensive. Don’t scrimp on the quality though – you will regret it. A few small tables and free wifi are available.

A Thai village Christmas

What a great Christmas!

No stress, no fuss, a little family, a little food and everybody happy and satisfied.

Ariya was up a little earlier then normal and ate her breakfast in record time ready for the presents. Of course her younger sister Marisah in typical fashion was in no hurry at all and was still asleep!

Almost two hours after Ariya rose Marisah finally made an appearance and almost seemed to enjoy taking her time over breakfast.

Eventually we assembled down stairs where I read the Christmas story to them. This time it was a ‘new’ book that I had found at my parents place. It had been given to when I was just a few years old. It was published in 1975 and called The night the angels sang.

Present opening time finally arrived and as we had made sure that their two cousins also had a little something to open the four of them had a great time opening and comparing gifts.

Even though breakfast had only just been consumed for some more food was then brought out and a few games of UNO took place.

The kids got to munch away on some pork that had been cooked on coals, sticky rice, vegetables and some fresh bread that I had just finished making.

The adults had the same as this kids but as an extra special treat my BIL had killed two chickens that morning and was cooking them on the Thai style BBQ. Chicken on coals is a Thai favourite and is called Gai Yung (ไก่ย่าง) or in the local Laos dialect Gai Bping (ไก่ปิ้ง). It was absolutely superb!

With full bellies we still managed to turn our attention to the birthday cake and managed to devour that as well. The cake was from Peppers Bakery & Cafe in Ubon and it was delicious.

While I had a sneaky lay down on the mat in the garden the girls played with their gifts. The microphone with the FM transmitter inside was a big hit!

It was really nice that my in-laws all made an effort to be there as well. The day means nothing to them but they knew it meant a lot to my kids so my two sister in laws and their husbands dropped in for a few hours.

Jacob was happy to spend some quality time with his Uncle Poot.

Speaking of Jacob, no Christmas presents for him which is not a problem when all he had eyes for were these two oranges. He held onto them for ages as he got passed around from family to neighbour to stranger as the day continued.

…. and so that was Christmas! I hope everyone who reads this blog was able to have just as an enjoyable time as we all did.

New owner of Peppers in Ubon

Following my last blog announcing the sale of Peppers Bakery & Cafe in Ubon, I think it is only fitting that the next one introduces the new owner.

His name is John and he took over the business on August 1. John is a fellow Australian and actually comes from the same state as me and even did work in the same small town that I grew up and spent most of my working life in.

He has tried his hand at many different things through out his life and most recently that included ownership of a popular coffee shop in Bangkok. For three years he had control of Coffee Society which is a 24 hour, three story restaurant on Silom road right near Sala Daeng BTS. Through hard work and great ideas he transformed this place from a mediocre and struggling business into a bustling and very succesfull venture. He reluctantly sold to a persistant buyer which in hindsight was a perfect move as shortly afterwards the red shirts set up camp almost outside effectively shutting it down for some months.

After a few months of R & R he was told about Peppers being on the market from a cousin of his so he flew up from Bangkok to take a look. The rest they say is history.

John is an extremely friendly and trust worthy man, he is great to have a chat to about almost anything. As he gets involved in the local community I believe he will become a wealth of information on all things Ubon. With his experience and drive John will give Peppers the attention it needs and deserves and will take it to the next level.

If you are in the Ubon area please drop into Peppers soon to welcome John to Ubon Ratchathani.

Introducing John, the new owner of Peppers Bakery and Cafe in Ubon.

Peppers – Sold. A new direction, again!

This blog entry today is tinged with great sadness as well as excitement as I announce that our time in Ubon Ratchathani and Thailand is fast drawing to a close.

On November 8, 2008 I started this blog to keep some kind of diary of my time here in Thailand, to provide family and friends back home with an update on what we are doing and to perhaps provide a little information for people visiting Ubon Ratchathani. Almost six months later I wrote an entry announcing that we had gone into partnership in a Cafe and Bakery venture in down town Ubon. What followed over the next 16 months was truly a roller coaster of a ride!

The first month was hard but exciting work as we brought the property up to scratch before eventually opening Peppers Bakery & Cafe to the outside world. We were all pumped as very early on in the piece we could see that this business was going to work. Of course there were numerous teething problems but most of all the feedback was very positive and within a few months the figures were reflecting the good comments.

In August 2009, as planned, our partners headed home for a few months as they were expecting their second child. Seerung and I worked full time at the shop easily knocking over 100 hours every week as we increased the menu, the staff, the turnover and the profit. Imagine our disappointment when we found out that the business partners were unable to return to Thailand in November and that they were not sure when they would be back at all. We were never interested in running Peppers by ourselves as we have young kids and were not prepared to put the necessary hours into the business which is why we sought out partners right from the very beginning.

Over the next few months there was much frustration and hurt before we eventually took the only available option and that was to buy out their share. During this time we cut back the staff, the menu and the hours because if we didn’t we would have simply shut the doors and walked away. That is how exhausted we were. I remember on two occasions we actually decided to do this before changing our minds at the last minute because of the staff and our loyal customers.

We took a week off and feeling refreshed we got stuck back into it but on a much smaller scale. We stuck to what we were good at and sure enough the customers continued coming and for the first time we were really enjoying working as the stress had disappeared. We enjoyed talking with old and new customers every day and our staff became more settled which makes a huge difference. We knew however that this was not going to last for ever.

When we moved to Thailand, Seerungs Australian residency application was still going through the motions. We knew that within 2 years that we would have to head back to Australia for a few months to fulfil some of the visa requirements. This was not going to be a problem when we had business partners but when they disappeared we had a problem. We did not want to forfeit the Visa which was already five years in the making so we had to either find a manager or sell. We spent a few months talking with various people regarding the management position but could never find what we were looking for so we decided to quietly start advertising the business for sale just to test the waters and see who was out there. We didn’t really want to sell as we had put so much hard work into Peppers and whilst it was making a decent profit the best was still to come now that things had sorted themselves out.

After a lot of tyre kickers all of a sudden we had three serious people interested. It all happened so fast. Lots of meetings, emails and phone calls later we had made a deal with John. (I will introduce John in my next blog entry.) John was a professional right from the very beginning and we immediately felt very comfortable with him. We felt a real peace when he made an offer that was very close to what we were wanting. A counter offer was made, accepted and everyone was happy.

Settlement was yesterday, August 1. We still have some training to do as well as a lot of government offices to visit to sort out all the paperwork that is involved. My guess is that by this time next week we will have finished completely.

It really has been an amazing time. A time of fantastic highs and unfortunately some days that were so very low that we just wanted to walk away. We have learnt so much in such a short time that we would be quite confident in doing something similar somewhere else. We know we are good at it and that we were successful, but whether we will do it again, only time will tell.

The best part of the job apart from seeing people enjoying our food that is unavailable anywhere else in this part of Thailand is the people you get to meet. I have meet people that have become great friends, people I will remain in contact with for years to come. I have helped some of these people and in return they have certainly helped me. Of course, with good there is also bad and I have met some customers that I hope I never have the misfortune of ever meeting again. These people read this blog and know who they are and I am happy to say that we well and truly proved you wrong.

Our main reasons for coming to Thailand was to finish building the house which we did. Spend more time with Seerungs Dad which we did before he passed away and allow the kids to learn Thai which they certainly have done. Peppers was a distraction which I am glad happened but now it is time to move on once again. We are also proud to leave a small part of us in Ubon in that there is now a decent place for breakfast and a great place for a real coffee!

So where to now? A holiday! We are going to hit the road as soon as we can and enjoy all that Thailand has to offer. Khoa Yai National Park, Bangkok, the beach and maybe Krabi way down south – and that is just for starters! After that we will come back to Ubon and finish packing up before heading back to Australia. After being away for three years it will be interesting to return. Once in Australia we will sort out the Visa and then decide where life is leading us next.

Peppers is open again

After a two day forced closure Peppers @ Ubon will be open again in the morning (Thursday April 8.) The reason for the closure was due to major roadwork’s along Uppalisan Road. They have been causing parking and dust problems for quite a while now but when they started to dig up the road and footpath directly outside the front doors we had no choice!

They are still a while from finishing but at least now there is some car parking available and if you watch your step there is only a 50% chance of falling down a hole!

Peppers new menu

Our new menu has been out for a little while now so thought it was time to share it with you all as well as drum up a little publicity.

Imported Australian steaks, Pizza, Pasta, Thai food, All Day Breakfast, Burgers & Sandwiches, Cakes & Coffee …. there is something for everyone at Peppers Bakery & Cafe in Ubon Ratchatani.