Voices of Phnom Penh #4

Voices of Phnom Penh is inspired by "Humans of New York" and wants to give a voice to a selection of Phnom Penh citizens whose voice may not be often heard in public sphere. In particular, these inspiring citizens of Cambodia’s capital are usually not the center of public attention. This hbs photo project aims at providing a platform of telling their stories, thoughts and dreams.


Nimol, 26, Self-employed Coffeeshop Owner

I wanted to open my own business, even though it’s a small place. I rented the small area in front of this house for 200 USD. With electricity and everything else together I have to pay 300 USD. I sell coffee all by myself for the whole day. I learnt making coffee by joining a training at a coffee place where I used to work. I didn’t work as barista at the beginning but as a cashier and I received a training as well.

Before I opened the coffee shop, I was concerned of the big coffee chains. When I opened, the big brands didn’t open yet. Within half a year they all opened, and I was afraid of losing customers. But it turned out that they have their customers and I do have my regular customers.

I have to stand all day long in the heat. At the beginning I was very sick because I wasn’t used to it but after a while it was okay. Also, I was worried I wouldn’t generate enough income to survive. I sometimes don’t sleep enough because I have so many thoughts and worries. Sometimes I arrive late at work. As it was the first time opening a business, I didn’t know how to interact with customers. I didn’t know what to say to them. I wasn’t very good at making coffee because I couldn’t clearly remember the drinks, people complained, so I tried to improve myself with Youtube videos because I was so sad. In the future, I could imagine opening a bigger coffee shop in my home province Kampot or in Kep with more seating possibilities and a restroom so that people can drink and relax inside even when it’s raining or even when it’s too hot.