21st July 2019
Brewing something special at this dream cafe
Menggongfang Cafe, or the Dream Workshop Cafe, on Chengshan Road in the Pudong New Area has been drawing a lot of visitors over the past few weeks.
On the surface, the choice to open a coffee house on Chengshan Road seems unwise since the area is close to old residential complexes with no commercial zones nearby. The shopfront of the cafe is almost bland, with white boldface Chinese characters of the shop's name on a gray striped board.
There are only 18 tables in the cafe, which somehow make the already roomy space even more capacious. The drinks and snacks are the usual kinds, many of the cakes are made in advance, nothing to brag about.
“Wrong marketing strategy,” one may say.
However, once you walk in, it is self-evident why the cafe in this quite old neighborhood has been garnering so much attention.
The back door of the cafe leads to Pudong Special School, and all seven waiters and waitresses — as well as the six interns — are mentally handicapped and are students of the school.
“Welcome to Menggongfang,” with a resonant voice, a tall young man opened the door for Shanghai Daily reporter on Saturday. He ran to a small blackboard which read “you are our 1,931st guest” and changed the number to 1932.