A Fond Adieu— Loysel’s Toy


Ardent fans of Papa Pahelta will need no introduction to the riverside sister establishment, Loysel’s Toy. If you have a copy of our Brand Guide, you’ll probably share our fondness for this café that contributed significantly to the speciality coffee movement back in 2011. The word’s is official out and it leaves most of us feeling bittersweet that this landmark is now a part of history.


Back when Papa Palheta operated quietly in a hole-in-a-wall along Hooper Road, a humble following caught on and people would stream in through that narrow doorway framed by the bamboo trees on one side and just a couple of tables and chairs. I remembered second guessing myself the first time I was given directions by a friend for a catch up over coffee. I eventually stepped in, guided by the unmistakable and alluring smell of freshly brewed coffee. The skylight that flooded the courtyard of small coffee tables and stools gave this place so much charm and staying power, it became a regular haunt of mine.

Papa Palheta operated as a coffee retail space where people could sample coffees before buying it home to brew. There was such a variety of speciality coffee that Leon was experimenting with as he roasted his own green coffees of various single origins. The flavour explosion from that humble brown bean caught on and everyone wished there was more. A year into operating this hole-in-the-wall, from what I can still recall, the word was out that a café was in the pipeline and everyone couldn’t be more thankful and excited that they were going to expand and include a food menu!


And so Loysel’s Toy began operating in the early months of 2010. The location was just as obscure as it’s predecessor: the ground floor of a restored factory building somewhere in Kallang by the riverside. There was still a great deal of emphasis on specialty coffee being handcrafted, though on a larger scale than before, and the quality of each cup proved that good,and affordable, coffee wasn’t impossible. With every great business comes an equally compelling vision that we thankfully shared with Leon when he first approached us. We couldn’t be happier with the result of this synergy between Loysel’s Toy and us:

View project here.


Yah-Leng, who led the creative direction for the brand development of Loysel’s Toy, came up with the tag ‘Coffee Crafters’, which accented the artisanal quality of the coffee brewing that Loysel’s Toy pride itself for.


The grid background that is prevalent in most of its collaterals (see menu and name cards) gives a nice balance to the simplicity of the identity mark and the use of natural materials like craft paper and cardboard backing for the menus contribute to an authenticity that is accessible and honest.

It tied in neatly with the locale, the down-to-earth vibe and that comfort that Loysel’s Toy provided as a reprieve tucked away, on the outskirts of the city.

So 5 years went by and while the menu has gone through its fair share of overhaul, some tweaks here and there to the furnitures, some things about this quaint café will always stay gold.

There was a nostalgic familiarity returning to the space just a couple of weeks before we bid Adieu; the wafts of fresher air, the bar counter by the window made from an entire piece of driftwood, the greenery that fences the compound, the slight breeze that greeted one seated outdoor and that familiar logo that still marks the place and brands the memories we have and hold oh so dearly to.

We’re glad to have been a part of this journey, t’was a good ride that we’ll fondly remember.