Newsletter Summer 2020 Volume V
New For Five Cafes The Future of Shopping Changing How We Eat
Behind The Stories For the fifth official For Five Newsletter, I wanted to focus on the people, places, and ideas changing the industries that we, as a coffee company, are a part of. With a new decade upon us, 2020 has kept us thinking about what’s next. The world is changing as we know it due to things like climate change, advancements in technology, and continuously growing resources of communication and information. It feels as though we are witnessing human evolution first hand at a pretty rapid pace. While some of what we see may be a bit overwhelming at times, we are also witnessing some pretty amazing and wonderful accomplishments by people, brands, and communities alike. Whether you love Elon Musk and his Tesla and Space X projects, or Jeff Bezos and how he revolutionized the way we buy products, there is plenty to be excited about. In Volume V of our For Five Newsletter, we have decided to focus on three such talking points — the all new Alexandria and Arlington For Five cafes, the way Brookfield has changed the in-person shopping experience, and how we are modernizing healthy delicious food options. So — what does the future hold? No one knows, but we are excited about what’s next. You should be too. Barron R. Bazemore Jr.
Director of Marketing
Thank You to Our Contributors Louisa Garcia @letteringovercoffee
Steve Gonzalez @stevedjla
Igda W @velogirl22
Cheick Gueye @chckstudio
For Five Coffee Opens First Virginia Location In December 2019, For Five Coffee opened its first ever Virginia based cafe in Old Town, Alexandria. The cafe served as the 7th cafe opening of 2019 and 28th overall, concluding the previous decade of growth (For Five was established in 2010) on an incredibly high note, representing the meteoric rise of the New York based company. Although For Five now has 28 cafes located throughout major cities like New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, its Virginia cafe marks a pivotal move into the southern region while remaining close to the companies’ New York home. For Five Alexandria serves as the third For Five cafe, after Manhasset and Astoria, to offer its full food program. “The main goal with every seasonal menu is to offer trendy, multi-cultural adaptations of dishes that satisfy everyones dietary restrictions and preferences,” says For Five Executive Chef Scheyla Acosta. “At For Five, we are trying to introduce healthy meals in cities like Alexandria, as something fun and sexy. As a chef, it is important for me to emphasize that flavor does not have to be sacrificed when consuming healthy food.” ForFiveCoffee.com
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Along with delicious food, specialty coffee, pastries and much more, the cafe draws in a large array of new customers due to its interior design, which features modern architecture with a colonial twist. “Old Town Alexandria represents a very historic town. Restaurants are only becoming more and more modern regarding their interior design, so we wanted to achieve that while still maintaining that Old Town character,” says For Five co-founder Stefanos Vouvoudakis. “We focused on a nautical blue for the color scheme to compliment the colonial brick that surrounds the area, different from our usual black and white color scheme. We wanted to create an interior that allows us to stand out, without trying to change the identity of the remarkable town.” While For Five Alexandria and For Five Arlington are the first two cafes to open in Virginia, they certainly won’t be the last. With two more DC locations on the way, For Five sees the north east part of the map as a major investment opportunity, as this degree of quality and hospitality simply hasnt existed...until now.
What’s next for For Five Alexandria? “After focusing on the interests of our customers, we will create fun and intersting workshops and classes” says cafe General Manager Dusan Sokica. “We’ll be starting with a 'How to Make Matcha’ class, where guests will learn how to make the delicious beverage and learn why matcha is different than other types of teas out there.” Be sure to stay tuned to what’s next by becoming a VIP Status member.
forfivecoffee.com/VIP For Five Alexandria is located at 1800C Diagonal Rd. and is open Monday through Friday from 7-7 and from 7-4 on weekends. For Five Arlington is located at 2311 Wilson Blvd. and is open Monday through Friday from 7-7 and from 7-4 on weekends.
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For Five Cookies Art by Louisa Garcia
HOW BROOKFIELD RESHAPED THE SHOPPING INDUSTRY The era of the shopping mall we grew up accustomed to has crash landed and the way we shop has changed forever. What were once massive retailers, such as Sears, Kmart and KB Toys, are suddenly gone. Online giants like Amazon, eBay and StockX have reshaped the way we shop, with items now being shipped directly to our door in a matter of days â€” if not hours. Amid this massive shift however, Brookfield Asset Management has found a way to reshape the retail environment. In other words, the mall experience is alive and well, itâ€™s just being done in a very different way. We sat down with Mark Kostic, Vice President of Asset Management, to discuss how Brookfield has become the front runner in this incredibly fascinating new shift in the shopping experience, where customers are drawn in by much more than the stores themselves. Here is how the future of this massive industry is taking place right here, in New York City.
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Barron: Who am I having this wonderful conversation with and what is your role at Brookfield? Mark: My name is Mark Kostic, Vice President of Asset Management at Brookfield Properties. I have been with the firm for about 8 years and my role has evolved over that time. For a good portion of my time here, I have been focused on retail leasing and retail development strategies across the firm’s portfolio, including the $300 million transformation of the World Financial Center into current day Brookfield Place. I now oversee the holistic asset management of Brookfield Place from retail and office to our “placemaking” initiatives. Barron: When was Brookfield founded and how has it become the company it is today? Mark: Brookfield Asset Management's history goes back over 100 years to infrastructure investments in Brazil. It had been incorporated in Canada in 1912 as Brazilian Traction, Light and Power Co. to develop hydroelectric projects in Brazil and later became known as Brascan. Today, the firm has approximately $500 billion of assets under management. Brookfield operates real estate, renewable power, infrastructure, private equity, credit assets and businesses across the globe. In our real estate portfolio, we own flagship commercial properties, such as Brookfield Place in both New York and Toronto, as well as one of the largest retail real estate companies and a growing multifamily and hospitality portfolio. Barron: The “shopping mall” experience has changed significantly over the last 20 years. The malls I went to as a child (I’m 31), have all but disappeared. The experience however, at a place like Brookfield, has thrived. What is it about the Brookfield experience that makes it so successful? Mark: Brookfield is a big believer in creating places. Many of our projects are larger, mixed-use developments where a variety of stakeholders gather — be it office workers, residents, shoppers or a combination thereof. We are always seeking to energize our retail settings with the most relevant concepts, including fashion concepts, trendy eateries and a fully programmed arts and events schedule. Arts Brookfield, a 30 year old company program, presents exciting, world-class cultural experiences to hundreds of thousands of people for free each year in both indoor and outdoor public spaces at Brookfield’s premier properties. Our list of properties include New York, Los Angeles, Denver, Houston, Washington, D.C., Calgary, Toronto, London, Perth and Sydney. From concerts, theater and dance, to film screenings and art exhibitions, Arts Brookfield brings public spaces to life through art. We are also now focused on rolling out new technologies in order to seamlessly connect on-site amenities with workers and residents within our properties. Together, this helps to create a dynamic, best-in-class setting. Barron: Does “high-end shopping” have to refer to the price tag? In other words, can “high-end shopping” exist in something other than the “for-sale” price? ForFiveCoffee.com
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P O FO H S
V I F E R
Mark: While many items can be purchased online easily, particularly commodity items, those looking to spend at aspirational or luxury concepts still prefer to see and touch in person prior to purchasing. For Brookfield, we would like to provide a host of offerings for visitors to experience while in one of our retail settings such as destination worthy restaurants, a unique performance or an art installation. This also drives traffic to other retailers such as fast-fashion or contemporary brands.
Mark: Technology will continue to disrupt retail and force positive change in how companies do business. For sure, a physical retail footprint is a critical part of most retailers’ omni-channel strategies and that is reinforced by the impact brick and mortar concepts can have on online sales. Stores may get more efficient in size but the offering will be focused on experience and brand ethos. From a pure real estate perspective, we see opportunities in the logistics sector as the need for inventory storage and delivery continues to increase from online shopping. We also see opportunities to redevelop well-located but underutilized components of malls into thriving mixed-use projects through the addition of alternative uses such as entertainment, multifamily or even offices and hotels in the right areas. Barron: Do what people consider to be a “good shopping experience” differ around the world and if so, what are some major differences you’ve seen around the world (American shoppers vs. UK shoppers for example)?
Barron: How does Brookfield choose who to partner with? What kind of companies can be found at a Brookfield Place for example? Mark: We look to partner with the most forward thinking concepts. We are always trying to evolve and provide an extra reason for people to visit our retail settings. For example, Brookfield Place was home to the first Amazon Go on the East Coast, the only Hermes Parfumerie and is also a test store for J. Crew, which receives its product ahead of all other stores. We are also increasingly focused on health and wellness. Equinox has been a huge success from a membership standpoint. On the retail side, Lululemon and Rhone each perform well. And finally, on the services side, Drybar has been part of the project since 2015 and we just welcomed the second New York City Clean Market concept in January, and will implement Adam Grooming from London in the next few months. These are just a few examples of some of the ways we are embracing being a testing ground for new ideas. Barron: Where do you see the shopping experience in 10 years? 20 years? And how does Brookfield see itself playing a role in the future of the shopping experience?
Mark: It is true that the United States is significantly more heavily retailed than other parts of the world. That said, disruption is occurring everywhere not just through Amazon or Alibaba, but also through supply chain such as last mile delivery. Retailers all over are having to reinvent themselves and adapt to these changes. Barron: With companies like Amazon generating billions of dollars in revenue every year and with the number steadily climbing, what will keep people walking into shopping centers? Mark: It is going to take a combination of factors and this is starting to be realized today. Landlords need to focus on incorporating destination types of draws such as restaurants, fitness concepts and performance venues. Retailers also need to integrate unique offerings, events and benefits for shoppers to buy or explore in store. Our program on Bleecker Street in the West Village of New York City was a great example. We partnered with our retailers on the street for a program called “Love, Bleecker.” Stores were curated by Skylight Studios and each retailer held events and partner collaborations across any given month. This was both culturally relevant to the neighborhood shopper and also drove additional traffic to the street. As a result, vacancy has dropped significantly over the past year.
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Barron: How do you see For Five Coffee and Convene fitting in with the Brookfield Place ambiance?
Barron: What’s next for Brookfield?
Mark: There are a few ways these concepts fit in well with Brookfield Place. First, the modern day office worker is looking for a third space to step away from the office for a meeting or some quiet time. A coffee shop like For Five Coffee is the perfect spot to do that. As far as Convene goes, there is a general trend of office tenants looking to become more cost efficient with their internal space. Outsourcing this to Convene solves that with on-demand conferencing and event spaces. Convene will also draw new visitors to Brookfield Place which in turn should provide opportunities for more retail and restaurant exposure.
Mark: Brookfield has a number of noteworthy projects ongoing across the globe, but perhaps none as large as Manhattan West in the Hudson Yards district of New York City. At over 7 million square feet, Manhattan West will be a thriving community made up of 6 million square feet of state-of-the-art custom designed office spaces, 240,000 square feet curated food and retail experiences such as Peloton’s HQ studio location, Whole Foods, the NHL store, a new Danny Meyer restaurant as well as abundant green space, and 844 apartments at the Eugene and New York’s first Pendry Hotel.
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Times Square TRAVEL MUG shop.forfivecoffee.com
How We Are Changing Food Food is a precious commodity that unites us in ways nothing else can. No matter where you are from or what language you speak, food has opened the gate of global communication through just one bite. Although the idea stays the same, the concept of how, when and what we eat, is changing daily. Flavor trends, dietary restrictions, health consciousness, and environmental factors have all become vital elements in deciding where we go out to eat or what meals we purchase. A night out to dinner with friends and family has become more and more complicated—until now. We met with Scheyla Acosta, Executive Chef at For Five Coffee Roasters, to discuss how For Five’s food program incorporates all of the changing factors within the industry. Here’s some insight on For Five’s extensive food program, and how it emphasizes the elevated For Five experience.
Tracy: What makes the food offerings at For Five Coffee different from offerings at other cafes, or even restaurants? Scheyla: I would say that For Five Coffee is different because we aim to create fresh, home-cooked meals that consider everyone’s dietary restrictions. I wanted to take old flavors and transform them into something current, so the idea of taking a recipe and modernizing it while simultaneously giving it that home-cooked warmth is what I’ve strived to do. Nowadays, it can be difficult to go out to eat with friends when everyone has different dietaty restrictions or preferences, so we wanted For Five to be a place you can come eat with a group and not have to worry about that. As a chef, you create a dish with the intentions of a specific experience when consuming it, and when customers have to remove certain ingredients, they don’t get the experience you [as a chef] intended them to. I spend months adjusting each seasonal menu to ensure dietary restrictions do not stand in the way of customers having the experience they should with the food. Tracy: Does your menu embody a theme? If so, what is that theme? Scheyla: My menu doesn’t follow an exact theme, but it does consistently involve different international dishes. I like to play around with food from other cultures, specifically with Asian, North African, Mediterranean, and South American flavors. I always like to keep my kitchens learning and exploring different types of healthy cuisines. Tracy: How often does the menu change? How do you decide what to incorporate? Scheyla: We change the menu every four months. I am always researching and trying to stay on top of new trends that exist, and I jot down recipes that I see or ideas that I have. Once my sous-chef Edibaldo Garcia and I come up with a solid idea for a dish, we set-up a tasting with the owners of For Five, Stefanos Vouvoudakis and Tom Tsiplakos at our flagship Manhasset location and we discuss ideas and decide together what works best for the next upcoming menu. Once we come up with a solid list of dishes, we roll it out at our Manhasset location and then implement it at all of our other locations. Tracy: What flavors inspire you? ForFiveCoffee.com
Scheyla: It depends upon the season and what I see trending. I really enjoy finding ways to make contrasting ideas and ingredients come together to create a dish that works. Both my mother and my father are nutritionists, so healthy food consumption is another concept that inspires me. Tracy: Your food is not only healthy and tasty, but the presentation is also incredible. Can you tell us more about how you create visually appealing and aesthetically pleasing menu items? What’s that process like? Scheyla: There is a long process that goes into the final product. I find different recipes, and it takes Edibaldo and I months to play around with them and get the exact product we are trying to create. Detail is so vital, especially regarding presentation. I don’t overthink it, I just have a vision in my mind and I do the best I can to bring that vision to life. It kind of comes naturally. Tracy: Do you ever consider color? Scheyla: Of course. Since I consider my brand to be health-conscious, I only utilize natural colors. For example, I used pea powder for the Blue Owl Açaí Bowl to create a blue-ish gray color to resemble the winter season. Similarly, I used pitaya powder for the Berry Dragon Açaí Bowl to create a deep fuchsia color for summer. So, you know, I always try to coordinate with the seasons. As I mentioned, I really like to play with contrast, colors, textures and flavors and how they can all combine to create an experience in your mouth. With the 24-Hour Overnight Oats, you have the oats infused with the oat milk, integrated with textured fruits and seeds to establish an experience. You take a spoonful to your mouth, and you’re like “wow.” Tracy: How do you see food changing in years to come? Specifically, the type of food we eat and how we eat it? Scheyla: Well, I'm hoping that more people are going to be integrating what we do at For Five, which is focus our efforts on making health-conscious food consumption, fun. A lot of people say that our food makes them feel like they're going to the gym, because it feels refreshing and nutritious. At For Five, we are trying to encourage the idea
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of “clean” eating without having to be boring; healthy can be fun, it can be sexy. Tracy: Would you say that portion control is a big part of where the food industry is going as well? Scheyla: Yes. I think more often than not, restaurants serve dishes in giant portions, which is why people tend to feel “bloated” or “stuffed.” I serve my dishes in portions that satisfy you, without having to deal with those consequences. Tracy: Why do you believe For Five is a great platform for you to showcase your culinary talents? Scheyla: For Five is a young company that is growing rapidly. They presented a great opportunity for me to showcase my talents which has allowed us to grow and flourish together. When I started here, a culinary department did not exist, so for me to be the pioneer in that sector of the company was an incredible opportunity. The ability to start from scratch allowed me to set the trends within the department, as well as learn how to coordinate the coffee with the food. It’s exciting to be the one to bring this to life. Tracy: How do you think yours and For Five’s values align to the extent of this being a great fit for both sides? Scheyla: We both value quality. Not just the quality of the products, but regarding the ambiance as well. We have invented a high-end experience that’s detail-oriented, highlighting the quality of the food and coffee. We also gear our focus on providing the best customer service we can. People don’t tend to remember factual details about places they have seen or things they have tried, but they always remember how something made them feel. We want to emphasize customer relationships, so the feeling that our customers remember about For Five is always positive. Tracy: What can we look forward to in 2020 regarding the food program at For Five cafes nationwide? Scheyla: We are currently focused on a lot more cafe openings across the nation, so my focus is currently exposing my food program to different cities and places and trying to figure out what works best at each location. I am going to focus on the culture and history that exists within each city, and try to incorporate that within my food program going forward. We are excited to introduce the elevated For Five experience to other states. Explore the cafes that feature Chef Acosta’s food program @ forfivecoffee.com/locations
24 Hour Oatmeal
Long Island Street Corn Salad
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Blue Owl AÇai Bowl
For Five Locations
FOR FIVE TIMES SQUARE 117 West 46th St. Times Square, NY 347 619 3194
FOR FIVE BROOKFIELD PLACE 225 Liberty Pl. New York, NY 347 996 1472
FOR FIVE MANHASSET 292 Plandome Rd. Manhasset, NY 516 918 9488
FOR FIVE @ 1 LIBERTY PLAZA 1 Liberty St. Manhattan, NY 917 508 0406
FOR FIVE ALEXANDRIA 1800C Diagonal Rd. Alexandria, VA 571 312 3345
FOR FIVE FINANCIAL DISTRICT 1 World Trade Center Lower Manhattan, NY
FOR FIVE ARLINGTON
GOSSIP POWERED BY FOR FIVE
2311 Wilson Blvd. Arlington , VA
37-04 30th Ave. Astoria, NY
571 257 7219
718 440 8792
FOR FIVE LOS ANGELES 333 S. Grand Los Angeles, CA 323 306 9656
FOR FIVE CHICAGO 311 West Monroe Chicago, IL 312 481 8632