Just like brewing up a steaming cup of joe, curating a lifestyle store is an art in itself. And Groundstory, a multi-concept store situated along North Bridge Road, has a knack for both.
Housed within a 1,400-square foot shophouse space and co-owned by a group of designers, Groundstory was born from a shared passion for good coffee, intricate artisanal creations and a growing need for storage space.
“For over 20 years, the owners have been sourcing for traditional artworks and samples, and they thought about renting a storage facility for their growing collection at one point,” says Shirmeyn Wang who manages Groundstory’s daily operations. “This consideration evolved into the idea of creating a cafe-cum-gallery, and that was how Groundstory came to be.”
Pass the store’s classic panelled glass doors, and you’ll be greeted by a vast array of artisanal craftwork comprising ceramic wares, wooden dinnerware and traditional art pieces – all of which were handpicked during trips to Asian cities and craft centres, namely Chiang Mai, Kyoto, Hanoi and Bali.
Noteworthy traditional accessories include a Thai bronze accent that is best described as a “metallic spill”, buffalo horn chopstick mounts shaped like dragonflies as well as a pair of ornate silver bangles from the island of Timor.
However, not every ornament in the store is for sale. For instance, accent pieces including an antique coffee grinder and porcelain tingkat food container are purely meant for display.
Chic decor pieces and products aside, Groundstory also has a simple but balanced menu as well as a pleasant ambience going for it, thus making the store an oasis of calm within a hectic urban city.
Fronting an air well with an overhead skylight, the cafe section opens up to a classy combination of whitewashed walls, marble-topped tables and mixed seating options for a charming dining space. And it is here where customers can tuck into equally delectable eats such as buttered croissants, homemade cakes, and of course, Groundstory’s signature coffees made from quality Ethiopian and Brazilian beans.
As a store that stocks a carefully-chosen range of handmade offerings, Groundstory can be said to be a true reflection of its owners’ fondness for arts and craft. “Our wares are, first and foremost, selected based on their aesthetic appeal, rather than sales potential and that’s why Groundstory is a labour of love and a project that the owners truly enjoy,” Shirmeyn says.
756/758 North Bridge Road
tel: 6413 3981
This was adapted from an article originally published in the October 2017 issue of SquareRooms.