For % Arabica’s founder, Kenneth Shoji, the past decade has been a dazzling love affair with China.
The story began when he met his beloved wife “Luo Jing” in Tokyo on January 1st 2005, and then married her on Christmas Eve the same year.
In 2007 Ken expanded his family business throughout both Shànghǎi and his wife’s hometown Dàlián which is considered to be one of the most relaxed and liveable cities in the northeast, if not all of China.
The couple are currently raising three sons in Hong Kong, speaking Mandarin, Japanese, and English. During 2016 Ken began discussions for introducing % Arabica into China. And it was the blooming eloquence of Shànghǎi that convinced him there would be no better home for their flagship store.
After months of exploring the city’s neighborhoods, Ken settled upon Ferguson Lane on Wukang Road, built in 1897 by John Calvin Ferguson, an American educator who used his own salary to make it easier for colleagues and students to get to the school. In 2011 it became recognised as one of the most Nationally Historic and Cultural Streets of China. The buildings incorporate a diverse range of architectural styles including Mediterranean, French Renaissance, English, and Art Deco.
On cloudless days, Ferguson Lane courtyard fills in the blink of an eye with travellers, latte lovers and brunch fanatics. You can find us nestled in the cozy back section of Ferguson Lane. Although there were many restrictions during construction, we persevered by digging deeper to increase the ceiling height, and installed skylights to allow for more natural light. The results are pleasantly charming. We hope you’ll like our cute flagship store in this incredible country called China.