Every morning, a small cafe along Katipunan Avenue is filled with cyclists enjoying conversations over a cup of coffee. Some of them came from a quick climb in Antipolo while others were there to take a break from biking around the city.
The scene is always a head-turner in this busy road of Quezon City and many — even those who do not bike — get curious about the crowded spot.
This bike-friendly cafe is called Kuro., a small business run by the Rebolledo family. On a typical day, you’ll see Raymond, the father, keeping their guests company with great stories and his tito jokes. Bullet, the matriarch, is inside preparing the food and drinks. The sons Kevin and Kurt, meanwhile, are responsible for taking and serving the orders.
While it might seem like a normal cafe that caters to cyclists, Kuro. has become a home for its customers, especially the regulars whom Raymond calls as “the usual suspects.” It’s the goal of the Rebolledos, after all, to form a community within its patrons.
“We want to bring people together. ‘Yan ‘yung gusto naming mangyari kahit bago pa kami mag-open. Gusto naming magkaroon ng space na nagse-share lang ‘yung mga tao sa hilig sa bike or any common interests like music, fashion or travel,” Kurt said.
He added, “Kaya nakakatuwa na naging magkakaibigan at nagkakasama na sa mga rides ‘yung mga friends ni dad at ‘yung mga mas bata. Parang nakikita namin na unti-unting nabubuo ‘yung vision namin.”
Kuro. is a young cafe in Metro Manila that opened its yellow door to the public around this time last year. According to Kurt, the concept of making a bike-friendly coffee shop was inspired from their family’s weekend coffee rides during the height of the pandemic. He recalled that they saw a need for a hangout spot for bikers in the Katipunan area because they found themselves always cycling far for a decent place that would accommodate people on two wheels.
The food and service industry is not a new realm to the Rebolledos. Raymond and Bullet used to run Dexter’s Bakeshop. Their shop used to be located in the space next to where Kuro. is situated. Growing up, Kevin and Kurt would see how their parents run the store but the two admitted that they are still newbies to this business.
“Sila talaga mom and dad, more than 20 years sila sa Dexter’s. Natutuo kami sa kanila, ginuide din nila kami noong first few days sa Kuro.. Wala kaming experience tapos nakaka-overwhelm noong una kapag madaming tao,” Kurt said.
Kevin added, “Lagi pa sinasabi sa amin ni mommy noong mga first few months sa amin ‘na kahit pagod ka na, basta ngiti ka pa rin. Kaya mo ‘yan.”
Aside from sharing the love for cycling, one of the evident traits of this family is their sincerity and care for other people. From actively doing outreach projects to remote areas in the country to extending their help to people around their vicinity, the warmth of the Rebolledos can be felt by its customers not just through its beverages but also through their sincere gestures and friendliness.
It’s the hard work, commitment to quality and genuineness of the Rebolledos that stand out. Kuro. continuously grows — from the patrons of Dexter’s Bakeshop who still regularly stop for their breads and to say hello to Bullet and Raymond to the cycling community that they have built over the past few months.
“Mas nakikilala namin ‘yung isa’t isa dahil sa Kuro.. Mas naging close kami as a family at mas naging open din kami na mag-usap-usap kapag may different ideas,” Kevin said. “May downside din na since family na ang nagpapatakbo, ang hirap makahanap ng family time beyond Kuro..”
The sons recalled that back before Kuro. happened, traveling and biking together used to be easy. However, they still have Mondays for themselves when the store is closed. A few months ago, the boys were able to take a quick cycling trip in Mountain Province.
As Kuro. marks its first year, the Rebolledos wish to grow more and to expand — not only in terms of business but also to reach more people. They want to offer more beverages and food soon and they hope they can have a bigger space.
“Sana we’ll see a bigger space pero dito pa rin sa space na ito. Para magkaroon din ng dine-in space sa loob at mas maka-accommodate ng mas madaming bike sa labas. Gusto rin namin i-expand pa ‘yung network naming at mas maging aggressive pa rin in terms of promotions at makasali sa mga pop-ups,” Kevin said.
On Feburary 4, Kuro. will celebrate its first anniversary and everyone is welcomed to join. There will be musical performances from Ebe Dancel, Autotelic, Saxman Obet and Doze. A Kuro. edition Blocks Lo-Fi frameset, along with other exciting prizes, are also up for raffle.