BANGKOK, THAILAND: Leading Asian culinary group, COCA Restaurants, recently celebrated 60 years in business at a glittering gala ceremony at Renaissance Bangkok filled with fun, dancing and the unique COCA touch of humility and humour which has created such a loyal team and customer following over the years.
COCA Restaurants CEO Pitaya Phanphensophon, son of founder Khun Srichai Phanphensophon who launched the restaurant group in the Surawong district of Bangkok in 1957, was joined by his family and third generation siblings who are set to take the group to further successes in the future.
His eldest daughter Natalie Phanphensophon recently took over as Chief Operations Officer of the group, while NAME Phanphensophon has begun a sustainable farm operation to provide the best and healthiest vegetables to COCA Restaurants. Meanwhile, son Ryan Phanphensophon, an architect, is adding his design finesse to new restaurant projects.
“It has been quite a journey,” said Pitaya. “And it is with great pleasure I am able to celebrate this milestone with staff, some of whom have been with me for as long as thirty years, my family, and business partners who have come to join from around Asia.”
Since COCA’s launch 60 years ago, the group has grown to 23 restaurants through the region in countries including Japan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines. Pitaya launched Thai food chain Mango Tree restaurants with the first outlet opening in Silom in 1994, a brand that has grown to over 39 outlets around the world.
Mango Tree’s Managing Partner and Managing Director Trevor MacKenzie added that it was a great moment for the group. “We have a lot of fun together and we work hard together. But what is special is the spirit of the group that is borne out of family values. This is what creates the warmth and a feeling of belonging amongst all the team and combined with innovation is what will sustain the group for many more years to come.”
Four days of celebrations also included the Climb To Change A Life programme, which saw a team of 80 people from COCA Restaurants take 10 children with movement difficulties from the Zy Movement Foundation up Khao Daeng in the Sam Roi Yot National Park in Prachuab Kirikhan province in Southern Thailand.