Pawon Cokelat Guest House began as a storefront selling cocoa goods years ago. Overtime, it expanded by opening its doors to visitors looking for accommodation while spending time in Yogyakarta. Today, Pawon Cokelat is renovated, and remains as a guesthouse and chocolate café; it resonates of the warm hospitality and artistic and cultural traditions of the city. Its small scale is balanced by its well-planned spaces and inclusion of greenery. Gathi Subekti, daughter of the founding entrepreneur, runs the establishment at present day.
Who is Gathi Subekti?
I’m a part-time architect, and full-time managing director of Pawon Cokelat Guest House.
Where did the name “Pawon Cokelat” come from?
“Pawon” is Javanese for kitchen. My mother’s business was selling various cocoa-based goods, and she named her shop Chocolate Kitchen. I decided to keep its original name when I took over the business and renovated the old house into the current Guest House and café.
What surprises you about Pawon Cokelat as a business?
Running a small-scale business isn’t as easy as it seems. As many as there are pleasant and colourful guests, there are also the fussy, picky types. Not to mention an array of property-related issues from the house lizards getting stuck between windows to building permits and paying taxes.
Pawon Cokelat Guest House prioritizes bringing in nature to the space due to the accommodation’s urban and built-up surroundings. Pawon Cokelat’s vertical and rooftop gardens are a refreshing sight in the area.
What are some inspirations behind the present-day architecture and business model of Pawon Cokelat?
I refer back to various establishments in Bali, as that is where I spent many years living and still visit often.
Describe Pawon Cokelat in five words
Nature, Garden, Design, Hospitable, Comfortable
What do you like best about Malioboro?
Malioboro is a busy place today, but one that is still full of the old town Javanese custom and tradition. It is also surrounded by many city attractions, namely the Keraton Complex, Gudeg Wijilan Village and the Tugu Station.
What’s the toughest part of being in the hospitality business?
I’m on standby 24/7.
What does the future of Pawon Cokelat look like?
I’d like to expand the business to include tour services. I also envision helping other small accommodation startups with management consultancy and mentoring.
Sosrowijayan Wetan Gg. 01 No.102 Malioboro – Yogyakarta; pawoncokelat.com