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Family-run community-centered cafe brings greenery, love, Vietnamese coffee to Mission Hill

Ali Caudle
Phi Long Phan (left) and Linh Phan (right) stand in front of The Green Haus. The cafe fully opened in February.

Lush plants and succulents abound in a new cafe on Tremont Street. Owned and run by an immigrant family from Vietnam, The Green Haus offers a menu of small breakfast and lunch plates, an array of richly decorated pastries and a variety of coffee and tea. 

The Green Haus is rooted in family. The cafe is a flourishing green space with wooden shelves holding plants of all sizes for sale, inspired by the family’s gardens in Vietnam. 

“We like coffee, mom likes plants, we have a garden, why not put the two together? That’s how this concept started,” said Phi Long Phan, The Green Haus’ marketing manager and the owner’s younger brother. “We just like people, that’s how we came into the food service. It’s like what dad always [said]… ‘when I retire, you know what I want to have? I want a coffee shop.’”

The cafe, located on the same block as Northeastern student-favorites like Crispy Dough Pizzeria and Mike’s Donut Shop, held a grand opening celebration in February, after spending several months in a soft-opening phase. 

Co-owner and founder Linh Phan immigrated to the United States to attend Boston University, where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in economics in 2022. 

Phi Long Phan followed her lead, coming to the U.S. to attend BU, where he is now a third-year business administration major with a concentration in finance. Phi Long Phan handles marketing and social media for the cafe. 

He said the coffee culture in Boston inspired his family. 

“We came from Vietnam, a tropical country, perfect conditions for just any coffee, beans, fruits. We have astounding smoky-like coffee,” he said. “That’s why we want to join and bring some of our, what you can say, Vietnamese-ness to the neighborhood.” 

The siblings’ parents and younger brother, who is in high school, immigrated to join Linh and Phi Long Phan in the U.S. where they helped craft the concept of The Green Haus. The cafe is a family effort, built as a labor of love. 

The cafe menu features sandwiches and tartines in addition to an assortment of pastries from Flourhouse Bakery in Newton. Special treats include elegantly decorated floral cupcakes, Nutella cruffins — a croissant-muffin hybrid — and warm cinnamon buns. 

“Everything that we do not do in-house, we do it locally, so we support other businesses. We try to create a network of small businesses in the area so we can all support each other to grow,” Phi Long Phan said. “Because, if you go by yourself, sure you can go far, but if you go with other people, you can go even further.”

Instagram reels by Boston-area food influencers serve as mini advertisements for the cafe, some receiving hundreds of thousands of views. Aesthetic scenes of the cafe interior, shots of milk swirling in iced coffee and clips of trays of succulent cupcakes are overlaid with trending music. 

Eleanor Hardy waits to order. The cafe was filled with customers, creating a sense of community. (Ali Caudle)

Eleanor Hardy and Thya Norris, seniors at Belmont High School, said they found out about the cafe from an Instagram reel and made the trip to Mission Hill to check it out. 

“It feels homey and I like that they went for a more kind of natural style,” Norris said. “Like it is a cafe, but that’s not the first thing I noticed when I walked in.” 

Both girls held their phones up to capture shots of their matcha lattes against the aesthetic backdrop. Norris also purchased a cupcake with a rosette-shaped swirl of frosting resembling a succulent. Hardy bought a bushel of dried lavender flowers wrapped in newspaper print. 

Lauren Coburn, a third-year business management major at Emmanuel College and barista at Green Haus, has been an employee since November. She said she loves the atmosphere of the cafe. 

“The most unique thing about it is the overall concept; I’ve never experienced anything like it,” Coburn said. “In Mission Hill we don’t have anything else like it.”

Phi Long Phan said the interior is designed to reflect a sense of harmony. Everything inside is hand-built and handmade. Each piece of furniture and decor was carefully selected to cultivate the ambiance of symmetry and beauty in nature. 

Hardy praised the hanging plants and soft lighting. “I feel like a lot of the time there’s a lot of lack of individuality in local cafes because there’s kind of been a push towards a more minimalistic architectural sense,” she said. “I like how [The Green Haus] integrates natural elements into the cozy vibe.”

Bustling with students, families and young professionals, the cafe encourages community and connection. The cafe provides a social atmosphere with a unique unplugged weekends initiative, where it encourages customers to put away their laptops and tablets to live in the moment. 

“We want to think of this place as where people can just sit down and talk and enjoy and we want it to be a stress-free place,” Phi Long Phan said. “So you know, during the week you’re on your laptop all the time, on a phone, all the time handling all kinds of business. Super stressful. That’s why we have unplugged weekends.” 

Various pastries in the counter display. The menu featured in-house sandwiches and pastries from Flourhouse Bakery. (Ali Caudle)

The cafe runs frequent promotions, including “face mask Fridays” where a purchase of $15 or more is rewarded with a free face mask. 

“Have a sip of coffee, if you want to use a face mask right there, right then, put it on, eat, just chill,” Phi Long Phan said. “Or take it home.”

Going forward, Phi Long Phan shared the family plans to add an online ordering option, expand to catering and increase the number of vegan offerings. 

“They treat all their employees as family, which I feel like is really important and really nice. They always make sure they’re taking care of us and accommodating everything we need,” Coburn said. “As a business itself, I feel like the family has done such an amazing job coming together and being able to juggle all of this and just being so grateful for their customers.”

The Green Haus is the culmination of months of hard work. The investment in the community has been reciprocated, with customers filling the space day after day. Phi Long Phan believes the love behind it is what makes the cafe special. 

“We’re really, really trying to make this space special for us and for everyone,” Phi Long Phan said. “This is our first business and this is our foundation. So this is actually very kind of sentimental, special in a sense to us.” 

About the Contributor
Ali Caudle
Ali Caudle, Projects Editor
Ali Caudle is a second-year journalism major with minors in law and public policy and women's, gender, and sexuality studies. She's projects editor in her second semester serving on The News' e-board. She spends her free time working with babies and wandering through Boston's various neighborhoods. Follow her on Instagram @attributedtoali or on Twitter @alicaudle for updates.
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