Coffee shops are EVERYWHERE now in Phnom Penh, sometimes two or three on one block. Cambodian people live in a mostly informal economy–small mom-and-pop shops based on the ground floor of a shophouse–and selling coffee fits that model perfectly. Whatever else the family makes or sells–curtains or shoes or electrical supplies or cakes, selling coffee from a stand outside the door of their home/shop offers a possibility to make more money.
Not that these coffee stands do make money. There are so many of them almost side-by-side that they can’t really turn a profit. The families can keep them open because they have no overhead once they buy the cart or build the stand. It’s on property they already own. But even without profit, hope springs eternal and more and more coffee shops keep opening up.