“You probably won’t expect it given our age, but we love café hopping! When we discovered cold brew coffee, we fell in love with it for its flavour and health benefits, so we decided to start our very own cold brew coffee business.
When we first set out to find our own unique blend, we had to source for coffee beans in over 10 roasteries across Singapore. Being new to this cold brew business, we went through months of experiments, reading articles, watching YouTube videos, and even talking to other café owners. It was only after countless tweaks and improvisations that we finally succeeded.
Even then, when we approached cafes for collaborations, we didn’t receive a single response. It was disheartening. That’s when we decided to focus our efforts online and reach out to customers directly. But taking our business online came with its challenges too – we didn’t even know how to use social media. Thankfully, our children and their friends were supportive and taught us how to take “Facebook/Instagram-worthy” photos. We even took up Photoshop lessons and food styling courses. It shows that age doesn’t have to be a hindrance. We can always learn new things and upgrade ourselves.
Last year, we took part in the Singapore Coffee Festival. Being a small and new start-up, we knew we had to stand out from the more popular coffee vendors. So, we decided to go all out and created a signage using LED lights to capture attention. As a result, we had a long line of customers. After the event, we even got some media coverage and people really started noticing our brand.”
Richard Koh and Ong Bee Yan are the founders of 1degreeC, a homegrown start-up that specialises in cold brew coffee and cold tea. This elder-preneur duo hopes that 1degreeC will one day be a household brand.
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