Shaun Liew, is not only an entrepreneur, but also a highly skilled and hands-on owner in his businesses. Being a humble and successful entrepreneur, Shaun has lots of experiences and business acumen to share.
Shaun Liew | Co-Founder of Yellow Brick Road, Wizards at Tribeca, Flying Monkeys Bar; Award Winning Barista
An award-winning barista with a business mindset, Shaun established the popular restaurants Yellow Brick Road, Wizards at Tribeca, and the Flying Monkeys Ba with his business partner and they received very positive responses for all these F&B outlets. From him, we learn that nothing is impossible and being a hands-on leader goes a long way.
Q: Why did you become a barista?
A: I was once a lecturer in Berjaya University College teaching one of their culinary courses. The job allowed me to meet many international coffee experts, and I was also an avid coffee lover who goes Café Hopping frequently. One of my favorite cafés was The Redbean Bag, that was how I met their chief barista Jason Loo and we later became good friend and business partners starting Yellow Brick Road.
Q: What is the biggest challenge for you?
A: Time management is my biggest challenge because I have to manage my business, manage the team, train for upcoming competitions. Therefore, I have to optimize the limited time that I have in a day. This whole process will make us better and more matured.
Q: How would you define a good cup of coffee?
A: The most important thing is the balance of taste. Coffee in itself has its sweetness, it does not always require added sugar.
Q: How do you make Wizards at Tribeca stand out in the industry?
A: When we opened the Wizards of Tribeca, we didn’t want to be just another restaurant or café so we decided to position ourselves by focusing on specialty coffee and modern contemporary brunch. This gives our customers clear product differentiation with the assurance of good quality of food and beverage.
Q: What does the winning of awards mean to you?
A: Firstly, it gives me great confidence. Throughout the process of training, we can learn many things in a short period. Winning awards also bring due recognition to the café as it is a statement of the true quality that we serve our customers. It is also good branding and marketing for our establishments.
Q: What breakthroughs do you seek to achieve?
A: Due to my shift in focus last year to establish Wizards of Tribeca, I did not participate in any competitions. I wish to begin my training again to compete this year. We’ve recently opened our first bar called the Flying Monkeys Bar and it has an assortment of creative cocktails. Currently there are two types of cocktails made with coffee.
Q: What is your favorite liquor?
A: Gin. I enjoy Nikka Coffey Gin from Japan the most. I’ve recently come across Four Pillars Gin which is from Australia, and I have been able to create some delicious cocktails using it. Apart from that, some more common gins such as Hendrick’s Gin and The Botanist Gin are also very good.
Q: What is your definition of success?
A: I would define success by being able to work well with my team. As a businessman, we all have to be team players and we cannot make it without each other. Without my team, I would not be where I am today.
Q: What are the characteristics of a successful man?
To remain humble. No matter how successful a person is, it is important to always be humble. Respect cannot be bought, it is earned. Also, never forget those who had helped us throughout our journey.
Q: What other plans do you have in store?
A: We’re thinking of opening a bakery or a dessert shop. We definitely will not chase after trends because we want to start something that is sustainable in the long run.
Q: What are your requirements for a good quality of life?
A: To always be positive and happy. That is how we can enjoy our lives.
Interview & Text: Alison Law
Styling: Anderson Chong
Wardrobe: DIOR Homme | RADO Watch
Makeup: Zoeys Chen
Hairstyle: VV Chan @ Shiseido Professional
Photographer: Tian Xing @ Shooting Star
Creative Director: Chris Wong
Video Editor: JiaMin Chuah