I’ll be there for you – Friendship & solar powered coffee
We sat down with old friends Keith Tan, Director of Crown Coffee, and Mazey Tan, our Senior Energy Consultant, to find out why he chose to go solar. The two have been through thick and thin over the last 10 years and now they celebrate their friendship over coffee brewed by the sun. Hear more of how their friendship turned into a meaningful collaboration.
“We have been exploring Internet of Things and are slowly moving into that direction at Crown Coffee. Sun Electric’s smart technology and portal is in-line with our creative spirit. I was sold! Done deal! That’s our first step towards cleaner energy!”
– Keith Tan, Director, Crown Coffee
1. How long have you both known each other?
Keith: I’ve known Mazey for about 10 years and we have been “bros” since.
Mazey: I’ve seen Keith’s ups and downs in his personal and professional life over the 10 years. I’ve always been really proud of him for being innovative, daring and always going the extra mile for his clients. He’s not your typical Singaporean dude who is too afraid to start anything new. I’m especially happy for him for taking the courage to set up Crown Coffee. It can be a lonely journey as he told me.
I’m truly thankful for being able to support him in his journey by helping him save money on his utility bills, fulfil his corporate social responsibility and his thirst for technology.
And yes, also being his guinea pig! I’ve lost count of how many cups of coffee I’ve consumed.
2. Tell us more about Crown Coffee.
Crown Coffee is a premium fast casual dining concept. We are the sole importer of Buscaglione coffee from Rome and serve handcrafted paninis. When you visit Crown Coffee, you can expect good honest food with great coffee!
What really stands out is the technology powering this concept. We have self-contained mobile coffee carts ready to be deployed for events and we are able to operate in places with no provisions for F&B. For example, lift lobbies of large office buildings, foyers etc. We amortise unusable spaces for landlords.
Our Swiss coffee machines have data logging capabilities, up to 4 times productivity of a traditional machines, providing consistency that is unmatched in the industry. And we have espresso production of 350 cups per hour by 1 operator! This allows us to pop up a café anywhere and cater to large crowds.
We are very discerning in our choice of equipment – for example, we use high speed panini grills that combine infra-red, microwave and hot grill to produce crispy paninis with melted cheese within 50 seconds!
Our next move is the implementation of Internet of Things (IOT) to our operation and possibly be the first Smart Café in Singapore. From ordering till they leave the café, our customers will experience and enjoy the seamless deployment of IOT and analytics.
We are a very forward looking company, and embrace new technologies, fusing them together within a café lifestyle context to showcase technology’s impact on our everyday lives. The food and drinks are almost secondary to our core business concept.
3. Why did you leave the finance sector to open a cafe without prior experience in F&B?
Hosting people has always been my forte. My previous job, as a relationship manager for a multi-family office, required exceptional hosting, communication and interpersonal skills. Looking after people and making sure they are happy comes naturally for me. I am at the stage in my life where I have matured and am ready to build a legacy for myself and my family.
4. How has being an entrepreneur changed you?
The road to entrepreneurship is a lonely one. Especially in the F&B sector. Working hours are insane. I’ll work from morning till 10pm, after which, I can have my dinner. Forget meeting friends for dinner when you don’t know when you’ll be done with closing. Lonely meals, 5hr sleeps and the day starts again…
This business requires guts, lots of it. When it all seems impossible? Just keep at it and somehow a solution can be found. I think this is a real test for me. I’m embarking on a road less travelled. So much so, I constantly have to tell myself to keep going. It has reinforced my beliefs, mental capacity and definitely tested me on all front, and made me a more resilient and wiser person.
5. Why did you choose renewable solar energy to run Crown Coffee?
It’s technology! And completely align with Crown Coffee’s concept. We embrace technology and when Mazey told me about joining Sun Electric and how solar power can be delivered through the national grid, I was like WOW. This is a perfect solution. Save the earth, save on bills and embrace new technologies. Took me no time to decide.
We love this off-site solar power solution for Crown Coffee! Sun Electric’s patented solution allows off-site solar power delivery through our power grid. Awesome innovation. We love innovation here at Crown Coffee.
Head to Crown Coffee’s Facebook page for more information.
Crown coffee is currently under our SolarFlex package. SolarFlex package is suitable for consumers who require no guarantee or minimum amounts of solar energy. Additionally it is flexible and cost effective. To find out more on our different electricity products click here. To sign up for the same electricity package click here.