Kopifellas celebrated its 6th year anniversary this November 2023. From starting out as a small modern hawker stall in 2017 to opening our first ever overseas outlet in New York City, we have definitely come a long way. We now have a total of 3 brands and over 10 outlets across Singapore and NYC.
So, how did Kopifellas even come about in the first place? Well, our CEO and founder, Terry Neo dreamed of opening his very own coffee shop. Not just a regular coffee shop but a modern coffee shop, something hip and trendy that promotes Singapore’s traditional food at the same time!
The brand’s vision is to bring Singapore to the world through our heritage coffee and local delights and we are proud to have been successfully doing so. After opening our first overseas outlet at Times Square, New York City, we have been heralded for being Singapore’s modern nanyang coffee represent overseas! We have also brought our kopi and kaya toasts to other parts of the world such as Turkey, Munich and Manila. It was truly an honour to be able to spread the goodness of our traditional kopi and toasts to people all over the world.
Aside from that, we also have made many meaningful partnerships along the way such as our partnership with Oatside where we launched our SG Kopilicious drink for this year’s National Day. In support of our CSR efforts, we also partnered with Yellow Ribbon Industries, where we launched Teh Tarik Cornflake cookies in line with our CSR efforts. The past 2 years saw several collaborations with Singaporean brands as part of our cause to help promote local-homegrown brands such as Love, Bonito, The Blooms Pantry, Eco-lyfe, Crafune, and more.
We spoke to our CEO and founder, Terry, to find out more about his thoughts and feelings on having run this business for 6 years now.
“The journey definitely hasn’t been easy, there have been a lot of ups and downs but I’m very glad and thankful that we made it this far. There will definitely still be challenges ahead but I believe that we will get through them. So far, it has been a very fulfilling journey as it has always been my dream to promote Singapore’s traditional food worldwide in a modern approach and innovative ways. I’m very grateful for all the opportunities we have gotten so far like being able to open in New York City! All these would have only been possible thanks to my team’s efforts and the community’s support.”
We asked him how he balances the demands of running a successful business with his personal life.
“Similar to other entrepreneurs, growing a business is not an easy feat and I find myself being engaged at work most of the time”, but it’s healthy to take breaks when necessary. I’m grateful to my team who has supported Kopifellas’ vision and mission from day 1 and worked relentlessly to help grow to what it is now.
We asked him what is something that keeps him going despite all the challenges that he may face.
“I think seeing happy faces enjoying our food and drinks is very rewarding and it is definitely something that keeps me going to run this business. Whenever I face challenges, I just think about all the people who love our products and it really gives me the drive to continue running this business to continue serving food and drinks enjoyed by so many people.”
We asked about his expansion ideas for Kopifellas and here is what he shared –
“Moving forward, I hope that we can continue to expand the business not just in Singapore but internationally as well so that more people can get to experience and try Singapore’s traditional food. We are set to open more cafe outlets in 2024 in key commercial and shopping mall locations so it’s more accessible to find a Kopifellas near you to enjoy our Nanyang breakfast sets and the iced tea drink selections.
Should you wish to open a modern coffee stall near you, you can reach us for franchising opportunities.
When asked if he’s excited to explore any other future plans –
“With more requests and demands from our cafe patrons for our products, we’ve also launched our merchandise line from bottled kaya jam to seasonal snacks. We’re in the midst of doing R&D and hope to launch more of our coffee and tea products in-stores, so customers may conveniently bring them back home to try, or as a souvenir gift for tourists who have grown to love the kopi culture.”
Looking ahead, we pondered what legacy he hopes Kopifellas can leave in the coffee industry –
“May Kopifellas continue to be Singapore’s modern Nanyang coffee brand, preserving and promoting our local food heritage, sharing our kopi culture in other markets and to stay relevant with the future generations.
Up close and personal, we asked him what he’d like to tell the Kopifellas’ customers?
“Thank you to everyone who has supported us thus far, it has truly been an amazing 6 years and we will continue to serve you your favourite kopi and toasts! Please continue supporting our mission and vision to keep this kopi tradition alive.”