Papa Palheta’s Leon Foo on Collaboration and the Coffee Evolution

This 2018, Creamier turns 7, and to celebrate this milestone, we wanted to focus on several individuals who have helped shape Creamier throughout the years, seeing us grow into the ice cream brand we are today.

The “7 Moments of Happiness” campaign focuses on these individuals and their journeys in life. It’s a series of fireside chats with people from our community who have constantly supported us, and who have eventually become good friends of Creamier. Always be in great company.

Leon Foo runs Chye Seng Huat Hardware (CSHH) and Papa Palheta, an independent coffee boutique that specialises in roasting and purveying specialty coffee in Singapore and in Malaysia. Leon believes that with the right knowledge, skills, and discipline, coffee roasters can make a difference in the community. He tells us why good ethics is central to making great coffee and how he best enjoys his favourite Creamier ice cream. We serve their coffees at all Creamier shops and at Sunday Folks as well.

What does a typical work day look like for Leon Foo?

It always starts off with our team coffee cuppings in the morning, and the rest of the day is either packed with meetings, conducting trainings, paperwork, strategic planning, and catching up with staff. 

The coffee industry could either be a competitive or a collaborative one. Tell us, why is it so important for like-minded partners or companies to collaborate?

Partnering with Creamier and Sunday Folks is like a dream come true. From being a fan boy and customer, to becoming a partner and a friend is priceless. When we appreciate every part of each other’s process and brand values, we have a better chance to impact the community with our products.

How do you think local brands changing our cultural landscape and the way we dine?

Changing our cultural landscape sounds ambitious, but we do what we can in our own little way. We have definitely exposed more people around us to eat better ice cream and drink better coffee by engaging our customers daily and doing community-driven collaborations.

People now believe local brands can make quality products that are comparable, or if not, better than international brands. How has that affected the way you run Papa Palheta over the years?

I always believe in competition locally and internationally. So being aware of the market evolving, we always choose to focus on quality and heartfelt customer service. We have timed our positions and products with the changing dynamics and demographics of our population over the years.

How will Singapore’s coffee scene continue to evolve?

Specialty coffee is in an exciting phase right now, as more roasters are buying better coffee beans, and more cafés are serving higher quality coffee beverages. What I hope for is for roasters to source coffee more ethically and to also roast better. And for that to happen, one must have the right knowledge, skills, and discipline. 

Buying green coffee is easy, but finding green coffee from a farm where the farmer takes care of his workers, his environment, his neighbourhood, his plants, his land, and his processing of coffee is very hard to come by. We look for passionate farmers who are seeking to build relationships with their roasters and customers. We have many stringent quality control protocols in place to ensure the art and science of roasting is there every step of the way.

We couldn’t agree more. Do you recall any fond memories of eating ice cream?

Ice cream is always a treat. It was somewhat of a luxury when I was growing up, so my fond memories of eating ice cream were on special occasions. With Creamier, it’s the same for my small family. I now bring our kids or meet friends for ice cream, and everyone comes out of the shop smiling. 

What is your favourite coffee and ice cream combination?

A scoop of Creamier’s Rum & Raisin with a double shot of Papa Palheta’s Nuts + Bolts blendto die for!

Learn more about Papa Palheta via papapalheta.com and Chye Seng Huat Hardware via cshhcoffee.com. Follow Papa Palheta and Chye Seng Huat Hardware on Instagram to learn about the latest in coffee!

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