ST writers to share expertise at Singapore Coffee Festival

ST senior writer Wong Kim Hoh (right) and Mr Harold Lee, founder and managing director of courier firm XDel, will be at the From Samsengs To Towkays session.
ST senior writer Wong Kim Hoh (right) and Mr Harold Lee, founder and managing director of courier firm XDel, will be at the From Samsengs To Towkays session.ST PHOTO: WONG KIM HOH

Readers can ask questions on topics ranging from gadgets and sports, to property and politics at the Singapore Coffee Festival

Besides getting a good cup of coffee at the inaugural Singapore Coffee Festival, there will also be plenty of food for thought from The Straits Times writers.

They will be at the event from June 9 to 12 as part of the paper's recently launched reader engagement programme, askST, where readers can tap the expertise of Straits Times writers and ask questions related to the issues in their beats. Topics range from gadgets and sports, to property and politics.

Tickets are on sale at Sistic and early-bird prices are still available.

The festival is organised by Sphere Exhibits, a subsidiary of Singapore Press Holdings, presented by DBS and hosted by The Straits Times.

The festival's first day is a media and trade preview, with panel discussions for those in the industry. For those with dreams of setting up a cafe, assistant business editor Yasmine Yahya will discuss the common mistakes that people make and how the pitfalls can be avoided.

She says: "Lots of young people have dreams of setting up their own cafe, but it's a very challenging business. The failure rate is quite high. This will be a good chance for cafe operators or budding entrepreneurs to get insights on how to survive and thrive."

  • BOOK IT / SINGAPORE COFFEE FESTIVAL 2016

  • WHERE: F1 Pit Building, 1 Republic Boulevard

    WHEN: June 9 to 12, 11am to 9pm daily (June 9 for media and trade only)

    ADMISSION: Early-bird tickets till April 17: $13, $11 (DBS cardholders); tickets bought from April 18 to June 12: $18, $15 (DBS cardholders); $44 (one-day group pass for four); $28 (three-day pass for DBS cardholders)

    INFO: Tickets from Sistic (go to www.sistic.com.sg or call 6348-5555). For details, go to sgcoffeefestival.com.sg or facebook.com/sgcoffeefest

For the other three days open to the public, there will be a session with senior writer Wong Kim Hoh. He has invited three people featured in his book It Changed My Life, a compilation of stories from his two Sunday Times series - Wong Kim Hoh Meets and It Changed My Life.

His session, From Samsengs To Towkays, will feature founder and managing director of courier firm XDel Harold Lee, founder of leading flooring specialist Evorich Dennis Teo and chef-owner Edwin Tan of Japanese restaurant Yoyogi.

Mr Wong says: "They will talk about what they went through to turn their lives around. I believe their characters will appeal to and inspire the audience."

In the lead-up to the respected Michelin Guide coming to town, do not miss food critic Wong Ah Yoke's discussion on which local restaurants deserve Michelin stars.

And you can also get tips from The Straits Times' picture desk on Instagram-worthy photographs and selfies.

For business owners and consumers, DBS will be conducting talks on planning for one's financial future, encompassing cash management for industry players and investment advice for consumers.

Coffee academy Bettr Barista will be holding sessions including latte art and how to run the coffee business creatively.

Along with lots of good food and coffee, other attractions include live music and educational workshops. Coffee lovers can buy coffee beans, gadgets and machines at the festival.

Ms Karen Ngui, head of group strategic marketing and communications for DBS Bank, says: "DBS has a part to play in shaping the future of Singapore. Inherent in this is a commitment to nurture the spirit of entrepreneurism and creativity in home-grown talent and businesses.

"We are thrilled to partner SPH for the festival, an exciting platform that brings together the best baristas in Singapore, to create joyful experiences for everyone."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 04, 2016, with the headline 'ST writers to share expertise at festival'. Print Edition | Subscribe