My Perfect Weekend with serial entrepreneur Heikal Gani

Mr Heikal Gani is the founder of numerous lifestyle brands including Moroccan-inspired restaurant La Fez Bakery & Cafe.
Mr Heikal Gani is the founder of numerous lifestyle brands including Moroccan-inspired restaurant La Fez Bakery & Cafe.PHOTO: COURTESY OF HEIKAL GANI

Who: Heikal Gani, in his late 30s, is a serial entrepreneur who is behind e-commerce suiting brand Indochino, yoga mat and athletic accessories company Sugarmat, and prayer mat and modest-wear brand Lasouk. His most recent venture is in food and beverage - a Moroccan-inspired restaurant in Siglap called La Fez Cafe & Bakery.

After being based in Shanghai and Montreal for 20 years, he returned to Singapore in February last year (2020).

"I've been working on Sugarmat's next launch - a collection with The National Gallery in London which will be out internationally in mid-November. It's the first of its kind in the world, where classic works of art will be printed on performance-centred yoga mats.

Come Friday nights, I often organise house parties with close friends. Since I just got back to Singapore, I make it a point to meet someone new to build my network here.

On Saturdays, I spend a few hours at La Fez serving customers to stay connected. Then I'll have a late lunch at my parents' home five minutes away, where I also get to play with my nieces and nephews. We're giving out candy to kids at La Fez this Halloween weekend.

I like to include casual outdoor activities before dinner, which is usually when I hang out with friends and entrepreneurs from different industries. You can also sometimes find me plant-hunting at Ji Mei Flower in Thomson.

Sunday is a discovery day for me to get inspired. I visit a new cafe every week to see the lay of the land.

I live in Katong, so there's a lot of variety for food places. In particular, I've found myself going back to C Cafe in Joo Chiat Road and Alto Cafe at Bayshore Park Condominium. I also like The Dim Sum Place and Tipo Pasta Bar, which are in North Bridge Road.

And there's never a usual order. I need to know what's new and trendy, and what people are consuming, so I'm constantly researching. If all else fails, I get smashed avocado on toast.

On my cheat day, I get crispy prata at Mr & Mrs Mohgan's Prata in Joo Chiat Road.


Mr Heikal Gani returned to Singapore in February last year. PHOTO: COURTESY OF HEIKAL GANI

If I want to get properly suited up, I head to Atlas Bar at Parkview Square in Bugis. I appreciate its awe-inspiring interiors while sipping on my go-to cocktail, Tamara in a Green Bugatti (virgin).

I've also been making it a point to give back to the community by mentoring young entrepreneurs from time to time on Sundays.

On Sunday evenings, I usually have a casual run. I was a long-distance athlete in school, so I love revisiting some of my old running haunts like Botanic Gardens, MacRitchie Reservoir and Upper Peirce Reservoir."