Business owner knows when the juice is worth the squeeze
After some struggles, co-founder of fresh juice business finds his way to success
Mr Walter Tay has a colourful career path, with the most recent one being the co-founder of a fresh juice outlet, Jus Juice It.
But it took a while before he got to where he is today, and at one point, he even set up a carrot cake hawker stall with his father to pay off his debts.
Mr Tay, 32, who earned the nickname "Hunky Hawker", told The New Paper: "My family is my pillar of strength through my challenging phase. Aside from building our own family business, working with my father has also allowed us opportunities to spend time together - this is a double win for me."
Mr Tay, who graduated with a diploma in multimedia technology from Singapore Polytechnic, went on to become a cabin crew member with Singapore Airlines for two years.
After leaving that job, he took on a sales role for a company that turned out to be promoting a bogus Ponzi scheme.
Mr Tay also distributed new Korean beauty brands here before he set up the carrot cake stall in Bukit Panjang. He paid off his debts and was approached by NTUC Foodfare to set up a carrot cake hawker stall at Kampung Admiralty.
Undeterred by the economic uncertainty, Mr Tay's go-getter attitude prompted him to team up with two friends, Mr Jeremy Tan and Mr Ixson Tan, after the circuit breaker to set up Cultiv8ight, the company behind Jus Juice It.
Through the fresh juice enterprise, the trio hope to make fruit juices the choice beverage for a pick-me-up as well as to hydrate and replenish vitamins and minerals.
Mr Tay and Mr Ixson Tan are responsible for curating the range of drinks. He said: "Our main motivation is to rebrand our local food to preserve the local taste."
The drinks feature a generous portion of fresh fruit atop a unique blend of healthy goodness. The shop is located at V Hotel Lavender, and customers can observe how their drinks are being prepared.
Mr Tay said: "We hope to be more relatable to the youth with our branding efforts and promote a healthier alternative to bubble tea, which contains a massive amount of sugar."
As Lavender is a mature estate, there is the challenge of catering to an older clientele.
"The older generation may not be as open and receptive to our new concept so we are thinking of ways to cater to them and also looking out for other locations that can help boost our sales," Mr Tay added.
Last October, he also founded the Hawker Group, a consultancy and support group that aims to help aspiring hawkers towards a sustainable hawker business and culture.
Juggling multiple businesses at once is not easy but Mr Tay is grateful for a team that can work well together. And of course, there is his fighting spirit.
"Life is beautiful if we live it the right way," he said.
Secrets of the trade
- Think of a unique selling point, or a point of difference that is relevant to your target audience. Always strive to do better, whether it is ingredients or service, so that others will remember your concept or brand.
- Find values that you and your business are aligned with. People are more drawn to businesses that establish and promote positive values such as healthy living, inclusiveness, sustainability and self-love. Portray these values through your words and actions.
- Stay faithful and tune out the naysayers. There will always be critics surrounding your business, so have inner strength and learn to block out the "noise". Stay focused and prove your success with the results.