Living in a dynamic city like Hong Kong, it’s easy to be driven by obligations and to-do lists that can put us into overdrive. We end up neglecting our greater purpose and passions. I, too, get caught up in the uncertainties of life – but I find that if I really allocate that time doing my reading, I’m far more productive and equipped for the day than if I rush on through. It’s like you’re at the running blocks of a race; you’ll miss that start if you’re not ready.
I had a number of high-volume cafés in office buildings in Melbourne before moving to Hong Kong. I asked myself, what am I doing? I’m just selling nice specialty coffee! What is our true value add? A regular customer – a nurse – distilled it down for me. She talked about how our hosts would wave to her from across the street, start her coffee before she gets in the door; we remember her name and her order. The positive ambience really helped set her off on the right foot.
And that’s the core narrative of The Porter – to help “Set the Tone” for our customers’ days. We want to give you those moments to take a deep breath before you get going, to give a sense of welcome as they come into the building. The concept for The Porter birthed from an experience I had when I was running late to an important meeting and needed directions from the building concierge. He haphazardly pointed the way. I thought, this should be a hotel moment, there should be a sense of arrival.
We’re really excited about being at One Island East. As a coffee concierge, we want to connect buildings with tenants through meaningful encounters by uplifting and offering unique experiences through hospitality that also support the community. Like our new TP App, which takes our lifestyle concierge services to the next level. Members can book an umbrella on a rainy day, borrow a charger on the go, arrange dry cleaning and flower deliveries all on one platform. I’ve always enjoyed fuelling the office environment.
Our space here was designed as micro spaces to encourage social collisions; a space that brings people from different levels and industries together – that’s where most innovation comes from. We’re especially looking forward to seeing what kinds of ideas spark at our Experience Bar, which resembles an omakase concept. This is where we will host sonic seasoning experiences, as well as discussions about trending topics with industry experts on sustainability, wellness, better work practices and more.
My biggest fear for my career is being a dictator; my greatest joy is seeing the team grow and develop, contributing to the business and actively putting ideas forward. I’m not about dictating what should be done, but rather, we add to their perspectives and get more feathers on their hats as their careers and skillsets grow with us. My own rituals inspire me to then give them the best guidance and support possible to do so.