2Six Cafe started by City Harvest Church pastor, Teo Meng How, doesn’t only serve up delectable cafe fare. It also gives the students at Rainbow Center a chance to practice their skills.
Setting foot in the cafe, you are immediately greeted by soft, soothing music in the background and the aroma of food wafting through the air. The whirr of coffee machines, complemented by homely wall decorations and colourful chairs, complete the picture. You are looking at 2Six Cafe, a haven beyond the typical neighbourhood cafe.
Founded by Teo Meng How, a pastor in City Harvest Church, 2Six Café marked its grand opening in 2016 with its first branch at Katong Square, with mainly coffee and pastries on the menu. Subsequently, the cafe added two new outlets in Tampines Community Centre and Rainbow Centre and started offering wholesale crepe cakes. Today, 2Six Café boasts over 20 different food items on its menu made fresh daily.
The main inspiration behind the business came from the pastor’s passion for coffee, as well as his wife’s love for tea. “When we first thought about starting the cafe, we did not consider it as a business opportunity. Yet when the café finally opened, one thing led to another and we decided to explore the various doors that were opened to us,” described Pastor Meng How.
It is certainly no easy feat to juggle full-time ministry and a business, but over time, the pastor learned to strike a perfect balance between the two. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Pastor Meng How also had to travel overseas frequently for mission trips. In addition, he pastors a zone consisting of several cell groups in the church.
“Managing time is definitely a huge challenge, but when we have good plans and good staff, we can learn to manage things together,” he shared. One thing that pastor now does more intentionally is to delegate certain aspects of the business to the other staff members, sharing the load and freeing up more of his time for ministry work.
WEATHERING THROUGH THE STORMS
When the pandemic hit the shores of Singapore, it affected the F&B industry nationwide severely. By the grace of God, 2Six Café managed to not only weather the storm but flourished well even during the early stages of the pandemic, when nationwide Circuit Breaker was in place and dining-in was banned. Pastor Meng How had then made the key decision to start selling crepe cakes online, through the cafe’s website.
As a result, is customers found a way to get their cakes despite the movement restrictions and flocked to the café’s website to secure their crepe cakes. 2Six Café recorded its best-ever online sales during that season. Such huge support from their customers came as a surprise especially since the rest of the industry was not doing so well then.
In spite of this breakthrough, 2021 still proved to be a tough year for the café. The uncertainty caused by the ever-changing movement and dining restrictions became one of the main obstacles as this hugely impacted seating capacities, and thus the number of customers the café can serve.
Pastor Meng How however chose to remain upbeat, and continue to do good work at the café. “COVID-19 has caused plenty of disruptions but also opened plenty of doors. With every danger, there is always an opportunity!”
WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY
2Six Café had opened its doors with the purposeful intent to serve the community, beyond offering food and beverages.
Today 2Six Café has in place an internship collaboration with Rainbow Centre, a special school that caters to students with special needs As welcoming as this internship program is to the students, the team at 2Six Café would still need to interact with the potential applicants to assess if they are suitable for the internship as “this is not just about giving them employment opportunity, we also need to ensure that they are trained and equipped to handle the different situations that may arise,” explained the pastor.
This collaboration had come from a divine opportunity when the 2Six Café team had chanced upon an existing café at Rainbow Centre while delivering cakes one day. Upon learning that the owner had wanted to let go of the café due to personal reasons, Pastor Meng How took the opportunity and offered to take over his café so as to continue serving the special needs community as well as expand his business.
“I was very keen to explore this opportunity to help these students with severe disabilities,” described the pastor. It did not take long for everything to be finalised. After a few positive discussions with the Rainbow Center’s executive director,2Six Café was given the green light to embark on this project at Rainbow Centre.
Looking forward, Pastor Meng How plans to use this outlet to provide employment opportunities for the students at Rainbow Centre. The interns will start working at the branch in March, and they would all be closely guided and monitored at work. Pastor Meng How hopes that one day, people with special needs can be adequately equipped with the necessary skills to be employed full-time in his café.
2Six Café serves a wide range of delectable food items, a feast for anyone’s taste buds.
The café’s top-seller is the Gyudon bowl ($17.90), comprising of juicy beef slices cooked to perfection, drizzled with teriyaki sauce, sitting atop of a bed of white rice, complete with a runny egg on the side.
Their Eggs Benedict ($16.90) is also one of their most well-received dishes. The eggs are finished with a light hand-torch, giving it a slightly burnt look with an appetising aroma. Be prepared to see a river of flowy, golden egg yolk on delicate egg whites, lying on top of crispy bacon and ham, on a slice of sourdough, complete with just a touch of hollandaise sauce. Generous servings of freshly mixed greens on the side help to balance this rich and flavourful dish.
Besides the main courses, don’t miss out on their well-loved Mille crepe cakes, ranging from $7.90 for every slice of goodness to $79 for a whole cake. The menu also offers a wide selection of both hot and cold drinks, providing the perfect beverage to compliment every meal.
Whether you are looking for just a quick bite or a wholesome meal with your loved ones, 2Six Café is the place to satisfy your cravings. Head down today, enjoy the delectable offerings and lend your support to the community it serves.
2Six Café is located at Katong Square and Tampines East CC or find them on their website.