1. Jacelyn Tay founded Body Inc.
Health and wellness centre Body Inc. was started by Jacelyn Tay in 2006, after she found herself plagued by disorders such as tonsillitis, eczema, skin allergies, irritable bowel syndrome, fainting spells and severe migraines.
A simple herbal concoction created by a Chinese medical hall cured her migraine problem, which kickstarted her interest in Traditional Chinese Medicine. She began started reading up on and immersing herself in natural healing remedies and proper nutrition, and her fainting spells gradually diminished.
Her new knowledge and passion spurred her to launch Body Inc., with an aim to promote holistic wellness and optimal health through good nutrition, detoxification and targeted skin care. It also provides weight management solutions and spa services.
Treatments involve therapists searching for the root cause of one’s health condition and balancing your body systems through complementary and alternative medicine, such as acupuncture, cupping and Chinese herbs, aromatherapy, diet, Western herbalism and osteopathy. It now has three outlets islandwide.
Visit https://www.bodyinc.sg/ for more info.
2. Joanne Peh founded The Dimple Loft
Actress Joanne Peh launched The Dimple Loft in February 2018, a story-telling enrichment programme that focuses on inspiring children’s interest in learning and encouraging creativity through hands-on play and an exploration of filmic arts.
Joanne has said in interviews that she feels the art of story-telling is very important in a child’s development. She also wanted to create a programme where children can learn new skills while doing the things they enjoy (i.e. learning about movies or a TV show in a fun and unconventional manner).
In their sessions, kids get to role play, sing, dance, make art, and learn about various subjects such as math, science, geography, history and more. The Dimple Loft has ad hoc workshops as well as Filmic Arts Camps during the school holidays.
Visit https://www.thedimpleloft.com/ for more info.
3. Irene Ang founded Fry Bistro
Fly Entertainment head honcho Irene Ang opened rooftop bistro-bar Fry Bistro in 2012 as a low-key spot for friends to enjoy her mum’s cooking. It was also intended to be a hideaway for those in the entertainment industry to hang out in comfort. As word spread, it grew to be a popular hidden gem among professionals as well.
Located on the fourth floor of 96B Club Street, the relatively small but cosy alfresco spot gives you a nice view of Club Street, Ann Siang Hill and the surrounding areas, and is a great place to have a glass of wine.
Expect western fusion dishes such as Aunty Ang’s Chicken Wings, created by Irene’s mother, that’s served with a belachan dip. There’s also homemade Mac N’ Cheese, pastas and burgers. Bonus: You may get to rub shoulders with celebrities and up-and-coming stars too.
At 96B Club Street, Singapore 069464. Visit its Facebook page for more info.
4. Chew Chor Meng and Dennis Chew founded 888 Mookata
Actors Chew Chor Meng and Dennis Chew, who played father and son in popular Ch 8 drama 118, opened this fuss-free Thai barbecue-cum-steamboat stall — together with Chor Meng’s church mate and cousin — at a coffee shop in Hougang in 2017. They sell different platters for varying group sizes, as well as ala carte add-ons, and you simply grill the raw ingredients on a piping hotplate greased with cubes of pork lard, or soak them in the moat of soup surrounding the hotplate.
The eatery is often frequented by students, families and fellow celebs alike. In fact, they are doing so well that they have been opening more outlets islandwide — they now have outlets in Bishan, Tampines and Bukit Batok East, and they just launched their fifth outlet in Bukit Merah Central. They open til late, so it’s a great spot for supper with your mates.
Visit their Facebook page for more info.
5. They also started The Famous Zhou
Fresh off the success of their mookata business, the pair, together with the same two partners, launched a kopitiam porridge stall in Ang Mo Kio Ave 10 in 2018 called The Famous Zhou, or ‘Zhou Chu Ming’, which is a clever pun on Chor Meng’s Chinese name.
Chor Meng wanted to provide simple, honest good food — in fact, he had always loved porridge and toyed with the idea 10 years ago, but didn’t follow through with it until now. Available at the stall is a range of comforting, wallet-friendly porridge types served with a side of fried dough fritters. You’d love the cheeky names — bowls include Are You A Sotong Chok and You Are So Beautiful Chok. They now have another outlet in Tampines North.
Visit their Facebook page for more info.
READ MORE: 10 Comforting Porridge Buffets In Singapore For The Whole Family
6. Jeanette Aw founded Picturesque Films
Actress Jeanette Aw started production company Picturesque Films after she grew fascinated with the art of storytelling. She registered the name in 2012, when she was toying with the idea of dabbling into film-making, but didn’t consider it fully until 2017, when she decided not to renew her contract with Mediacorp and parted ways with Hype Records as well.
The company produces short films, digital content and other creative brand pieces, and its first short film in 2017, The Last Entry, which was produced and directed by the lady herself, earned a nomination at the prestigious Tokyo Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia 2018. The 25-min film centres around the topic of Alzheimer’s and is based on her experience with her godmother. It was selected from over 10,000 films submitted from more than 130 countries and regions from around the world. Jeanette is now working on her second short film and we’re excited to see how that goes!
Visit http://picturesquefilms.com/ for more info.
READ MORE: Meet The Women Injecting More Flavour Into Singaporean Movies
7. Ben Yeo founded Tenderfresh Classic and Hawkerman
Actor-host Ben Yeo’s Tenderfresh Group is going places. Ben first launched Tenderfresh Classic with two partners in 2014, serving fried and roasted spring chicken and other western fare at affordable prices. The popular family-friendly joint now has four outlets, including one at Cheong Chin Nam and Northpoint City. In 2017, Ben opened a new venture, Hawkerman, a halal-certified eatery that houses three hawker stalls under one roof — at Singpost Centre.
The stalls are Tenderfresh, Warong Kim’s for its award-winning Hokkien Mee and Ah Boy Popiah which specialises in Hokkien popiah. There are fusion dishes as well as a fascinating Bao Ka Liao ($32.90, serves two to three) platter which comprises items from each stall including an XO Carrot Cake and a refreshing Citrus Plum Watermelon. Hawkerman now has another outlet at The Seletar Mall, and Tenderfresh has also rolled out another related concept, the Tenderbest Makcik Tuckshop — a homely halal-certified cafe that serves some of Tenderfresh’s best offerings as well as other new and fusion dishes.
At Singpost Centre #B1-128/129, 10 Eunos Rd 8, Singapore 408600 and The Seletar Mall, 33 Sengkang West Ave, #02-14/15/16, Singapore 797653. Visit https://www.tenderfresh.com.sg/ for more info.
8. Nat Ho founded Bobii Frutii and Say Chiizu
Tanglin actor Nat Ho launched his franchised Taiwanese bubble tea stall Bobii Frutii in January 2018, and the brand prides itself on its attractive Insta-worthy drinks, which house colourful ‘layers’ of tea, milk, pearls and blended ice. It also touts itself as being the healthier choice for bubble tea, with drinks made with pure natural ingredients such as butterfly pea extract, fresh milk and fruit juice, and no artificial colouring used.
Nat also started Thai cheese toast shop Say Chiizu — known for its eye-popping cheese pull and its cute smiling bear packaging. The toasts come in various flavours such as original cheese, chocolate cheese, milo cheese and more. They also sell cheese fries and cheese drinks.
Bobii Frutii is at #04-K4, The Clementi Mall, 3155 Commonwealth Avenue West, Singapore 129588, while Say Chiizu has various outlets. Visit https://bobiifrutii.com.sg/ and https://saychiizu.com/ for more info.
9. Addy Lee, Pornsak and Foo Tuan How founded Itsumi skin care
Did you know: Pornsak Prajakwit, better known as Pornsak, has a bachelor’s degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) from the Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, on top of his Bachelor of Business Management from Singapore Management University and master’s degree in Early Childhood Education?
The bubbly TV host has put this degree and his passion for botanicals and natural herbs to good use, starting Itsumi Skincare, a halal-certified skincare series, in 2018 after he realised he was not able to find a product in the market that is suitable for his father’s sensitive skin. He roped in fellow entrepreneurs Addy Lee and Foo Tuan How and Itsumi was born.
Pornsak explained in a previous interview that the name means “To be one with Beauty” and it sounds like “It’s me”, which is perfect as they wanted to convey that every one is beautiful in their own ways. Products, which include an Anti-Clock Face and Eye Gel Cream, Anti-Clock Cleanser and Anti-Clock Face Mist Toner, are paraben free, alcohol free and silicone free, and they are currently available on Qoo10 and Shopee.
Visit http://www.itsumi.sg/ for info.
10. Nick Teo and Hong Ling founded House of the Swiftlet
Launched in late December 2018 by artistes Nick Teo and Hong Ling, who have been dating for more than three years, House of the Swiftlet sells dried bird’s nest from Indonesia, as well as ready-to-drink bottled ones.
Hong Ling said in an interview that Nick’s relatives in Indonesia are in the bird’s nest business, so they decided to bring it in to Singapore. The pair have been travelling to Indonesia for a year now to learn more about bird’s nest and its harvest process, to prepare for their own products.
A set of six bottles (70ml) of Bird’s Nest With American Ginseng, White Fungus & Rock Sugar costs $39.90, and can be bought from their online store. They also have more concentrated versions.
Visit https://www.houseoftheswiftletsg.com/ for more info.
Text: Joy Fang