#10QuestionswithMaxwell Interview Series: Café Kreams
In this week’s interview, we reached out to Amy Kim, General Manager of Café Kreams, located at Maxwell Chambers. We find out more about the symbolism behind Café Kreams logo, the food and cuisine they serve, their ideas behind the café’s interior design, and more.
Q: How did the idea come about opening an Autumn Themed Korean Café?
A: We came up with this idea to give a truly unique experience to customers in sunny Singapore. In this competitive market, we strive to find uniqueness so that customers can see the value in our offerings.
With the popularity in Korean culture and love for our food, Café Kreams has the edge as it provides the authentic Korean experience. Founded and operated by Koreans, we are more than happy to welcome any customers who are interested in the Korean culture, food and drinks.
In Singapore where it’s Summer all year round, we felt that the locals would be interested to experience a different season. With our Autumn Themed Café, visitors can enjoy their food and drinks with a comforting and serene ambience.
Q: Could you share with us more about the symbolism behind the Café Kreams logo?
A: Firstly, I would like to give thanks to one of our former staff member, James Tan (Instagram: @designbyjamestan), who designed the Café Kreams logo.
If you look at the top of our logo, you can see the sun, representing the variant and lively atmosphere of our stores, and the warm and welcoming service we strive to provide for every customer. As you shift focus to the centre, you can see an arch window which highlights the beauty of the environment around it while its shape is closely similar to the space formed under the wide canopy of the trees in our stores. We think that the arch shape design provides a warm and comforting feeling for customers when they step into our store. At the side of the arch window, you can see two flourishing trees, similar to what you can see in Café Kreams. It represents the beautifully decorated interior of our outlets. The bottom of the logo shows a combination of a leaf and a coffee bean, symbolising our nature themed outlets and representing our mission to provide freshly roasted coffee for customers daily.
Q: Why did you decide to have the café at Maxwell Chambers?
A: As we were doing our market research, we found that Maxwell Chambers is conveniently located in the heart of the city, with mostly professionals working in the area. We eventually chose this location as we wanted to offer these group of people with a different café atmosphere.
Of course, we also love that Maxwell Chambers is a historic building that stands out in its architecture and design. This particular corner unit – its size, windows, and lights are exactly what we were looking for. It was already in our plan to open an Autumn Themed Café, and Maxwell Chambers fits our café concept the best.
Q: Are there any new developments coming up? Are there plans to open another season themed café?
A: Initially, yes. We do have something in mind to expand, but that was before the outbreak.
Due to many uncertainties, we held back for now and would like to plan for expansion from next year onwards. We also hope to set up another outlet that will have good synergy with Café Kreams at Maxwell Chambers.
For now, we do focus on adding values at Café Kreams Maxwell Chambers to provide more authentic experience to our customers.
Q: Kreams at Duxton Road has been around for a few years before Café Kreams opened at Maxwell Chambers. Tell us more about the Cherry Blossom Themed café/bar.
A: Yes, Kreams Duxton was established in 2015 at 60 Duxton Road. The initial outlet which opened back then had no cherry blossoms interior to begin with. It was only in 2017 when we attempted to revamp the image and concept of Kreams, in order to deliver a deeper impression on our customers. Our goal was to retain and simultaneously build a strong base of regulars. We were set on creating a cozy and inviting environment to make new customers want to patronise again.
At this time, Kreams Duxton is undergoing renovation and we are excited share that we will be back with a bigger food selection on our menu.
Q: Café Kreams has become a popular photo spot. Tell us a little about the ideas behind the interior design.
A: We wanted to create a space that closely mimics nature. I would say the four “trunks” seen in our café would be our key point. Without that, it would just be plain white pillars which does not really fit to our theme.
Additionally, much of the décor materials were sourced directly from Korea, such as the barks, brunches, tree trunks and etc. Some of our wooden tables are also handmade in Korea. If you pay closer attention, the table lamps seen around our café are also handmade, using the Korean traditional paper, 한지 (Hanji). With these details, we are able to deliver an authentic Autumn experience for our customers.
Handmade lamps made from Korean traditional paper, 한지 (Hanji)
Last but not least, as mentioned earlier, we tried to create an arch interior design to stimulate a cozy and comfortable environment.
Q: Tell us more about the food and drinks you serve.
A: Firstly, our coffee is freshly roasted in-house. We have four different house blends – Gentle Twilight, Luscious City, Summer Breeze and Mellow Dawn – with each of them bringing out a different flavour and aroma. These coffee blends are actually created by our very own staff members.
Gentle Twilight contains the lowest caffeine, comes with a nutty flavour and goes well with milk bases like latte, cappuccino and flat white. Luscious City on the other hand brings out multiple layers of flavours, starting off with a chocolately aroma, followed by nuttiness reminiscent of roasted walnuts, and finishing with berry-like flavour. Summer Breeze is the most easily distinguishable coffee blend in our collection. It comes with a lively and bright acidity, not sour but rather refreshing. Lastly, Mellow Dawn is filled with floral and herby aromas, setting this coffee blend apart from the others. The smoky coffee blend goes well with milk-based drinks as well.
Other than coffee and non-caffeinated drinks, we serve Kreams Beer, topped with frozen beer as well. The menu came from our first outlet, Kreams Duxton.
On our food menu, you can find light bites such as sandwiches, pizza, , sausages, and more. We are on the way to have more Korean-style food selections. We have a wide range of dessert menu as well, such as Signature Tiramisu, Strawberry Crepe Cake, Matcha Tart, and more.
Q: What is the most popular item on your menu? How was it created?
A: Dalgona Krafts and Kreamy Krafts are our popular drinks. Dalgona is basically a Korean traditional honeycomb toffee where we put on top of the drinks. This was created before our opening during the circuit breaker, when the Dalgona trend was taking over the storm on social media in Korea and the rest of the world. You may notice that the Dalgona Coffee you see online is creamy and foamy unlike what Café Kreams serve. In actual fact, our Dalgona Krafts are made the authentic way and Koreans have been enjoying the Dalgona Candy itself. .
Another popular item on our menu is the Kreamy Krafts. They are flavoured non-caffeine drinks, served with our handmade cream and other toppings like fresh strawberry, mango, sweet potatoes snacks and etc.
Q: Share with us your personal favourite in your menu.
A: My personal favourite would be Hand drip coffee, that it is made by hand-pouring the water over the coffee. So I could truly enjoy the flavor and aroma of fresh coffee bean. I can make a choice one of four different house blends. I can differentiate between coffee tastes, also appreciate the nuances each coffee offers.
Also, I do love our desserts such as Signature Tiramisu, Strawberry Crepe Cake, it perfectly goes well with our coffee and other drinks.
Q: Lastly, what advice would you give to someone who wants to open a Korean café?
A: I would say to find your unique selling point so that you can stand out in this market. Korean food and drinks are popular in Singapore. If you are able to provide an authentic Korean experience to the locals, they may continue to patronise your store. It is vitally important to give your customers a clear reason to choose your café over the competition. How would you give a presentations or impressions to your customer? Furthermore, what would make them to return your outlet? You will need to differentiate yourself at the beginning.
When designing your outlet, the store should be well-organised, clean and visually appealing. It would make a good impression to passers-by and your customers.
More importantly, interesting product selection and offerings that suit your Café’s theme or ambience would give more consistency and invite your customers more than ever.
Maxwell Chambers, 32 Maxwell Road, #01-07, S069115
Call +65 6226 2369