Meet the guys behind Stateland Cafe x Brother Bird Softserve Co., who tell us that passion is their life buoy, and travel the inspiration behind their original menu creations.
We first met KC and Bird, owners of Stateland Cafe and Brother Bird Mochi & Softserve Co, at Funan's opening party in April 2017. The two share how a shared passion for food led to the realisation of their career dreams, and continues to fuel their creativity and commitment to add value to their customers.
How did you get started?
KC: Stateland Cafe was actually the first project that me and Bird started right after army. At that time, we were army buddies, so we spent a lot of time interacting. I realised that he took up culinary studies in Temasek Polytechnic and aspired to become a chef someday. I’ve always wanted to start a business right after army so I persuaded him to join me in the F&B business. We spent our time in army discussing and planning; and right after ORD we went into it immediately.
And that is how Stateland got started.
Why the names Stateland Cafe and Brother Bird?
KC: The idea of using the word 'Stateland' is that we see a lot of these green 'Stateland' signs all around Singapore. I thought it would be free publicity for our brand! It’s also a rather industrial name, which fits the concept of our shop space. So we went with it.
Bird: My army mates named me Bird because of the huge amounts of granolas I ate during my NS time. So the name stuck to me ever since. Brother Bird focuses mainly on artisanal soft serves, ice cream and other products, particularly mochi donuts.
All our soft serve flavours are based on very Asian inspirations. We stay true to the artisanal factor of our brand, so all the soft serve mixes, donuts and toppings are made in-house in order to bring our customers the freshest and highest quality products.
What is the design concept behind Stateland Cafe?
KC: The entire interior design of the shop space was done by me and Bird. We wanted to create real industrial vibes that could represent us and reflect the environment that we grew up in. We had an abundance of metal, aluminium and wooden pallets that were the by-products of crates that we deal with on a daily basis. So with creativity and innovation, we designed and crafted most of the furniture and interior design fixtures from scratch.
We photographed the entire process and hung all these photographs up at the mini gallery that we created on the second floor of the shop, so our customers can see the flow of how things came about when they are with us.
So who does what?
KC: Bird is passionate about his craft in satisfying the sense of taste of our customers, which is their taste buds, and my job in the business is to satisfy the rest of the sense that they have, what they see, what they hear or what they feel prior to the food experience.
What is your USP?
Bird: The USP of the business is the translation of our epic travel adventures to become food on the table. We try to merge our personal lives into the business to form unique setting points that is organic to Stateland Café, as well as Brother Bird. For example, we were on to Asian-Fusion cuisines after a recent 2 months of traveling around China and Hong Kong.
We don’t just copy and paste food offerings into our menu. Instead we summarise our traveling experiences, set a theme for the series every quarterly, and execute the food in a way our consumers can relate to.
What is your advice to someone who wants to explore the F&B industry?
Bird: don't think too much. Treat challenges as a way of life in this new habitat. Be creative and think of what you can offer other than food to add value to customers.
"Stay passionate in your craft. It's gonna be a life buoy when you're in between making money and making food."
Stateland Cafe and Brother Bird Mochi & Softserve Co are located at Bali Lane, a stone's throw from Bugis Junction and Bugis+.