Two weeks after Chee Soon Juan’s Orange and Teal cafe opens its doors to the public, Chee Soon Juan announced he would be closing his cafe on Mondays in a Facebook post.
Mr Chee shared that “The entire crew, especially our kitchen staff have been going at it for the last two weeks without a break on 12-13 hour shifts. They’ve worked themselves to the bone and need a break.”
Look, not everyone is a businessman. Evidently, neither is Mr Chee. The first question was, why Rochester mall? Won’t the rent there be really high considering the location since he has been very critical about high rental in malls killing businesses?
This brings us to the next point — If he knows his staff are stretched very thin, his first thought would be that he will need more manpower. This way, they can take shifts instead of working 12-13 hours every day, 7 days a week, right?
So… why Rochester Mall then? It’s baffling as to why someone would sacrifice adequate manpower to keep a cafe running, and pay exorbitant rental fees for a prime location instead. Which makes us question his real intentions for opening Orange & Teal.
The first thing that came to mind was a fellowship that Mr Chee was awarded back in 2004. The National Endowment for Democracy (NED), which claims to support ‘freedom’ around the world not only awarded Mr Chee with the fellowship but has also consistently funded the Hong Kong protests in 2018 and 2020.
All that said, many would wonder — what were the main motivating factors and intentions behind Orange & Teal? He said it is a place for “intelligent discussion, even impassioned debate”. But considering how ‘sus’ this cafe is, perhaps it should be renamed to “Smoke & Mirrors” instead?