Long before coffee hopping became a real Singaporean pastime, there was the PS Cafe, which started as an F&B outlet in a clothing store.
In 1999, its founders Peter Teo, Philip Chin and Richard Chamberlain ran the fashion brand Projectshop. In an effort to give visitors a respite from shopping, they decided to create a 40-seat cafe tucked away in the back of their Paragon store.
“We had seen abroad the concept of marrying a fashion boutique with a café to create an urban retreat,” Teo said in an interview with CNA Luxury. “Although unusual, we could see how these seemingly different activities complemented each other well. That was the start of this whole ‘lifestyle’ idea.
Although initially intended to complement the boutiques, the founders soon noticed that people came not only for the fashion, but also for the food. “We realized we had something special, and from there it slowly evolved into what you see today.”
The trio eventually ditched their fashion business to focus on food. There are currently 10 PS Cafe outlets across the island, including the recently opened one in Katong. In 2019, the company ventured overseas and opened two outlets in Shanghai. Also under the PS Gourmet Group umbrella are the Anglo-Chinese restaurant Chopsuey Cafe and the contemporary Japanese restaurant Jypsy.
“We’ve come a long way since our beginnings, and sometimes looking back, it’s hard to believe how much our business has evolved over the years,” Teo commented.