Good morning to you readers out there. I have been living under a rock for I have never known of this great, amazing cafe till recently. Yours Truly was at Tiong Bahru Plaza when I came across this cafe that intrigued me:
Now some of you readers must be thinking I’m mad. I mean, what does this cafe got to do with Social Entrepreneurship? Well, you’re in for a surprise. Even small little details like the kitchen of a cafe can actually be beyond that of a simple kitchen full of overwhelming smokes and fumes. Be astound readers, Eighteen Chefs is actually a place for ex-offenders and delinquents to turn over a new leaf. Click to read article
This is how the name of the cafe came about:
Se Teo says the number ’18’ is the moniker of an active local gang.
‘I want delinquents to know that life offers many alternative paths. You don’t have to identify as a gangster, you can be a chef.’
Indeed, we have a stereotypical misconception that if you are once an ex-offender, you’ll never get far and your future is basically ruin. However, Benny Se Teo, owner of Eighteen Chefs, was once an ex-offender himself but he has proved that ex-offenders can still have a bright future despite their complicated past and being socially disadvantaged.
Eighteen Chefs is truly a “successful model of a social enterprise” as it provides ex-offenders an alternative path; having food culinary skills and helping out in the kitchen. Se Teo has help delinquents and ex-offenders in giving them a second chance; getting employed and allow them to return and contribute to society. This magical cafe has changed my perception of ex-offenders. I realise that people are often not given a second chance and that is where they are shattered. But when someone offers a helping hand and second chances are given, they grab on to this one and only second time and start afresh to prove themselves worthy. This cafe certainly put ex-offenders in a new light and I find myself having new found respect for them. Afterall, being trapped in jail and having no one to lean against is not a pleasant experience and getting out and yet being slammed or look down upon by the society is a tragedy. I implore readers out there to open your minds and hopefully, be able to view them in a light that glows brightly; they are purely good-natured and just seeking for a second chance to be given to them. I want to make known and state that they are a part of our society. So why not extend our warmest hands for them to hold on to?
Good People Great Food. This slogan is easy to comprehend. Eighteen Chefs is a successful cafe not because people eat there out of sympathy and pity but simply because the sumptuous food is great and done by good people that is why customers come back for more.
Slight digression: I do assure you that the food IS seriously fantastic and you should give it a go at this cafe! Really nice food to satisfy your cravings for good food 😀