The first time I met Franck in My Awesome Cafe, I was immediately drawn to his welcoming hospitality. Before I even got myself a seat, he warmly walked me to one, right beside all the freshly baked pastries that were on the cooling rack. He personally recited the menu off his head, passionately introducing me some of his recommendations. From that moment, I knew I was going to have a different kind of service experience, an awesome one at that.
It was still early into Sunday, and the crowd was still sparse. I was but another customer and yet, from time to time, I would have Franck walking up to me and checking if I was enjoying the food and coffee. I noted that not just him, but all of his team members would heartily chat with customers, first time or regular, just like their own friends.
Of course, as the brunch crowd started to fill the cafe, the team got on their game mode and tried to deliver their service swiftly. No doubt, less of a person touch at a busier time, nothing less of being sincere, such as suggesting with courtesy a different seat for me so we could make room for the new group coming in.
So who is Franck?
Franck came from Montpon-Ménestérol, a small village in France. He started working at a very young age of 15 years old, running chores like peeling potatoes in the kitchen of a restaurant famous for its French fries. The initial contact with F&B business inspired him to manage a restaurant of his own one day, to be a good host and deliver happiness through his service.
He was offered an opportunity to work in the hospitality industry in Singapore, and with his sheer hard work and genuineness in serving his guests, he rose through the ranks and managed some of the best hotels in Singapore. After almost ten years here, he is almost like a local, with "lah" punctuating his sentences, uncles and aunties at the market where he purchases his fresh ingredients as his best pals, and local Chinese mixed rice is one of his favourite food.
He has finally fulfilled his dream to open a cafe of his own, and he takes pride in more than just his food and coffee. Clearly inscribed on the walls of My Awesome Cafe, you could see the spirit of the cafe, which speaks the spirit of his own. It is a place where people are real, humanly, open and wide-hearted, a communal space where awesome people gather for meaningful purposes.
Beyond the people, the entire concept of the cafe goes closely in hand with the heritage of the building. The old look of the original Medical Hall where the cafe now occupies are well retained, and the team even spent great efforts to source for the retro crockeries and cups which used to be a common sight in the 70s.
Franck has been in the most prestigious places and has now made a brave decision to be a boss of his own. It is indeed humbling and he is ever learning from the daily events at the cafe. Despite the challenges he face on a day-to-day basis, happy faces from his customers and the team give him a proud sense of satisfaction.
If today, you are looking for a slightly different experience, try My Awesome Cafe, have a chat with Franck and watch as the cafe buzz with friendly people.