This S’porean Took Just 4 Years To Grow Her E-Coffee Subscription Into SEA’s Leading Brand

Sustainability and profitability are complementary,” Faye Sit surmises of Hook Coffee, in her interview with Vulcan Post.
In the span of just four years, the co-founder of the e-coffee brand evolved a two-man startup into Southeast Asia’s leading coffee distributor.
The secret? A social enterprise that does not compromise on its values.
A long-term coffee drinker, Faye’s love for specialty coffee was cemented when she watched the 2014 documentary “A Film About Coffee.”
Faye admiringly described “the love and care placed in the processes, preparations and traditions … that come together to create the best cups.”
However, Hook Coffee would not be SEA’s leading e-coffee brand without Faye’s passion for empowering the underprivileged.
Inspired by her travels abroad, the entrepreneur recounted a pivotal meeting with a 10-year-old girl in Shanghai.
(She said) the city would never have a place for her, regardless of how hard she studied … poverty meant destitution and inaccessible opportunities.
Fuelled by a desire to make an impact on the world, Faye embarked on a series of travels researching sustainability and engaging in voluntary work.
On a research project in Latin America, Faye noticed how poor farmers were struggling to sustain their livelihoods and falling into a cycle of debt.
“We can’t save the environment without fighting poverty, and vice versa,” Faye explains. “I felt compelled to make a difference.”
Faye’s answer was Hook Coffee. In partnership with her co-founder, the brand was created to promote socially-conscious business practice and the art of home-brewed specialty coffee.
Hook Coffee offers the widest variety of freshly roasted specialty coffees from around the world. The diversity of choices include quirkily-named flavours like Rum Baby Rum and Kopi Sutra.
Their business model is a simple one: simply place an order for coffee online and a package will be delivered to your doorstep.
There’s also an opt-in, no-commitment subscription service for coffee to be delivered every 14 days.
Coffee are sold in three varieties: whole or ground beans, drip bags and Nespresso Compatible Pods.
To personalise the customer experience, Hook Coffee has coffee match quizzes and brew guides so customers know which coffee to get if they are spoilt for choice.
All specialty coffee sold on Hook Coffee are ethically sourced and sustainable. Coffee farmers also get to earn up to 10 times the market price.
Surprisingly, the Covid-19 crisis saw a spike in the demand for the leading coffee brand.
More people are consuming coffee at home now … We have also noticed that our subscribers have been increasing their subscription delivery frequency.
Subscription services might be a particularly lucrative business model during the pandemic. Under lockdown orders, people choose delivery over leaving their homes to procure consumer goods.
However, coffee subscription services are dime a dozen in Singapore. Competitors like Nylon Coffee, Perk Coffee and Cowspresso Coffee offer the same packages at similar price points.
It’s not like Hook Coffee has a first-mover advantage either – Nylon Coffee opened in 2012, two years before Hook Coffee came onto the scene. Sustainability is also a common ethos among subscription coffee services.
What sets Hook Coffee apart may be its ability to appeal to the masses. Specialty coffee is a niche product, but a personalised customer experience lowers the customer acquisition threshold for even the most hardened Starbucks fan.
Hook Coffee also distinguishes between its corporate and commercial customers, using different branding approaches to appeal to separate palates. This has won them brand-name customers like Grab, Airbnb and Visa.
Hook Coffee’s customer-oriented approach might also be what hit the home run to becoming SEA’s leading e-coffee brand. It ships internationally, with a “strong footing” in Singapore, Hong Kong, and Malaysia.
In spite of the pandemic, Hook Coffee is looking to expand into new markets.
“Our mission is to make great and responsible coffee accessible to all,” says Faye.
What makes Hook Coffee the top e-cof…