Path To Success: A Narrative
Luncheon panel discussion with:
Not for the faint-hearted, entrepreneurship is alive and kicking in Hong Kong. We showcase three successful women who have embarked on this journey to the unknown and will share their unique stories on how they got started, their expansion plans and whether they are accidental entrepreneurs or if they always planned on taking this route. What was their path to success? Were there any difficulties in bringing their projects to fruition? What was the toughest decision they had to make? What are some of the lessons that they have learned, and what are they still learning?
Jennifer Cheung graduated from Harvard College in 2003 and went on to work at Deutsche Bank's Equity Capital Markets division. After a brief stint there, she decided to follow her heart and pursue her lifelong passion in the culinary world. She graduated from New York City's Institute of Culinary Education and went on to intern as a pastry chef at one of the city's 3 Michelin star establishments, Per Se. Cheung then returned to Hong Kong, and in 2006 founded Sift's first location — their dessert bar on Graham Street. With a unique menu of plated desserts, homemade hot chocolate, dessert wines, tea and coffee, Sift soon became hugely popular and continued to expand in Hong Kong. Some of Sift’s signature offerings, like the Sift chocolate cake and their cupcakes, log sales of close to 1,500 pieces a day.
When SARS hit Hong Kong in 2003, Jennifer Liu — a Cornell University architecture graduate — saw an opportunity to rekindle her childhood dreams and her love of coffee, fine foods and art. Inspired by restaurants and cafés in Japan and Europe, Jennifer established Sir Hudson Hospitality Limited. Her first venture, HABITŪ Ristorante, is located in Lee Gardens Two Causeway Bay, and the dining group has expanded rapidly since. Caffè HABITŪ opened its first outlet in 2006 and has since become the third-largest coffee chain in Hong Kong. The group also operates HARAKAN-S Japanese Dining Room and the SUZUKI cafe chain, which serves Japanese siphon coffee. The group runs 25 outlets in prime locations across Hong Kong; a 5000 sq.ft. production kitchen; a coffee academy; and a roasting studio that employs a staff of 450.
Before developing 8th Estate, Lysanne Tusar worked in Canada and the US for marketing, PR and advertising firms and in-house with companies that specialized in a wide selection of beverages. With several years of international high end beverage marketing experience, the University of British Columbia graduate moved to Hong Kong in 2007 to launch 8th Estate Winery, a fully functional urban winery. Inspired by the known principle that wine does not travel well, Tusar spends extensive periods of time in some of the most influential wine regions of the world, sourcing grapes and talented winemakers to bring to Hong Kong. She also sits on the Academic Committee board for HKU Space MBA program and was appointed as an Investment Promotion Ambassador to Hong Kong by InvestHK.
As Head of the English Program Service for RTHK, Bryan Curtis (Moderator) oversees the public broadcaster’s Radio 3 and Radio 4, and hosts the news and finance program, “Money For Nothing”. He also presents various specials, such as the Chief Executive and Financial Secretary Phone-in programs. He has worked at RTHK since 1999 and before that, Metro Broadcast and International Community Radio Taipei. He was educated at UC San Diego, Dartmouth and USC.