A Life reInspired: Leon Foo – reBynd
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“A Life reInspired” is a series that celebrates new beginnings. Through it, we discover and tell stories of people who have seen the potential of another life, and took a leap of faith to reinvent themselves in their personal or professional lives. What does it take to start over? What new discoveries about life and themselves have they made on this journey? We chat with Leon Foo, Co-founder and CEO of Morning, who spills the beans on his fresh start with his coffee business.

A Life reInspired:

Leon Foo
Co-founder and CEO of Morning

“I started out wanting to make a difference on this planet in any way I can, and I am happy I get to do what I love.”

Can you give us a short introduction of who you are?
Leon Foo: I am Leon Foo, 41 years old and proudly Singaporean. My friends call me Leon. I have been working with coffee, and have started several coffee businesses throughout the years — from roasting and selling coffee to making coffee machines. Currently, I am building and running a coffee start-up called Morning. What makes me happy is when I spend time with my family, and when I have time to run, cycle or sail for leisure.

How have you reinvented your life/work/self?
LF: I used to do equity research, and now I sell coffee and coffee capsule machines. I was always intrigued by people’s obsession with coffee and that curiosity made me want to explore further. One thing led to another and the next thing I know, I was so engrossed with the whole value chain of specialty coffee that I decided to make a business of it. Coffee has the ability to draw people in and connect people from the farms to the coffee shops and to our homes. It fills people’s daily conversations, it fuels people’s lives with moments.

I first established PPP Coffee in 2009 and started the journey of connecting people with coffee. Recently, we made the world’s first specialty capsule machine which is selling internationally. I took the learnings of machine technologies and found a solution for home coffee drinkers; marrying convenience and quality.

Along the way, I constantly reminded myself to have more self-awareness to keep improving as a leader. I have had to pick up from my mistakes and failures, I read books and joined forums to make sure I can continue to adapt and contribute to the business and industry.

Was it a clear or difficult decision in the beginning?
LF: Crystal clear. I started out wanting to make a difference on this planet in any way I can, and I am happy I get to do what I love.

What did you discover about yourself and learn on this journey?
LF: To persevere and never give up. To constantly think differently. To lead better. To understand my strengths and weaknesses, and act on them cautiously. To live and learn from my mistakes. I have learned so much in the last three years by being more self-aware, having more empathy and being more direct in my communication.

What has been the greatest challenge or lesson so far?
LF: When I make a wrong decision and take too long to correct it. I have learned to be better in discerning and understanding the consequences of delayed actions. I have also learned to listen to people’s perspectives, which is extremely crucial to be the leader I aim to be.

What has been the best thing about this new beginning/ “second life”?
LF: Making more impact for home coffee at the global level.

What or who are you most grateful for in the course of this new path?
LF: The person I am most grateful for is my wife, Elita. She has been my rock during the most difficult times in my career. Elita helped me through many stressful moments, and very patiently held the fort at home with the kids while I was travelling for work.

If you could turn back time, knowing what you know now, would you make this choice – a different life/ career – all over again?

I would make this choice again and again, because it gave me the life I have now. Yes, I might have done some things differently, but I am where I want to be at the moment.

Can you tell us what some of your daily eco-friendly practices are?
LF: Since eight years ago, I made a decision to do my little part in recycling. I have not taken a single plastic bag from the supermarkets by bringing my own reusable bag. In many other small ways at home and in the office, I remind people around me to do their part by eschewing single-use bags and getting started on other recycling initiatives.

What is your favourite reBynd item?
LF: My favourite reBynd item is the Look Within Bifold Card Holder (in Forest colour). It’s my everyday card holder/wallet.

What’s your current favourite word beginning with “re”?
LF: reThink.

Photography by Hosanna Swee


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