The Tatler 10: Anne Cheung
We speak to the entrepreneur about her playful and innovative ideas and why running your own business can be one of the most rewarding experiences
Tucked away in Sau Wa Fong nestled in a peaceful and quiet section of Wan Chai is Jouer, the creation of executive chef Anne Cheung whose passion for creating innovative French pastries with a playful presentation led to the creation of her lifestyle concept store that successfully merges the creative and culinary worlds.
Entrepreneurship seems to run in the family (her sister is Laura Cheung whose Lala Curio boutique is a few steps away), we speak to Cheung about growing up in Hong Kong and the rewarding experiences that come with running your own business:
Hong Kong is my hometown. I was born in Sydney but I grew up and lived in Hong Kong all my life here until going to college in Los Angeles. I love travelling and I miss my years of living abroad in LA, New York and Paris but Hong Kong is where all my childhood memories remain. I find that it has also come to define a big part of who I am.
Jouer, means ‘to play’ in French, and it’s a lifestyle concept integrating art and design with food and beverage.
My proudest accomplishment has to be when I came up with the most unthought-of macaron flavor (Chinese Vinegar with Ginger or Tom Yum or even the popular Hong Kong Style Milk Tea) and it worked. People actually love it and its become one of our signature products. It’s so rewarding when you create something no one has done before and gain recognition and appreciation from others for something you believe in.
In retrospect, I don’t particularly regret any past decisions. Building your own business is a journey and I’m learning new things and dealing with new challenges constantly on a daily basis.
Many people inspire me but the people who had the biggest impact have got to be the brother-sister duo, Jing and Kay Wong, of Daydream Nation. They were schoolmates from high school a couple of years above me, and the first among our peers to be brave and create from something from scratch - a truly original fashion and lifestyle brand that Hong Kong people can be proud of. I was inspired not just by their exceptional talent and vision, but mostly by their resolution to go for their dreams with no regrets. I owe everything to them for even taking the first step.
The best aspect of running your own business is that I get to realize my insane and unorthodox ideas. Whatever works or fails, I either fully savor the compliments or deal with the mess but I have full discretion to make my own choices.
My advice for budding entrepreneurs is to take the first step and don’t overthink it. When you’re doing something you believe in and are passionate about, things will usually pan out in a way you least expect.
The end goal is to be able to share all my passions with the world, ideally in a lifestyle concept store housed in a structure with romantic design elements.
In ten years I like to see myself and the business growing organically, instead of having a rigid 10-year plan.
“One cannot think well, love well, and sleep well, if one has not dined well.”
Photography by Edgar Tapan