Co-founders of Stay Gold Flamingo
I do hope that in a small way, I've inspired younger Singaporeans who have, at one point in their lives, worked with me – that they’ll go on to become great leaders in their own ways.
Tell us your story, how did you get here?
Jiawei: I started working part-time at a beer place when I was 18 and that’s where I met Jerrold. Then, I joined the now-defunct Nektar bar, followed by Bitters and Love, before enlisting in the army. In 2016, I decided to continue my bartending journey with Employees Only, which was my first full-time job. After a good 5 years, I joined Jerrold in opening our own place together on 24 September 2021.
Jerrold: It was 2019, I was 29 and had just finished a series of guest shifts overseas for Jigger & Pony. That’s when the thought of opening an edgy cocktail bar where people could feel free and still geek out on cocktails struck me. I’ve never thought of owning and running a business. I’ve only had the dream of playing rock ‘n’ roll since I was 18.
However, after being in the industry, I realised bartending gave me a platform to entertain people in a different way. I joined Jigger & Pony in 2013 as an apprentice and worked my way up to a Bar Manager over 8 years. One day, in 2019, I woke up realising all that hustling prepared me to bring my vision to life.
What impact have you made in Singapore?
Jiawei: Being the first and youngest principal bartender of Employees Only outside of EONY. Being a member of the Singapore Cocktail Bar Association (SCBA), a non-profit organisation that helped Singapore’s cocktail industry during the Covid period.
Jerrold: I’m far from being that influential. I do hope that in a small way, I’ve inspired younger Singaporeans who have, at one point in their lives, worked with me – that they’ll go on to become great leaders in their own ways. As a company, we’re just at the starting line of working towards our vision of an F&B group that’s led by a local team. It’s tough but fulfilling.
What does 2022 look like for you?
Jiawei: Every year will get better and stronger. 2022 will focus on Stay Gold Flamingo, building the whole team and allowing our lovely members to take up more responsibilities. We’ll push hard together as a team to bring Stay Gold Flamingo to greater heights.
Jerrold: I wish to expand my interior design background by designing our next venue. But first, I’ll be designing my own house! I’d also like to see Stay Gold Flamingo at its full potential without the limitations of the pandemic, such as spreading the word to cocktail aficionados overseas, and Singaporeans having a happier outlook on life.
What do you love most about Singapore?
Jiawei: Singapore is an extremely safe city-state where the economy is rather stable. Although small in size, the city has a good number of bars listed on international bar awards.
Jerrold: No doubt, Singapore is strict, conservative and competitive. These limit a lot of possibilities but result in a safe, stable and accessible city. I love that it gives us the opportunities to reach for the sky.
What are your first and last drinks of the day?
Jiawei: I always love to start with bubbles, such as a glass of champagne, even a bottle if I’m sharing. I’ll end the night with a whisky highball.
Jerrold: If we’re talking non-alcoholic, water is definitely the first drink when I wake up, followed by a cup of black tea without sugar to start my day. As for alcohol, I usually go for a spirit-forward mix, such as a Sazerac or a Vesper, as my last drink.
Who is your Local Legend, and why?
Jiawei: Every F&B member who has been and still is in this industry is a legend in their own unique way. It’s a challenging industry that can’t be described in words.
Jerrold: I really respect Jerborne and his partner, Jerome, from Two Men Bagel House. They’ve grown over the years but still stick to their guns. I’m proud to see their achievements.