What does a golfing professional, police officer, and F&B entrepreneur have in common?
Nothing, but 38-year-old Singapore Jared Lim has played all these roles.
Currently, he is the founder of The Beef Station, a store selling Hainanese-style beef noodles and Peranakan dishes.
Since opening, The Beef Station has grown in popularity among foodies and also garnered positive reviews from bloggers and publications alike.
While Jared always had an interest in cooking and “will always be the one [taking over the grill] at BBQ sessions”, being a homecook and coming up with a commercially viable recipe is another story.
After “Google-ing intensively”, watching Youtube videos, and making his wife a “guinea pig”, Jared succeeded in crafting a recipe he was pleased with.
“I also had a lot of help from trusted friends and families who gave me valuable advice,” Jared shared in an interview with Vulcan Post.
“Up until today, we are still constantly looking to improve and create new beef dishes for our customers.”
While the beef noodles are whipped up by Jared, the Peranakan dishes they sell are made from recipes passed down from his Peranakan grandparents and prepared by his parents.
Balancing Food And Family
The Beef Station officially opened its shutters in February 2018.
Jared shared that at the start of the business, friends and family were “very supportive”, but his parents warned about the long hours in F&B.
Fortunately, this was something that he was already used to from his previous jobs.
In the early days of The Beef Station, dish prep was mostly a one-man show, but his mother came in to assist him soon after, and has been cooking by his side since.
Currently, his father also helps out in the procurement of various items needed for the business, even travelling around the island to get them.
“[Our family] works as a team in the morning, ensuring that we have everything ready by 11am. We also clean up together as a family when the day ends,” he beamed.
Entrepreneurship is a full-time job that goes beyond normal work hours, and this also took a toll on Jared’s role as a father to two young children.
For one, his second child was just 3 months old when The Beef Station opened.
“While I worked at the shop, my wife [took care of] the kids at home,” he recalled. “We didn’t have much time together, and we were trying to balance both work and family [at the same time].”
Thankfully, with the children older now, work-life balance has become slightly easier with the kids coming over to the shop for dinner every evening.
“We try to make little moments we have together count.”
Just like many F&B business owners that we have interviewed, Jared also shared that business was pretty slow for the first few months – all the more because the building they’re located at has relatively low foot traffic.
To get themselves on the radar of foodies in Singapore, they publicised themselves on social media and even put up advertisements in the newspapers.
In order to expand their reach and give customers more incentive to try them out, they also signed up with various delivery providers and partnered with platforms like Fave, Chope, HungryGoWhere, and ShopBack.
“Business has picked up a lot since we first started,” he beamed proudly.
“It’s very busy now during peak hours, [on top of] preparing food for delivery. We also have a lot of regular customers who visit a couple of times a week!”
“We Never Had Any Thoughts Of Giving Up”
As challenging as running a business can be, the thought of giving up never crossed Jared and his family’s minds.
“Even when we receive bad reviews, we will always take it as a challenge to do better.”
“My family pushes me to do better and [they] are my motivation. This shop has made us closer as a family.”
Jared shared that while positive reviews from prominent food bloggers and publications have been especially memorable experiences for him, he feels immense satisfaction when customers tell him how much they love the food.
“There was once when a group of friends left us handwritten notes to show us how much they enjoyed our food and service! Gestures like these make us feel like it’s all worthwhile doing what we do.”
We’d like to thank Jared for his time!
The Beef Station
2 Tai Thong Crescent, #01-05