lemonade guy chua ke long
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23-year-old Chen Ke Long’s day used to mostly revolve working at a hawker centre seven days a week, selling yong tau fu. Realising he barely had time to spend with his three children, Ke Long transitioned to a more flexible source of income as a GrabFood rider.

Today, he wakes up at 10am each day and looks through the amount of lemonade he has to make. Dubbed ‘The Lemonade Guy’ on TikTok, Ke Long never considered churning out litres of lemonade for a living.

Selling lemonade wasn’t an interest. It just so happened I came across a video of Gary Vee buying lemonade, and I’d never made lemonade before. I actually considered becoming an ice-cream monger, but it was harder to get a licence.

– Chen Ke Long, founder of ‘The Lemonade Guy’

Ke Long went viral after posting about his lemonade-making adventures on TikTok. Occasionally, he would mix up different concoctions with his lemonade creations: Sprite, Schweppes, and even Yakult, and then rate and review them for his followers. 

To date, he has garnered approximately 4,400 followers and over 160,000 likes on his TikTok channel, with his videos hitting between 20,000 and 100,000 views within the first week of him posting lemonade videos.

Facing first-timer entrepreneurial challenges

Established in March 2022, the business was originally named ‘Long Lemonade’ before it rebranded to ‘The Lemonade Guy’.

As an accidental entrepreneur, Ke Long admits that that the business journey hadn’t been easy.

I didn’t know how to run a business properly back then. I think I still don’t, but I’m learning. I also wasn’t sure if I was even making a profit. I didn’t know how to ensure profit, I had to control my cost, I didn’t know how to price my stuff, or where to source my ingredients.

Now, I pay S$38 for 113 lemons. Back then, I used to buy my lemons from Sheng Siong and they cost more than S$50 for half the amount of lemons I needed.

– Chen Ke Long, founder of ‘The Lemonade Guy’

Ke Long also cites the lack of a physical storefront as one of his business challenges. As a home-based business, he has to make the effort to consistently publish videos talking about his lemonade to attract customers.

lemonade guy chua ke long
Ke Long prepping and juicing lemons for his lemonade / Image Credit: KeLong

Before his lemonade business took off, Ke Long was only producing 10 to 20 cups a day. Today, he’s receiving orders for litres worth of lemonade.

To monitor the amount of orders, he has since changed his ordering system to a pre-order method, closing the orders once the quota for lemonade has been fulfilled.

“There’s a limit to how much I can make. Six litres? Seven litres is a really crazy day. Even my equipment can’t handle that much. There was once my juicer actually broke because I made too much,” he said.

In a good month, Ke Long makes a few hundred dollars, which is enough to cover his daily necessities; though there are also months where he only earns on the lower end of the hundreds.

He has hopes to open a physical shop

lemonade guy chua ke long
Image Credit: Screenshot from @ke_longgg via Instagram

The uncertainty of orders doesn’t faze Ke Long. He still has hopes of expanding to a shop in the future. However, his dreams depend on whether there is still a customer base for lemonade in Singapore.

The reality is, if no one wants to buy from a lemonade shop, I wouldn’t expand. But that wouldn’t mean that my business is a failure. I think it’s just a journey for me. What’s in my mind isn’t ‘I die-die need to sell lemonade’, it’s more of ‘how can I serve people, how can I make them smile’.

– Chen Ke Long, founder of ‘The Lemonade Guy’

With a strong interest in the entrepreneurial way of life, Ke Long insists that even if lemonade isn’t his path, he will endeavour to find something else to sell that will meet people’s needs. 

When asked if he would stop his lemonade business and pursue a different industry if given a chance, Ke Long hesitates.

“It’s hard for me to answer. Of course I have interests in other industries, but F&B is still at the top of my list. I enjoy the process of making [lemonade], or just making something for someone. There’s something fulfilling about it. Maybe one day I can open up a cafe or a restaurant and sell food I enjoy. Ice-cream will be one of them.”

Featured Image Credit: Chua Ke Long

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Vulcan Post aims to be the knowledge hub of Singapore and Malaysia.

© 2021 GRVTY Media Pte. Ltd.
(UEN 201431998C.)