Meet Ivy Zhang, an operations executive at honestbee Singapore whose inspirations come from hawker food at Chomp Chomp

At honestbee, we are passionate about making every life moment better through food and we are on a mission to make great food experiences accessible to everyone. In this monthly series, get to know the bees behind honestbee and the food they are passionate about. We are present in 16 cities across eight countries, representing a diverse selection of cuisines and food choices. In food-obsessed Asia, what better way is there to know about a company or someone than through the food that inspires them. 

This month, meet Ivy Zhang, an operations communications executive at honestbee Singapore who is the epitome of diversity.

Born in Myanmar, Ivy came to Singapore in 2009 and is now a Singapore Permanent Resident. As she was educated at a Taiwanese Chinese school in Myanmar, Ivy speaks crisp Mandarin with a Taiwanese accent. She also speaks Burmese and the Yunan dialect as her community in Myanmar speaks both interchangeably.

Ivy Zhang (middle) with two of her colleagues at honestbee during the company’s D&D

The bubbly operations executive bonds well with her team and is a darling with our delivery bees. She is the go-to-person at honestbee Singapore if you want to locate any of our bees or understand their operational challenges.

Tell us about yourself and what you do at honestbee.

I am Ivy Zhang and I am an operations communications executive at honestbee Singapore. I joined the company around 2 years ago and in essence, my job is to spark joy for our bees (a la Marie Kondo), to ensure that their voices are heard and their hard work is rewarded. It’s a meaningful job because you are truly making a difference in their lives.

Outside of work, I love trying out new things whenever I can. For instance, I recently went for Canadian rock band Nickelback’s concert even though I don’t know a single of their songs.

Something people may not know about me – I am a die-hard skincare addict! I spend a lot of time researching into skincare ingredients and love nerding out on research papers. Colleagues who know about this often come up to me for advice on this!

 “Where are you from?” is a question I get 90% of the time, and I have yet to meet someone who has the correct answer at the first go! I am from Myanmar, but Burmese (the vernacular language in Myanmar) is not my first language – Chinese is. I also speak the Yunan dialect!

I have also been a professional bilingual emcee for the last few years! This is hardly surprising to anyone who knows me as I am the smallest and loudest person in office (Would be happy if someone disagrees but sadly I don’t think that will happen).

Ivy with Singapore’s President, Madam Halimah Yacob

My emcee side gig allows me to meet new people including the President of Singapore, Madam Halimah Yacob. I met her during a dinner event I hosted, where we welcomed more than 300 attendees across all ASEAN countries. If my memory serves me right, I believe her Security Officer was the one who took this picture for me!

I am a fun loving person but with regards to my life philosophy,

I think it matters a lot to have a positive mindset and to make the most out of whatever situation I am in.

What do you want to achieve in your career at honestbee.

I would love to learn and hone my skills in executing and analysing projects. I really enjoy the honestbee culture where my curiosity is not limited by titles or departments. It is only limited by my own ability to learn, because everyone is really helpful!

For instance, our colleagues from the Creative Team (shoutout to Raghav) has been very helpful and supportive when I tried to learn the basics of Adobe Illustrator.

What is your favourite food? And why?

I really enjoy Thai food, especially from this restaurant called “Aloy Thai” in Bugis. My mother would often cook Thai food when we were young so it’s a familiar taste of home to begin with.

I love how Thai food is an explosion of flavours all in one bite. It’s usually spicy, sour and sweet all at the same time. The flavours layer perfectly like a lasagne and every bite just makes me want more. I can never get enough of Thai food!

If someone ask you to bring him/her for the best food experience in town, where would you recommend?

I really enjoy eating at Chomp Chomp food centre at Serangoon Gardens! Hawker fare is my thing. You get a great mixture of the best that Singapore has to offer, with fresh seafood, perfectly-ripe sugarcane juice, and well-balanced spicy dishes. Chomp Chomp also sells stingray, which is always a fun dish to order because it scares most new friends who have just arrived in Singapore.

In a way, hawker food in Singapore kind of reflect how I see myself – multi-cultural and not defined by one singular identity. At honestbee, the company’s mission is to make great food experiences accessible to everyone. With my passion for good food, I enjoy being with the company as we embark on this journey together to achieve the company’s mission across the 16 cities and 8 countries we are in.

Share with us one of your favourite moment at work at honestbee.

A year ago, our team planned and executed the #BeeaFriend project where we surprised our Bees with goodie bags islandwide on Labour day.

Anyone who has worked in Events Management would have shuddered at the words “Goodie bags” and “islandwide” – it means an entire night of mindlessly stuffing items into hundreds of bags. We needed as much help as we can get for this big chore ahead of us.

To my surprise, many of our colleagues came to help with the packing of goodie bags till late that day. I vividly remember deliberately stopping for a moment that day to take the sight in. I was feeling all fuzzy inside seeing everyone from different departments toiling through the night to complete these goodie bags. The bags were truly a labour of love.

If you are interested to join us for a career at honestbee, check out our recruitment page. If you enjoyed reading our interview with Ivy Zhang, check out our previous feature on Dmitriv Lagura, a Business Insight Analyst at honestbee Thailand who can rap and make videos.

Author: Alvin Lim

I love food!