we ask | cups n canvas

By Melissa Chue

At Cups N Canvas, it’s all about innovating, being hands on, and making art accessible for everyone. We caught up with owners Pris and Arthur to find out how they juggle between running a café, multiple businesses and – most importantly – shopping and cooking for themselves. 

Find out what keeps them fueled up.

Photo by Melissa Chue
Photo by Melissa Chue

Could you tell us more about yourselves?

Arthur: [Pris and I] like art and we like going to cafés. We wanted to own our own business which is hands-on and something we can relate to. We were trying to do something different – that is creating a unique atmosphere and making art accessible. There have been many ups and downs but we enjoy these challenges. It’s a passion that we make a worthwhile business.

Pris: At Cups N Canvas, the art is inculcated in the food. The food, drinks and décor are thought up by the staff, and everyone hired has some artistic passion. Sometimes we also ask the customers to pick their preference before we launch a new item on the menu. For Mother’s Day, we celebrated with a new Strawberry Polka Dot Shake.

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That sounds like you do a lot in one day. So what’s your main schedule like?

Pris: I come over after work from Tuesday to Thursday, and then once more during the weekend. On top of that, I spend time doing paperwork and sourcing off-site for new equipment.

Arthur: It’s not structured! I run a couple of other businesses so I’ve to juggle 3 roles. Like Pris, I come during the weekend and after work. My priorities change from day to day; whether I’ve to solve problems at hand or I get to focus on other things when the business is running smoothly. It’s challenging but I like it.

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Tell us how you shop for groceries.

Pris: [Arthur] likes to go to the supermarket.

Arthur: I like to cook. In France [where I’m from], everyone cooks. There are no hawker centres and it’s part of the culture to go the supermarket. Even the Michelin-starred chefs go to the market and pick food. Prime, Cold Storage and FairPrice are near our house and we buy different things from them.

I like thinking of what to make for dinner but it’s important to know the quality of ingredients I’m buying. Like for fruit, you can tell when it’s ripe by feeling or smelling it. It’s also difficult to find good, cheap cheese in Singapore.

Pris: He’s picky (laughs). He does more of the cooking, I’m more of a consumer. We normally go grocery shopping together. If we’re having a dinner party, it makes sense to order online.

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What about meals? How do you cook at home?

Pris: I just learned how to make ham and cheese sandwich; it’s the only thing that Arthur likes. He also makes a good duck with apple slices.

Arthur: I like simple food that is good. I do brownies, salad and meat, and fancy stuff when friends visit. For Asian food, I think it’s done better at restaurants and hawker centres because of all the sauces. I’d rather cook what I cannot find.

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Any favorite recipes?

Arthur: Take smoked salmon, roll up some Laughing cow cheese inside and put that on some Meiji crackers. Press some lemon and herbs, serve on a platter and it’s refreshing! I like to experiment and find new things. It all comes down to the ingredients.

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Author: honestbee