Eat, chill, or make digital design fun for the kids – three new lifestyle businesses with a cause add vibrancy to Redhill’s best-kept secret!
Just a few minutes from Redhill MRT is Singapore’s first inclusive community space. Designed to welcome people of different abilities, the Enabling Village at 20 Lengkok Bahru doesn’t just offer training, vocational and community services; it also houses a myriad of F&B outlets, retail shops, and other lifestyle activities – perfect for anyone looking to spend a leisurely afternoon!
In 2019, three more tenants made the Village their home, each offering their own distinct brand of products and services. Let’s take a look!
Professor Brawn Bistro
In January 2020, this social enterprise café chain run by the Autism Resource Centre (ARC) celebrated the official opening of its third and largest outlet in the Enabling Village.
Filled with natural light, the new Professor Brawn Bistro offers sumptuous Western fare at a great value – it’s signature Battered Fish & Chips ($13.90) tastes superb with its crispy golden batter and well-marinated fish. If you prefer a heartier meal, go for the Grilled Chicken with Truffle Sauce ($12.90) or Pan Grilled Sirloin Steak ($20.90). After you’re done, grab a scoop of creamy gelato starting from $3.90. For drinks, how about some bubble tea? Under a community partnership with Gong Cha, the eatery also offers a selection of drinks from the much-loved bubble tea brand.
The 100-seater restaurant is remarkable not just for its menu but also for the people they hire: Among its 17-staff strong crew are seven persons with disabilities, and they include people with autism, as well as those with intellectual and hearing disabilities.
“Work is dignity. We have always believed in this and have seen this testified through the many lives we have helped. People with disabilities can lead productive lives. They, like the rest of us, want to work and enjoy financial independence,” said Jacelyn Lim, ARC’s Deputy Executive Director.
When you dine at Professor Brawn Bistro, you’ll sit back to a great meal – and support a meaningful social cause! Reserve your seats today using WhatsApp or SMS +6583212204. Opening hours are Mon-Fri (11am-9pm); Sat and public holiday (9am-9pm); closed on Sun.
Junior Art Lab
One social enterprise has made it fun and engaging for children to develop digital literacy skills using simple computer programmes and punny designs. Junior Art Lab’s courses for children aged three to 12 provide participants the opportunity to learn art and technology to create whimsical and humorous designs that can be sold as merchandise to the public.
Since opening in the Enabling Village in September last year, the creative studio has held several digital art workshops and supported some community outreach projects through the sale of its products, which include greeting cards ($5.90), pins ($7.90) and tote bags ($20).
Many of the designs feature the studio’s distinct brand of humour, which uses puns like “inkuehdible”, “fineapple”, and “tea-riffic”.
Said the studio’s director Aminur Rasyid: “The wordplay and puns were something really fun to come up with. It’s definitely my favourite part of the work I do now. I like to tell people that I draw cute stuff and come up with cheesy puns for a living, haha!”
The studio uses Microsoft PowerPoint to create its designs because it’s commonly used in homes and schools, and easily accessible for persons with disabilities, even for those who cannot draw.
“We aim to grow an inclusive and creative community in the Enabling Village, and provide opportunities for children and youth from lower-income families and persons with disabilities and special needs to learn together with us,” explained Aminur.
The company also hires persons with disabilities as illustrators to create designs and trains them to take on jobs like digital illustrators and designers.
Come down to Junior Art Lab to check out its cool designs made by persons with disabilities, or shop at its new online store, www.artably.co. Opening hours are Tue-Fri (930am-630pm) and Sat-Sun (930am-430pm). Closed on Mondays and public holidays.
The studio’s programmes can also be tailored for company events. To learn more about its children’s courses or corporate programmes, call +6597222935 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you love tea, teapasar at the Enabling Village has a selection of more than 100 different flavours from all over the world for you to discover.
And best of all, they’re 100% authentic – thanks to its patented technology that not only authenticates the tea leaves based on its taste, but also the exact geographical region where they were harvested.
But this new home-grown start-up is not just changing the way businesses authenticate tea leaves; it also wants to empower differently-abled individuals in Singapore. Even before officially moving to the Enabling Village in December 2019, teapasar had already organised inclusive workshops and events in November.
“We believe that a successful tech start-up is not just about leveraging on technology to generate financial returns, but also to add value to society,” said Nicolette Yeo, teapasar’s Assistant General Manager and Head of Marketing, who added that the company is looking to train and hire more persons with disabilities.
Said Nicolette: “Our patented AI food fingerprinting technology will empower the differently-abled individuals we hire to perform roles that typically requires decades of training and experience.”
Discover your perfect blend by tasting the selection of local and international teas available at teapasar, or shop at its online store, www.teapasar.com. Opening hours are Mon-Fri (9am-6pm). Closed on weekends and public holidays. For more information, call +6587690918 or email email@example.com.
Do Good, Feel Great
Flex your creative muscles, have a great lunch, then sit down to your favourite cup of tea, brewed to perfection. If any of these activities sound good to you, come on down to Redhill’s best-kept secret with your bestie or family for a day of fun, and support a meaningful cause at the same time! See you at the Village!