EIA 041 Liming at the Lime House
Chris Morris is a Relationship manager & Entrepreneur his previous career roles have been with NHS Trusts and Department of the Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs in the UK. This was before setting up a new life in Singapore where he initially supported his wife’s career before finding a role in Change Management and then as an independent consultant. Now, he splits his time between being a Regional Relationship manager and his real passion as an Entrepreneur with his restaurant the Lime House in the heart of Singapore.
“I took on the lease for Lime House I didn’t have a chef. So I actually took on the lease, because a lot of people think I am a restaurateur and I am not. I don’t cook at all. My wife is a very good cook not me. But I like to entertain and so I see myself very much as a founder anyway, so I took the lease on and I thought oh shit you know we’ve got to find a, we need to find a chef from somewhere. So actually got a plane flew to London, on the way to London I googled top Caribbean chefs in the UK. I landed I interviewed three of them, two of them thought I was just crazy Caribbean guy from Singapore and didn’t want to engage.”
During our conversation Chris reveals the motivations behind his founding of the Lime House, difficulties, career changes, family and his positive purposeful attitude he creates for the future.
As well as:
- The only Caribbean establishment in Singapore
- Arrived in Singapore as a trailing spouse in 2008
- Background as Management consultant
- Start of the job business transformation practice as a consultant for five years
- The reason for the row
- Then became a entrepreneur
- Passion of the Caribbean led to him creating a Caribbean footprint in Singapore f or his children and the Caribbean diaspora
- The opportunity for a positive Caribbean experience in Singapore
- Its all about the food and ambience
- The size of the ground floor restaurant, second floor bar and third floor event space.
- The Trinidadian and Tobago meaning for the word “Lime” and its origins
- A history and cultural lesson of rum and the largest rum collection in Singapore at 168
- The journey of growing up in the Caribbean, moving to London and then to Singapore, Corporate to Cultural Entrepreneur
- Specialism from IT to change programs in organisational culture in government agencies.
- However mentor and locked his passion to mix food culture.
- Overcoming opening a restaurant with no cooking skills.
- The top Caribbean restaurant chef in London solving the cooking issue for a crazy Caribbean Guy
- Using passion, belief and culture to achieve success
- The years of pain to produce success
- The dark lonely moments of being an entrepreneur and the don’t do it message from the naysayers,
- Singaporean success Fridays and Saturdays full
- Singaporeans creating authentic Caribbean food
- Localised in the food.
- The connection between the food in the Caribbean and Southeast Asia
- The competitiveness of the Singaporean restaurant market, fine dining the failure then the chance meeting
- Creating a grab and go experience in Singapore that failed and then moving it halfway around the world to London using the lessons learned in Singapore
- Three minutes to walk out with a meal learned in Singapore.
- A new fusion food experience.
- The entrepreneurs need for the support of family but it helps when they eat the food
- Creativity is in the family fashion design father, set designer sister, artist brother and the link to Central St. Martins
- Chris’ excitement of changing perceptions of the Caribbean diaspora
- The most difficult task for the entrepreneur is always dealing with failure
- The painful road of luck
- When did you realise you have to close
- How an entrepreneur knows when to stop
- Being comfortable talking about failure and playing it safe and the role exposure plays to opportunity, capital and expertise through mentors
- Caribbean business groups in the UK and the importance of mentorship both Singapore and London.
- The location of home Singapore or London
- Finally making time for relaxation