MEET: Javier, Founder of Kilo and Grain Traders

Born in Puerto Rico, Javier has been in Singapore for over 10 years, and has harboured a dream of working in F&B ever since he was about 11 years old. What drew him into the industry was the opportunity to create experiences — seeing how places come together and how people get immediate gratification and satisfaction out of both the food and the place. Javier opened his first restaurant, Banh Mi, at the age of 28, and then, Raw Kitchen Bar two years later — forming the basis of Kilo today. The core idea forms the undercurrent behind each venture: of creating a place that feels like home; a place where people from all different walks and circles of life can come in and feel comfortable. Kilo now has four different outlets: the original Kilo Kallang, at Kampong Bugis; Kilo Orchard, housed in concept store Pact in Orchard Central; Kilo Lounge, a bar/event venue; and also the recently opened Kilo Bali in Seminyak. Javier sees Kilo Bali as an extension of what Kilo is in Singapore — a little bit of Orchard, a little bit of the lounge, and a little bit of Kallang, adapted to the local culture and ingredients. Javier hopes to be able to continue to grow Kilo, and the Kilo brand. “We want our restaurants to be places where people go because that’s where they feel good,” he says. “We see ourselves as being in the business of creating memories.”

MEET: Sharon, Co-founder of Kilo

Sharon was born in Singapore but grew up all over the world, in Canada, the Philippines, America, and Switzerland. Her background is in accounting, and although she worked for several years in the field, she decided that she wanted a job and life that was more interactive and allowed her to travel. She went to study hospitality in Switzerland before going to work in the Philippines. Sharon moved back to Singapore about 10 years ago and got her first taste of the F&B scene when she and Javier took over a small café in the CBD. After the café closed, Sharon worked odd jobs while helping out at Raw Kitchen Bar before finally coming on board full-time when Kilo opened. Today, Sharon is happy to be the woman behind the scenes of Kilo, and is in charge of the administrative, accounting, and human resource aspects of the company, although she still enjoys working the floor a few nights a week at Kilo Kallang or Kilo Orchard and meeting the people that come through the doors. “We wanted to create a restaurant that takes guests away from the busyness of Singapore and transports them into a place where they are surrounded by good food, great company and conversations, and relaxed vibes,” Sharon says. “I think Kilo’s evolution comes from our constant focus on remaining consistent with our food and service, yet keeping things simple and raw. There’s no fluff to us — what you see is what you get.”

MEET: Joshua, Founder of Kilo Lounge

Born in Brooklyn, New York to a Puerto Rican mother and a father from Saint Lucia, Joshua grew up in the Caribbean, where his first taste of the F&B industry was a job helping out at his aunt’s hot dog cart stand. His father’s side of the family owned restaurants, bars, and clubs in Saint Lucia, and so it almost seems like Joshua was born to do what he does. Joshua was working in Hollywood, Florida, before he followed a then-girlfriend to Singapore. What was at first meant to be a short, few-months stint for Joshua has now turned into a long- term endeavour after he was introduced to Javier at Kilo, just six months after the restaurant opened. Today, Joshua is involved in all concepts at Kilo — he helps to create dishes, cocktails, and menus for the restaurant and lounge, and also assists in day-to-day operations, events, concept and brand development. Together with Javier, Joshua is always looking for new ways to move Kilo forward. “We both believe that the best thing you can do is to create something that is honest, real, and full of your soul and love,” Joshua says. “The right people will appreciate it, want to experience it, and hopefully want to share it with others.”

MEET: Y.C. Teo, Co-founder of Kilo Lounge

Y.C. is trained as an anthropologist, and started his career as a researcher in User-Experience Design.  He met Javier while Raw Kitchen Bar was still in operation, and when Kilo started, the two had already been mulling over the idea of starting a lounge. When one of the tenants on the top floor of the Ture building, where the Kilo Kallang restaurant is located, moved out, this turned into the perfect opportunity to materialise their ideas. In addition, Y.C. and Javier both saw it as a favourable way to incorporate a lifestyle component into Kilo, and the Lounge has since become the springboard for Kilo’s entry into the entertainment and lifestyle scene. Y.C. helped to design and build Kilo Lounge — a pretty organic endeavour, as he puts it. “There was really no design brief; we designed as we moved along,” he says. “Intuitively, the idea was to design something that looked like someone’s living room.” Today, beyond its genre-defying parties and world-class DJ gigs, Kilo Lounge also hosts dialogues, talks, alternative performances, workshops, and lessons. “Kilo Lounge represents democracy to me,” Y.C. says. “It’s a democratic space where anyone can go and have a good time without social or cultural baggage.”

MEET: Alejandro, General Manager at Kilo Bali

Alex, as he is more fondly known, hails from the city of Malaga in the South of Spain. Gastronomy and wine are a big part of life in Malaga, and it had an undeniable influence on Alex. He went on to study hotel management with a specialisation in food and beverage, and also worked in several Michelin-starred restaurants while in school. Along with his curiosity about food, Alex was also interested in music, and this led him to travel around Asia, going to Dubai, Singapore, and finally, Bali, and holding roles such as an Assistant Sommelier, F&B manager, and also playing percussion music in some bars and clubs. Alex’s international experience gave him a knowledge and deeper understanding of the F&B business, and fuelled his desire to provide world-class customer service to all guests at Kilo Bali. Beyond serving customers, Alex also manages a team of 20 employees at the restaurant, educating and encouraging the staff to take ownership of their responsibilities to create a truly great dining experience time and again. “I hope to create an atmosphere here that compliments the mood, and creates the right kind of energy,” he says. “At Kilo Bali, it’s the experience that counts.”

Work With Us

Kilo is growing, and we’re always looking for more people to join the family. If you’re looking to get into F&B, craft creative drinks behind the bar, or bring smiles to tables of people, drop us your resume at careers@kilokitchen.com.