Joanna Lui Hickox

Phi­lan­thropist and founder of Cha Bei cafe

Prestige Hong Kong - 40 under 40 - - Contents -

Joanna lui hickox was just open­ing her lux­ury-life­style cafe Cha Bei when we first met her in the sum­mer of 2017. Since then, she’s fur­ther com­pli­cated mat­ters by be­com­ing a wife, hav­ing a child and in­tro­duc­ing New York’s Dean & Deluca to Hong Kong – and that’s in ad­di­tion to over­see­ing the Life­style Cu­ra­tion Ser­vices at Galaxy Entertainment Group and head­ing the group’s GEG Foun­da­tion, which gives out mil­lions to wor­thy causes.

“While [the foun­da­tion’s] re­mit is rather broad, we aim to cre­ate and/or sup­port long-term pro­grammes,” she says. “We’ve been fo­cus­ing on sup­port­ing our lo­cal small- and medium-size en­ter­prises to en­sure sur­vival of the city’s home­grown her­itage, aid­ing the lo­cal com­mu­nity — par­tic­u­larly in post-ty­phoon re­cov­ery — and sup­port­ing the el­derly and much-needed nurs­ing pro­grammes. More re­cently, we’ve funded re­search and the set-up of ed­u­ca­tion pro­grammes for early child de­vel­op­ment, youth de­vel­op­ment and work­ing par­ents, as well as lead­er­ship-de­vel­op­ment ex­changes with China and now Ja­pan.”

For the foun­da­tion in 2019, she’s work­ing with in­ter­na­tional part­ners to sup­port creative arts and cul­tural pro­grammes. And then there’s the topic that’s on the tip of ev­ery tongue: the en­vi­ron­ment. “While it’s not new, en­vi­ron­men­tal con­cerns have found new mo­men­tum,” she says. “There’s def­i­nitely a greater aware­ness. While it isn’t sim­ple or re­al­is­tic to try to solve ev­ery chal­lenge at once, I’m proud to en­cour­age new and wider ini­tia­tives along with con­tin­ual ef­forts to en­sure we’re do­ing the best we can to counter the foot­print we leave.”

Lest we for­get, there are also Lui Hickox’s busi­ness ven­tures, which have gone from strength to strength. Cha Bei, for ex­am­ple, is now Ma­cau’s most pop­u­lar lo­ca­tion on In­sta­gram. “We’ve been host­ing great chefs,” she says, “and build­ing our con­nec­tions with the lo­cal ‘com­mu­nitea’ — and we even qui­etly served tea to Euro­pean roy­alty. We’re work­ing on great col­lab­o­ra­tions and, flat­ter­ingly, have re­ceived re­quests to take Cha Bei to ma­jor cities in Asia, Europe and the Mid­dle East.”

It isn’t just the glam­orous cafe at Galaxy Ma­cau that’s cor­nered her at­ten­tion but also the re-emer­gence of the China Rouge pri­vate club. “I’m cur­rently look­ing at re­viv­ing China Rouge, which has many im­i­ta­tors, but it’s an orig­i­nal and spe­cial gem. Set­ting aside the bar and entertainment, its story — from hav­ing qui­etly hosted many in­ter­est­ing celebri­ties and dig­ni­taries, in­clud­ing Asian and Euro­pean roy­alty, to its col­lec­tion of con­tem­po­rary Chi­nese art — begs to be re­dis­cov­ered.”

As we talk, she fields just one phone call and briefly checks on her daugh­ter, Daniella. “Like any new mother, the big­gest chal­lenge has been find­ing and bal­anc­ing my time,” she says. “I’m blessed with a very sup­port­ive hus­band and fam­ily, and the sat­is­fac­tion from shar­ing, giv­ing back and help­ing oth­ers is equal to that from our more com­mer­cial projects. I ob­vi­ously don’t do any of this alone, and there are many oth­ers who de­serve thanks and ap­pre­ci­a­tion.”

“Like any new mother, the big­gest hal­clenge has been find­ing and bal­anc­ing y timme. I’m blessed with a very sup­port­ive us­band­hand fam­ily”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Hong Kong

© PressReader. All rights reserved.