The latest in our series, we share the stories of unique individuals from SCALA’s Career Conversion Programmes (CCPs) whose mid-career switch to the Logistics and Supply Chain sector inspire. In this post, we feature how an accounting professional in his 30s started a new career in F&B ecommerce.

Visualise this.

Popcorn infused with the fragrance and taste of Nasi Lemak? And how about adding one of Singapore’s most iconic foods—the chilli crab—as a flavour to that bag of popcorn you are munching on while you are sitting on your sofa?

Perhaps, munching on popcorn that reminds you of kaya butter toast instead?

Some of the exotic flavoured popcorn from Zac's team at The Kettle Gourmet
Some of the exotic flavoured popcorn from Zac’s team at The Kettle Gourmet

Well, thanks to this young start-up, we can now easily satisfy our taste buds (and stomach) by just ordering from their ecommerce site,

Started by Mr Zac Chua in 2017, while he was still pursuing his undergraduate degree in Singapore Management University, the company now has hungry fans in Brunei, China, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

Like any other business in the world, their sales were affected by the pandemic in 2020 and 2021. Bags of popcorn stay glued to the retail shelves, as mall traffic grinded to a stop. To feed their hungry customers and to find new markets, they had to pivot and turn to ecommerce. This meant that Zac needed more people with the right skills to ensure his ecommerce operations could expand and continue to run smoothly.

After learning of the Career Conversion Programme (CCP) for Ecommerce Professionals from his friends, Zac decided to tap on the CCP to bring in new hires with diverse backgrounds and skillsets which would be useful in his young company.

One of these new hires is Chan Zi Wei, a former accounting professional with a deep passion to enter the F&B industry. Zi Wei joined Kettle Gourmet as an Operations Manager to improve workflow and streamline processes as the company builds a greater ecommerce presence.

By attending the online classes offered in the CCP, Zi Wei was able to pick up essential knowledge and skills to run an ecommerce business, such as digital marketing, sales conversion, and order fulfilment strategies. The programme also allows him to tap on the mentors for advice to help him tackle issues at work.

We recently asked Zi Wei to name one memorable incident he has encountered in his new role.

“There is a customer who orders very frequently from us, so one day I decided to give her a call to get some feedback. During the call, she shared that she saw our brand when she was browsing through Shopee, which she wrote in to find out more about our products. With the assistance of our staff, she decided to be adventurous and made her first purchase. After trying our popcorn, she found it better tasting than our competitors and fell in love with our unique flavours. She has been giving our popcorn to her friends and family! She was surprised that we are a local brand and said she would continue to support us and help us advertise to more people. The call with her lasted for an hour! It was really encouraging to know that we are able to convert her to a regular customer, and to know that there are many people who are willing to support local brands and young companies like us!”, says Zi Wei.

His new role in operations has helped him learn more about running a F&B business. He realises how business processes, from operations, delivery to sales are deeply connected and how everything can eventually affect the financial health of the company.

Zi Wei does not regret his decision to follow his passion in F&B. Thanks to the CCP, he was able to gain the confidence to perform in his new role quickly. He hopes more companies will tap on the CCP and provide career switchers an opportunity to learn new skills and enter new professions.

Now, he is also involved in developing new exotic flavours for the company. I, honestly feel, he is just finding an excuse to have free popcorn.

Help chart new careers with the Career Conversion Programmes. Find out more at: