What does your daily routine look like, mamas? Tell us, we want to know!
Like many mamas in Singapore, Cassandra Tan wears a variety of hats. She’s a mum to 7-year-old Alexander and 5-year-old Anastasia; the brains behind the online platform BITSY; and a huge advocate for socially impactful entrepreneurship and female empowerment (amen to that!) through her work with CRIB and SheWorx. Earlier this year she launched BOTANY, a new cafe concept at Robertson Quay featuring wholesome food (she does all the R&D herself!) that also happens to be Insta-gorgeous. From early mornings at her home near Orchard, to family dinners on the job, click through to see a day in Cassandra’s busy mama life!
My alarm clock is my bedside lamp, which my husband sets to turn on at 6:30am every day – it is apparently some kind of science that we wake up better with light. By 7am, there will be chatter and screaming around the house as we and the kids get dressed.
I try to get to the cafe by 8:30am so that I can help with the opening. I bring both kids and our helper with me on most days as Anastasia (5) is currently home-schooled while Alexander (7) only goes to school at noon.
We open by 9am and most morning customers like myself want their coffee the first thing they enter. Either the cafe manager or myself will get the coffee machine started and get the beans grinding. I’ll make myself an iced latte with organic oat milk (which we provide at BOTANY!) to get my day started.
I can usually be found in my regular corner with my coffee and laptop. On top of settling cafe matters, I’ll be working on either proposals for our event styling business, or liaising with suppliers for our paper manufacturing business.
As we also run an event styling business, we need to go to our clients’ venues to design and set up their dessert tables or photo backdrops. We customise every event to our clients’ needs and preferences. This usually takes us about 2 hours and I’ll then return back to the cafe.
We are always finding ways to improve our existing menu and create new dishes. As I’m constantly interacting with our customers, I’ll gather feedback and make adjustments to our menu with the kitchen crew.
People often ask me why I do the R&D myself instead of leaving it to the kitchen team. The reason is simple – BOTANY’s goal is to serve original home cooked recipes that are inclusive for most dietary requirements or preferences, such as meat-eaters, vegetarians, vegans and kids.
Having a young/modern family and a number of friends who have dietary restrictions encourages me to be more mindful of the kinds of food that I should have on the menu. As a mother, I understand the needs and concerns of a parent, hence a big part of our menu is personally created by me to be healthier and kid-friendly.
Alexander will finish school and joins his sister at the cafe for dinner these days. They will fool around and entertain themselves outside playing catch or with our customers’ kids while waiting for dinner. It’s funny how they prefer to hang out at the cafe even though I won’t be able to spend time with them as I’ll be buzzing about. I guess they get to enjoy the scenery here and the new playmates they get when they stick around!
My husband joins us as the café for dinner after work. He will then help to bring the kids home first before coming back again at 10pm to pick me up.
When do I get some alone time? Haha… when I sleep!