19 November 2021
The kitchen is the heart of the home, a place where meals are prepared and traditions are passed down.
Cynthia and Joseph "Joey" Hew, the husband-and-wife team behind Bon Vivant in Camana Bay, have embraced this concept with a business that celebrates all the magic of kitchens.
The couple met while Cynthia, who owned a marketing and consulting company at the time, was working on a campaign for a local bank. Joey was representing one of the participating businesses.
“A few road races with one another on foot, and he had me," Cynthia says jokingly. "But he never beat me in a race!”
After Hurricane Ivan, Cynthia was driven to make a career change.
“I wanted more than the daily routine of exercise, work, home, repeat," she says. "I wanted to start a business to have something I call my own. Joey is a natural-born leader and entrepreneur, and it was those traits that gave me the confidence to start a business that we both felt passionate about. Joey is innovative and not afraid to take chances; I balance that with the ability to build on an idea and make it relevant.”
Together, they have built a high-end kitchenwares and design business that celebrates 14 years in February.
“I still remember year one," says Cynthia. "A new business, a newborn, and talks of my husband going into politics! It was a roller coaster with plenty of highs and a few lows. I will always remain grateful for how the community embraced us. I am thankful to each customer, team member and friend who supported and has grown with us all these years.”
Success hasn’t come without challenges, but the positives have always outweighed the negatives and Cynthia says the flexibility and pride of knowing she has contributed to her family and community are hugely rewarding.
Even 14 years on, Cynthia still goes in early some days to walk through the store, which keeps her grounded and excited about what’s next.
“I hope people feel welcomed when they come into our store and can chat with our knowledgeable staff about all things kitchens," she says. "I also hope that my staff feel they can learn, grow and have some level of autonomy. I want them to contribute directly to the success of the company, so they can feel their wins.”
This article was originally featured in the November 2021 print edition of Camana Bay Times.