How did you both meet?
Der: Flora’s husband and I went to the same university. When he moved to Hong Kong seven years ago, we got in touch and clicked right away. Flora and I became fast friends shortly after.
Were you both always in the food and beverage business?
Ma: Other than my stint as a restaurant hostess in my early twenties, this is my first foray into the F&B business. I have always worked in business and finance. After I moved to Hong Kong in 2015, I worked for Ernst & Young’s audit and management consulting groups and Goldman Sachs’s equity sales and corporate access teams.
Der: The only F&B experience I had before Only was a summer job washing dishes in high school. I moved to Hong Kong to reconnect with my family’s roots for what was supposed to be a three-month exchange programme with City University, but I loved Hong Kong so much that I decided to stay.
How did this concept come about?
Ma: We’re both from Vancouver, and whenever we go back to visit, we notice more and more people gravitating towards “healthier- for-you” ready-to-drink alcoholic beverages. We saw these health- conscious, convenient drinks become a staple in Vancouver’s social scene. They were appearing everywhere: from beach BBQs to boat trips, and from house parties to restaurants and bars. I wondered why Hong Kong was experiencing a drought of innovative, “better-for- you” beverage options.
Der: After researching the viability of this business in Hong Kong, we decided to pursue this venture together, launching our brand in the summer of 2021.