At Grain Traders we pride ourselves on doing things right, which means putting the time, effort, and care into making things that matter. Our interiors and furnishings are no different, so as we approach the end of the year we thought we’d take some time to look back at where we started, when Grain Traders was just an empty unit in a new building.

One of our favourite features of Grain Traders is the cement-screed wall. Hand-painted, scraped back, painted over again — the process was repeated until we got that multicoloured pastel hue that we wanted.

The steel silo is also something that you can’t miss the moment you step into the space. It had to be painstakingly assembled and installed, before we gave it a coat of red paint and finished it off with some artwork. A silo is actually used to store grain on farms, and while our silo didn’t serve the same purpose, it was a visual representation of who we are and what we do. The words arroz y paz, meaning ‘rice & peace’ in Spanish, are emblazoned on the silo, a play on amor y paz — love & peace. 

The menus were individually hand-drawn and hand-painted as well by our talented friends at ONG&ONG. We had a little bit of trouble with this as some of the boards were mounted up before they were done, so this resulted in a bit of clambering up on countertops and some aching necks. All worth it, nonetheless.

Our kitchen equipment, all shiny and new, started coming in, with the help of our kitchen guys Andy, Nicholas, and Ben. All the heavy steel machines might have seemed sterile and cold compared to the rest of the place, but to us it meant that we were finally getting down to business, and soon, we’d be serving piping hot food straight from kitchen to bowl.

Then came the rest of the furnishings. Daniel, our Sofa Doctor, custom-made all our seats and cushions, and personally helped us with the canopy that overhangs our coffee counter.

Ah Hwa helped us in both big ways and small ways — he did all the steel work for the place, including the standing tables outside, as well as little touches like the lights and the pulley system that holds them up. Ah Sheng, our contractor, got all our furniture sorted, customising our marble-topped tables, wooden chairs, and making sure that everything came together.

Beyond that, we filled the nooks and crannies with things that we loved — like Southern American harvest posters, tools of the trade, and other details that made Grain Traders feel like a home away from home. 

It always amazes us to think about where we started from, and where we are now, and our surroundings are a constant reminder of that. The next time you’re at Grain Traders, take a closer look around you; there’s so much more love to be seen in what we do. 

To find out more about the wonderful people that helped us to build our space, read our journal entry here, and view more photos of the making of Grain Traders here.