Joseph Tan, 2nd Gen at Chek Hup drives family brand forward

April 08, 2021

Chek Hup means “prosperity and unity” in Cantonese. The Ipoh based Chek Hup group was founded by Tan Soo Hor and his wife,  Chang Ngan Mooi in 1965 to sell rock sugar. Chek Hup’s logo shows a rabbit, a wheelbarrow and coffee beans. The rabbit symbolises purity and honesty. Its upright ears signifies happiness and positivity. The wheelbarrow symbolises pushing forward and staying ahead of the times. The coffee beans are the core products of the company. 

By the 1990s the Tans had established its forte in the rock sugar business  which had expanded to Singapore. They then decided to invest in the 3 in 1 instant coffee business catching in on the burgeoning trend. In year 2000 Chek Hup 3 in 1 Ipoh White Coffee was launched using its signature rock sugar and special brew of roasted coffee beans. Since then Chek Hup has expanded the instant beverage business by launching in 2003 its signature chocolate drink Chek Hup Kokoo, Chek Hup Teh Tarik (2007), Chek Hup Black Mandheling (2014), Chek Hup Colombian coffee (2015) a premium instant coffee refined brew and the Chek Hup Classic in 2019. The founder Tan Soo Hor passed away in 2014. He was succeeded by his son, Joseph Tan Huang Kew, who is now the Managing Director of the Chek Hup beverage group. 

Chek Hup White Coffee became popular in 2009 both in the local and export market, mainly in the Asia Pacific region including South East Asia (Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Brunei, Philippines) and Greater China (Mainland China, HK, Taiwan). Chek Hup is currently producing 7,200 tonnes of instant beverages and rock sugar annually, with an annual turnover of about RM100 million.  

Joseph Tan is the driving force behind the expansion of the Chek Hup brand and its offerings. In 2014 the Black Mandheling gourmet coffee made from medium roasted and ground Arabica beans from Indonesia was launched, the first instant gourmet coffee in the local market. Being a Christian, Joseph Tan believes that ethics are of utmost importance in doing business, especially in the food business. He was brought up by his father, the late Tan Soo Hor, to embrace quality and ethics as a way of life. No addictives or artificial colorings are used in Chek Hup’s instant beverages. Chek Hup is an award winning brand and its list of awards can be viewed on its website 

In November 2020 Chek Hup Coffee signed up as a sponsor for EVOS Esports in Malaysia. EVOS Esports is the leading esports organisation in Southeast Asia. The sponsorship involves brand integration on EVOS Esports merchandise, online community engagement events with the team’s fams and interactive social media campaigns. Joseph Tan said that Chek Hup is always open to innovation and esports and gaming would help the Chek Hup brand connect with the next generation of consumers.  

Read more 

  1. Chek Hup. Our Brand story. Our History Timeline. 
  2. The Star Online. 8 August 2014. Chan Li Leen. Chek Hup continues to expand after launching Ipoh White Coffee in 2000. 
  3. Salt and Light. 29 December 2018. Ong Juat Heng. Preserving the Aroma of Christ – the Secret behind Chek Hup’s coffee. 
  4. The Star Online. 15 August 2014. Chan Li Leen. Coffee maker charts impressive progress.  
  5. The Star Online. 8 April 2017. Chan Li Leen. Ipoh White Coffee set to go to China this quarter. 
  6. Vulcan Post. HSBC. How a Bank was pivotal in Chek Hup’s expansion to 15 countries. 
  7. European Gaming Congress. 9 November 2020. Alex Marginean.  EVOS Esports Announces Sponsorship With Chek Hup Coffee. 
  8. Advertising and Marketing. 9 November 2020. Janice Tan. Chek Hup Coffee leaps into esports scene with evos esports sponsorship. 
  9. Malaysia Global Business Forum. Event to mark coffee company’s jubilee draws over 500 guests.