Hong Kong is a place brimming with talented and intriguing people. Each week in 27 Questions, we get up close and personal with the city’s notable personalities, learning about their whims, aversions, pivotal life moments, and hopes and dreams — all in roughly the same duration it takes to sit through a two-minute speed date.
If you’re one of the seemingly thousands of Hongkongers who has a penchant for addictive, effortlessly photogenic pastry, then you’ve (at the very least) heard of Cookie DPT. With pop-ups all over Hong Kong and a permanent storefront in Taipei, the purveyor of crisp baked goods — set apart by a trademark gooey centre —has taken the region by storm. In this week’s 27 Questions, we speak to the company’s founder Wil Fang.
Originally from New Hampshire, United States, where he grew up around the family restaurant business, Fang studied a twofer of engineering and business management at Bucknell University before diving headfirst into a career in the retail sector in New York. For over a decade, he worked with leading brands like Ralph Lauren and Apple, before going on to found his own multi-function agency Alchemy (now known as ‘The DPT Group’) in 2016.
Against a backdrop of weekend-long typhoons, we caught up with Fang at his latest Cookie DPT pop-up at The Upper House for a casual chat, hopping between topics as varied as his fondest childhood memories to what’s been in his recent shoe rotation.
Name: Wil Fang
Neighbourhood: Nam Cheong, Kowloon
Occupation: Entrepreneur (fashion, retail, F&B)
1. What is your life motto?
“There is always someone working harder for less”.
2. Who is your role model?
My mom — she’s the real MVP.
3. What was your first job?
Clearing tables at my family’s restaurant.
4. What is your drink of choice?
These days, probably an iced lemon tea. Extra sugar.
5. When was the last time you drove a car?
August 2019, Las Vegas.
6. What is the best thing in or about your apartment?
The view. I live facing towards Hong Kong island — the best looking skyline in the world.
7. Are you a morning person or a night owl?
8. If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Probably instant noodles.
9. What is your biggest regret in life?
That one time I didn’t get dessert.
10. What do you hate most about living in Hong Kong?
That it’s so far from my family.
11. What is the top destination on your bucket list?
12. How often do you prepare your own meals?
Three to four times a week.
13. What is your greatest fear?
People accidentally stepping on my shoes.
14. When did you last ride the Star Ferry? What were you doing/where did you go?
Last week. It’s a great way to save the money you’d spend on taxis — and grab an egg tart on the way.
15. What is your biggest guilty pleasure?
An entire bag of sweet popcorn when I’m not even at the movies.
16. What is one movie everyone should see?
The Shawshank Redemption (1994).
17. Which moment in your life would you most like to relive?
When I opened my first store in Taipei.
18. If you could live anywhere else in the world, where would it be?
Given current circumstances, a remote island with a helipad.
19. What makes someone a real Hongkonger?
Taking the MTR.
20. If you could invite any five people in the world to your dream dinner party, who would they be?
Michael Jordan, Elon Musk, Will Smith, Post Malone, Margot Robbie.
21. What is one song you know all the lyrics to?
Ice Ice Baby by Vanilla Ice.
22. Where do you go when you want to be alone?
Well, I won’t be alone if I disclosed that would I?
23. If you had to describe Hong Kong in one word, what would it be?
24. What’s your favourite childhood memory?
Not paying my bills.
25. What is your favourite scent in the whole world?
My dog, she still smells like a puppy.
26. Who is the best teacher you’ve ever had, what is one important lesson they taught you?
My chemistry teacher in 10th grade. He taught me that working hard is good, but working smart is better.
27. How many pairs of shoes do you currently own? Which do you wear most often?
Literally too many to count. Lately, I’m into any/all of the Nike x Sacai releases.