It was dated back to 1950s when Cheng Long, a chinese immigrant fleeing from China, settled his life on Phuket island.
Where the main industry in Phuket was tin mining, Cheng Long with his knowledge how to roast a coffee saw an opportunity and finally found his own shop in 1958 and named it "Hock Hoe Lee", located in Phuket town next to fresh market.
The coffee was mainly sold to workers which the drink itself is very well known among mining workers as an energy boost. And later, when words of mouth spread, his coffee was famous among restaurants too. Cheng Long's coffee firstly relied on coffee bean supply shipped from Penang, Malaysia. Later when transportation was more accessible he started to use coffee bean from southern province of the country which was closer to Phuket.
'Ko Boon', Cheng Long first son, continued his farther business. Boon was familiar with coffee roasting since he was young. In Phuket town, Boon's reputaion as King of Coffee is not far from truth due to his exceptional coffee roasting skill which he has been mastering for decades. While Hock Hoe Lee coffee was at top of the chart, like his farther, he saw a new opportunity expanding his family business. Boon started applying Ceylon tea leaf and other teas to make his signature tea. Boon's Phuket(Thai) tea is famous across an island thanks to its strong aroma and distinctive taste.
Like other business, not all is about success. There is a difficult time as well. In late 2000s, demand of traditional coffee was slowing while modern(western) coffee was becoming more popular. It was the time Boon's first daughter, 'Jaea' studying master degree in electrical engineering in Los Angeles, California USA.
'Oh', Boon's son in law who married his first daughter, took part in Hock Hoe Lee business and branch out to set up another coffee business. In 2010, Oh and Jaea have started roasting espresso coffee. Setting up new shop in Rawai, south of island, it is the second shop for Hock Hoe Lee. The feedback was poor at first as it confused many customers, later it has been gaining more and more momentum as people get to know Oh's coffee. In 2013 Oh built a small roasting factory behind the coffee shop to answer a steady growing demand. To this date, Hock Hoe Lee has been supplying quality coffee & tea to numerous shops across the island. Its coffee contributes into millions of cup of coffee to locals, guests, tourists, everywhere on island.