DELEGATE: Tell us more about yourself
I enjoyed baking and started as a home baker providing cakes and dessert table setups. I originally wanted to start a small cupcake shop but eventually went on to start a cafe with my hubby’s encouragement. He likes making coffee and creating new drinks. The super-hot favourite Lycheetini which is a non-alcoholic drink on Craving’s menu was his creation. The journey has been tiring but fruitful. I like to challenge myself with various kinds of design for different dessert table themes. I’m a TV addict and enjoy my dog’s company during my free time. My kind of entertainment is to watch Korean running man.
D: How did you get the idea or concept for your business?
Cravings is an F&B concept brand that delivers a delectable dessert experience through the hand crafted work of talented and creative home bakers and dessert chefs. Carefully curated, we aim to offer their best dessert selections to tantalise your demanding palate.
The few of us who founded Cravings stay in Punggol and we feel that this is a great neighbourhood. Tebing Lane has a very rustic feel. It does not feel as crowded and claustrophobic as a shopping mall. We want our patrons to feel relaxed in our cafe, a break from the hustle and bustle of life.
More importantly, we started with the intention of supporting the bakers’ community. Cravings offers its commercial kitchen for rental to promising and enterprising bakers. Punggol is a young town. By providing a flexible and affordable kitchen rental services, Cravings hopes it can also support and provide cost effective alternatives for stay-home mums or mums who prefer to have a more flexible work schedule while having a go at business with the least possible risk and cost.
D: What is your vision/mission for your company?
To be the ultimate café that satisfies the dessert cravings of our customers through hand crafted creations of our baker community and;
To be the preferred venue and dessert/cake provider for private events, birthday parties and baby showers.
D: How did you start it? What were some adversities you faced when starting it?
Simply dumping our money in? We overestimated the customer volume and the amount of money and effort to advertise and promote the cafe business.
D: What is something we might not know about the industry you’re in?
Besides operating as a cafe, we also make custom fondant or cream cakes and desserts table for customers holding parties. The competitors that we face are typically home bakers as each project has highly customised requirements. So, big, established cafes and bakery’s wouldn’t be interested.
We are obviously at a losing end when competing with the home bakers who do not have the operating cost of a licensed kitchen. However, we also observe that our cakes and dessert tables are priced very competitively compared to the home bakers. We have probably found the winning formula to manage the resources/ingredients in operating the cafe and providing custom fondant and cream cakes. Either that, or the home bakers are probably charging a high premium for their time and effort to support an online-only business.
Very often, customers think they are buying a cake or renting the dessert table setup. However, in fact they are paying for the professionalism, passion and devotion of the bakers to conceptualise and design the cake or dessert table. It is an art that is pretty undervalued.D: What has been the most memorable experience for you so far in running your business?
Producing 400 boxes of desserts/pastry boxes for an event. It was the largest order ever taken at that point of time and we underestimated the amount of work and effort required to pull it off. In the end, the entire team worked through the night to fulfil the order.
D: How do you define success? Who do you see as successful?
Success to me is when I see customers coming back for their cravings or bringing their friends along. Also, the customers who recommend their friends to rent the café for birthday parties/Baby Showers. Starbucks is one of the cafés that I look up to as they serve only drinks and pastries when they first started and now they are worldwide.D: Which habits of yours have gotten you to where you are today?
My passion in baking and delivering customised dessert tables to customers.
D: What is one thing you would like your customers to know about your company?
Besides being a popular venue and dessert table caterer for birthday parties and events, Cravings is an awesome chill-out cafe for late night owls in the neighbourhood.
D: If you could give advice to fellow and budding entrepreneurs, what wold it be?
Be passionate about what you do and be brave to go through everything.
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D: Where else can we find you online?
Facebook : www.facebook.com/cravings.sg