6 questions with Edith Patisserie’s founder Ethel Tan, Diploma in Pastry and Baking graduate of At-Sunrice GlobalChef Academy
Established in 2013, Edith Patisserie is founded and run by Ethel Tan and her partner Shaun Ong. The duo met as batchmates while taking their Diploma in Pastry and Baking with At-Sunrice GlobalChef Academy.
Buttercream cakes in all flavours!
Edith Patisserie stands out from the other run of the mill cake shops by specializing in intricate and artistically decorated layered buttercream cakes for all types of celebrations. From birthdays to weddings, they have a cake for every occasion. With their baking expertise and topnotch customer service, the business took off and from a two-man show, they grew into a thirty-strong team with seven departments.
1. What were some of the fears or challenges you had when you first started Edith Patisserie?
Ethel: At that time, Shaun and I didn’t really put much thought into the decision because we were just following our hearts – in hindsight, it was quite alarming for our family at the start because they felt that it wasn’t a viable career path. It is easy to start a business overnight, but sustaining growth is the biggest challenge. I think the hardest part was shifting gears mentally from being a pastry chef to a business owner. I have found that although stressful and overwhelming sometimes, I thoroughly enjoy the business aspect of it very much and the satisfaction of problem-solving and overcoming the challenges that come our way.
2. Why specialize in buttercream cakes as opposed to other fancier cakes in the market?
Ethel’s dainty baby pink buttercream cake: Lychee Rose
Ethel: I think it is a medium that gives you the freedom to be creative, and also to play around with bold flavour pairings. Although some tend to pigeon-hole it as ‘too sweet’ or ‘too boring’, I like the challenge of creating something both unique and not-to-sweet for the local palette. It’s also a very accessible type of cake for everyone—we’ve all tried buttercream cakes at celebrations and birthday parties—and I think people are always pleasantly surprised when they have our cakes because it’s very different from what they assume a buttercream cake should be.
3. What is one of your special or unforgettable cake order you have received?
Ethel: I think it’s when our bakes support the causes close to our hearts that make me most proud. Over the past 7 years, Edith Patisseries has collaborated with charities championing causes close to our hearts. In 2018 and 2019, we sponsored bakes for Samaritans of Singapore’s International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day and 50th Anniversary Charity Gala.
We provide cakes every month to Salvation Army for birthday celebrations of at-risk youths in their care. We’ve also provided cakes to HCA’s ESTHER programme beneficiaries, fulfilling their last wishes and commemorating their birthdays with caregivers and loved ones. In 2019, we also raised funds for Cat Welfare Society through the sale of mini cat-themed cakes which we had specially created for them for Valentine’s Day. I think these bakes held extra meaning to the team because of the causes they were going to.
4. Some advice for your juniors and our alumni who are thinking of starting up their own cake businesses?
Ethel: Always do it for the right reasons, not for ego or fun. The reality of running a business is very different from the idea of baking for fun, so if you’re interested in starting a business, be realistic and start small as opposed to committing to a big financial outlay right from the beginning, as unforeseen circumstances like the Covid-19 crisis can always arise.
5. How did Edith Patisserie mitigate the impact from Covid-19?
Ethel: Covid-19 continues to present a very unpredictable and unique challenge for the F&B industry, and it will be an ongoing struggle for many at least till the end of the year. Although we have been experiencing drastically reduced foot traffic at the bakery, we are very thankful that we had already established a streamlined online ordering system on our website, which allows our customers to place their orders online for delivery without having to leave the comfort and safety of their homes. Despite the numerous challenges faced, our team has been very dynamic at adapting and their positive attitude and dedication has been tremendous in helping us thrive despite the downturn.
Interesting combination of bubble tea pearls with a tart pastry!
6. We love your cakes, any recipes?
Ethel: Do check out our Steamed Chocolate Cake recipe on our website. https://edithpatisserie.com/blog-headlines/steamed-chocolate-cake This was published during the Circuit Breaker for all stuck at home.
Bake along with Ethel’s recipe or check out At-Sunrice’s baking recipes for #StandUpforCleaners here!
Learn more about #StandUpforCleaners by At-Sunrice here.
Stay safe and we wish Ethel and Shaun continued success!
Want to be like Ethel and bake your dreams into reality? Sign up for our Diploma in Pastry and Baking Programme now! Learn more here.
Order through website: www.edithpatisserie.com