Entrepreneur

How This M'sian Moved Her Dessert Business Offline To Two Outlets In Less Than A Year

Wendy Loh has always been a food fanatic but her sweet tooth definitely sparked her interest towards baking. Combining that with her inclination towards art crafting, she began designing food and experimented with intricate and extravagant designs.

However, it was just that. A passion.

But before she knew it, her side hobby grew into Tiny Temptress and her pastries began making waves among dessert connoisseurs along with receiving mass interest from social media for her work.

So here’s how it all started.

A Sweet Beginning

Image Credit: Tiny Temptress

As a child, it never crossed Wendy’s mind that she would have her own bakery. This stayed true even until her later studies when she pursued law at ATC (Advance Tertiary College).

Her first baking foray was with brownies. Six failed attempts later, she gained enough confidence to venture into the realms of pavlova, tiramisu and crème brulee.

The next big challenge? Macarons. She spent about seven months researching articles and video tutorials before even purchasing the necessary utensils for making macarons. Her diligence paid off—she succeeded on her very first try.

Image Credit: Tiny Temptress

The response she got from her friends and family was encouraging enough to spur her to the idea of selling them online. Thus, Tiny Temptress was born.

Contrary to popular assumption, the moniker Tiny Temptress does not just allude to the fact that Wendy is quite petite.

Image Credit: Tiny Temptress

Her macarons gained quick traction and soon she was fielding orders for various corporate functions, product launches and brand events while also being the main supplier for the Hello Kitty café in Sunway.

“What started from a home-based business eventually grew to what you see today, two outlets with a team of young and dedicated pastry chefs,” said Wendy to Vulcan Post.

Creating Her Signature

A fan of French desserts, Wendy centered her business around Parisian themes. But it’s not just the aesthetic of the dessert that stays true to French culture.

Image Credit: Tiny Temptress

“Most people will order by sight; if it looks good, they want it, without knowing what exactly is in it,” said Wendy. “They’ll ask, why is this chocolate mousse sourish, not realising that it contains passionfruit Belgian milk chocolate ganache.”

To help educate people more on her desserts, Tiny Temptress re-designed their menu to have only text so customers could read and properly choose the flavours they’d like instead of ordering purely based on the visuals.

Down the line, she also wishes to have a booklet explaining the different techniques to make different components of each dessert for those who may be curious.

The names are also occasionally French inspired.

“As most of my desserts are French recipes, I do have a tendency to add a French element to their names (i.e. L’Affection Entremet). Other than that, I name my desserts based on the ingredients used to make it direct and straightforward, and sometimes cute puns to make it memorable,” said Wendy to Vulcan Post.

Image Credit: Tiny Temptress

Her range of products has grown since the days of her making just macarons, expanding to even cakes and cookies now. There are also seasonal desserts on the menu.

For example, her Pokemon-themed macarons were a huge hit when the Pokemon Go craze hit Malaysia. She also has signature desserts that only appear during Christmas or Chinese New Year.

L–R Choux Au Craqueline, Bear Necessities (Image Credit: Tiny Temptress)

For us consumers, we only get to see the final product. It’s difficult for us to gauge the intricate and complicated procedure that goes behind Tiny Temptress desserts.

Wendy shared that one of her more tedious creations would be the Brûlée Marshmallow Ice Cream because of they churn their own ice cream, and freeze it into a mould.

The Brûlée marshmallow ice cream (Image Credit: Tiny Temptress)

“From there, we will coat them with a chocolate waffle, only to assemble them into a marshmallow mould again before we unmould for the final process of putting it on a stick. The more technical desserts would be those dealing with chocolate as chocolate is very temperamental. A few degrees of Celsius can make a whole lot of difference.”

“Each dessert is crafted in different ways, so there is no such thing as a dessert too difficult to make. It’s more of the patience that lies in making these particular desserts. Some are more tedious in procedural ways, taking twice or thrice the time taken in comparison to other desserts,” explained Wendy.

Going Brick-And-Mortar

Image Credit: Tiny Temptress

Since her early days of selling desserts online in 2013, Wendy is now the proud owner of not just one but two physical bakeries in a span of less than a year between each opening.

Her team has also grown since her lonely days of being the only chef behind Tiny Temptress. Joining #TeamTemptress is not easy; one of the requirements is working over 14 hours while running errands so she could focus on other tasks.

From online to brick-and-mortar.

Speaking about opening her second physical outlet in less than a year, “All this was done while the production and operations for my Sri Petaling outlet was ongoing. It’s crazily hectic having to be in the kitchen to finding myself in all odd places getting the Bangsar outlet done in time.”

Wendy also stated her intentions of growing her brand to stores nationwide but that will only come later on as she wishes to focus on improving her two outlets and collaborating with more brands and companies.

“As a seven-year-old, I still vividly remember an air-flown gift from overseas by my dearest aunt. She had bought me this set of the cutest mooncakes in Sanrio and Disneyland characters, and it definitely put me on cloud nine.”

“With the impression that it had left me, it just goes to show how desserts can leave great impressions and more importantly, fond memories. This is what I would like to achieve. In addition, cute and pretty looking desserts is an instant mood lifter too!” said Wendy.

Feature Image Credit: cari.com.my

 

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