- My Pizza Lab was a project that Renyi, myBurgerLab’s co-founder wanted to do years ago but never had the time to start it as myBurgerLab kept him busy.
- My Boba Lab will be geared towards a more guilt free boba drink with very interesting flavours such as Jasmine Burnt Beer Boba and Oolong Cream Cheesecake.
Renyi and his team are no strangers to the F&B scene. As a co-founder of myBurgerLab, the name probably needs no introduction, having had a number of outlets open nationwide in the past 6 years.
The new project, My Pizza Lab was something Renyi wanted to do a few years back. He even had the Facebook page set up but didn’t get to work on it yet as myBurgerLab kept him busy. It was only when new partners came in, that he was able to cut some time out to work on My Pizza Lab.
“The partners that we have for My Pizza Lab are well established F&B owners themselves. One would be Inside Scoop, Marcus from Table & Apron, Ning from Chocolate Concierge and the last partner is Jared from Pizza Craft,” he said.
It all started during a normal dinner among a bunch of his friends from a group that they have called the Good Food Alliance. During the dinner, he thought, “Why not do a business together?”.
All 4 had various strengths and could contribute in various ways in the business. At first they thought about creating a business based on boba, desserts and drinks. However a dessert bar wouldn’t have enough offerings, so they thought, why not make it pizza-themed? From some perspectives, pizza is just a flat burger.
“In the sense we use cheese, meat, sauces and dough, so it makes sense for us to just tweak that part into what is a pizza,” Renyi added.
As it was just a small and fun project, they didn’t want to over-commit, especially when buying expensive equipment.
While on the hunt for second-hand equipment, they were told to check out a pizza joint in Damansara Uptown called Pizza Craft. The owner, Jared, was calling it quits after 2 years. He was down on his luck, running the business alone.
“He had the talent on hand but didn’t have people to support him, so we thought he would be the right partner for us as we can skip past the R&D (in the sense of starting to learn how to make dough from scratch), as this guy has done it for the last 2 years. So he was happy that we offered him a position on the board of directors and also as part of the business,” Renyi said.
Although My Pizza Lab is a “continuation” of myBurgerLab, Renyi wants to remind the public that their experience prior to this is still zero and it’s a startup from scratch.
“We plan to have fun with it, we don’t want people saying ‘oh it’s by myBurgerLab, but they fail in pizzas’. MyBurgerLab in the beginning sucked too, but it was over a period of time, meeting people, getting people’s feedback [that] we shaped it into myBurgerLab,” he added.
“The idea of myBurgerLab is simple. ‘Burger’ is for the burgers. The word ‘lab’ is that we experiment a lot. The word ‘my’ is [so] whoever that says it has a sense of ownership and belonging. The more you tell me about what you like and don’t like, it allows me to shape My Pizza Lab and My Boba Lab into something the public loves.”
Hola To Boba
As for My Boba Lab, when the space beside myBurgerLab in Sea Park opened up and they rented it immediately as they didn’t want competition and they decided to figure out what to do with it in the future.
“Within that area there weren’t many desserts offerings, with the closest ones being Fluffed Café & Dessert Bar and KAKIGŌRI, so we were thinking of various soft serve, drink options and then thought about filling the space initially if things didn’t work out for Tealive and Chatime,” said Renyi.
However they found a niche that they can serve where they wanted to do a product that’s fresher and lighter, which is a change from the boba products from Taiwan and America and other places.
“We also want to create boba, as you can only buy around 2 kinds of boba from the market which are relatively the same. We realised that we can make our own boba such as pandan gula melaka, so let’s do that as a different offering, as something that focuses on the boba. We use good tea and good milk and that’s it,” he added.
However, they are in the midst of R&D for that range because they are starting from scratch as they have no one within the industry.
“It’s honestly still a work in progress and we don’t know how it will turn out. We have a few products that are very easily accepted, but we really want to push the boundaries.”
Focusing On Quality
As it’s still in the early stages of development, Renyi and the team wants to concentrate on building the business one step at a time.
“We’re at the stage where we’re still discovering ourselves, at least for those 2 brands. We like to do this because we like serving people, we like making people happy through serving good food and good service and there is always an expectation set when somebody has a good track record.”
“I hope that we are not judged by the quality of food or service in the earlier days, but the wants and the needs to do better for others and hopefully that message goes through,” he said.
“We will see how it goes, again it will be shaped into something that’s totally different 3-4 months down the road based on the feedback, we will slowly find who we are.”
“We’re not in a hurry to make buck-loads of money. I rather sell 10 pizzas a day and get it right than a hundred pizzas and have people say because you made a lot of it and you’re missing out on quality, it doesn’t taste as good.”
Both My Pizza Lab and My Boba Lab are already open since the first week of September. They are still in their testing stage so there are only limited amounts on offer daily. As for boba they will focus on a limited amount, making sure that everything is fresh. Scaling up will only happen as momentum picks up and when the team is ready to produce more.
Feature Image Credit: My Pizza Lab/ My Boba Lab