Opinions

Bakerzin’s Daniel Tay and His Greatest Regret: Not Starting Earlier

If there’s a bakery name in Singapore which everyone is familiar with, that would definitely be Bakerzin. The patisserie-cafe chain Bakerzin is founded by 43 year old Daniel Tay in 1998, more than a decade ago.

Daniel had made a name for himself and the chain through his French-style cake creations and macarons, among other confections and savoury food. Bakerzin currently has nine outlets in Singapore, including ones in Paragon, United Square and VivoCity, and another five outlets in Indonesia.

In November last year though, founder and chief executive Daniel Tay has resigned from his post, and has set up a new food supply company. According to Mr Mark Tan, a spokesman for Bakerzin, Mr Tay submitted his resignation letter in August 2013. In it, he had explained that the time had come for him “to move on and to pursue other personal interests outside of Bakerzin”.

In April few years back, food blogger Daniel Ang had a chat with Bakerzin’s CEO Daniel on his greatest regret. The following originally appeared and is republished with permission from his personal site.

Bakerzin’s Daniel Tay and His Greatest Regret

Image Credit: Daniel Ang
Image Credit: Daniel Ang

Bakerzin’s CEO Daniel Tay has gone a full circle. Few may remember that he lost a big fortune setting up a bread factory during the late 1980s, and had to start all over by making cakes for friends from home.

The rest is history. With 10 Bakerzin under his belt and more stores in regional countries, he is back into the bread making business with a new shop Artisan Bread at MyVillage Serangoon Village.

The stern-looking Daniel was candid and sincere in sharing his thoughts. When asked about his success, he says “having 10 stores is not that much to be proud of.” “When I look at my friend who opened up more than 100 shops at China within 2 to 3 years, I feel that I lag so far behind” he added disappointedly.

Image Credit: Daniel Ang
Image Credit: Daniel Ang

This is strange coming from a person whose cakes and desserts have found much popularity and appeal. The peculiar thing was when asked what his greatest regret was, it was “not going earlier to the bread business”.

I might have hit the wrong buttons when I said that it was probably Breadtalk which revolutionised the bread industry in Singapore. Daniel was clear in disclosing that he was not a fan of “soft and airy” bread, but those that undergone proper fermenting.

Many Singaporeans do not appreciate true premium bread.”

Daniel’s father is the owner of Seng Choon Bakery, therefore it is not surprising that bakery is in his blood. His entire mood changed to a chirpy one when we talked about bread. “My first love is baking bread. At the start of my career, I spent a lot of time learning the art and science of baking good European style breads. So I finally decided to dedicate a store just to a range of artisan breads.

In between shuffling between stores, Daniel revealed that his indulgence include duck rice from Sin Ming Road and the Outrum Park Char Kway Tiao at Hong Lim because the uncle used blood from the cockles to fry with lots of lard. “Very unhealthy but it is worth it”.

When asked if he dreamt of having Breadtalk’s success of getting Bakerzin listed, he said it was impossible for now but he would take “one step at a time”.

Image Credit: Daniel Ang
Image Credit: Daniel Ang

Also read: From rags to riches: The story behind Forever 21 cofounders

Featured Image Credit: Straits Times

 

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