Growing up, Josiah Jeremy never thought about running his own business.
He had worked in a corporate company for the past five years and finally made a leap of faith from his comfort zone to create his own durian brand.
“I’m happy to do it because I’m passionate about it,” the 32-year-old said.
Josiah founded Golden Moments in 2017, which was launched with its first product: Signature 100% Mao Shan Wang Snow Skin Mooncake.
“The response was overwhelming and we got a six-digit figure with the sale of the product in a month,” Josiah said.
This remains its best-selling product to date, with over 400,000 pieces sold to date. This is not surprising, given that Golden Moments is a pioneering player that sells durian mooncakes in Singapore, and it actually does well.
For durian lovers, for a durian lover
From day one, Josiah had always imagined a brand that lives and breathes would last.
Golden Moments was based on the idea of uniting families and loved ones through the shared love of the Durians.
This is how their brand came about: they wanted to defend the essence of the brand of “treasuring the golden moments and celebrating relationships”.
“Because we are a durian lover, we aspire to be the durian revolution by creating fresh avant-garde gourmet durian delicacies from the farm at the table,” Josiah said.
Although durians are generally much loved among Singaporeans, it is an acquired taste and some people may not be able to bear its pungent odor.
Diving into a durian F&B business could, therefore, mean that there is a possibility that you may not be able to capture everyone’s hearts and taste buds. Regardless, he was determined to start Golden Moments because of his passion for durians.
While he loves durians, he is aware that they are not the easiest to work with. On the one hand, they have a higher product cost compared to other fruits.
In addition, Golden Moments only uses Mao Shan Wang durians that have an “unmatched AAA grade,” which is more expensive than other durian grades.
“We also need to work closely with durian plantation partners to get a steady supply of durians.”
“Lastly, we need to be very insightful and knowledgeable in this durian commercial market, as they are a seasonal fruit and prices fluctuate from season to season.”
Innovation is in your DNA
Although Golden Moments started with a moon cake product, they have quickly expanded beyond this traditional delicacy.
In 2019, it launched a large number of product offerings such as Signature Cake Mao Shan Wang Galaxy, Golden QQ (durian balls that are “mochi”) and Dark Chocolate Mao Shan Wang Durian Macaron.
Macaron, in particular, is one of the few products that has ceased to be produced.
“The gap was due to the buying behavior of customers. They prefer to have macaroni in a restaurant to have a high tea, instead of buying on FMCG channels, ”explained Josiah.
In 2020, they enhanced their novelties with newer offerings such as Hokkaido durian cheesecake, freshly packaged durians, vanilla and chocolate durian cream choux, Mao Shan Wang durian puffs, the durian premium french crepe, more variations of durian cakes and a number of fruits. of The golden chocolates.
According to Josiah, Golden Moments introduces new products every six months to keep things fresh.
He personally participates in the product research and development (R&D) stage to help maintain the company’s high and strict standards regarding product quality.
“I would work very closely with the R&D team to create these products and have discussion groups to get feedback to define the taste, look and feel of the product.”
However, the whole product development process can take up to six months, up to a year.
Josiah explained that there are different stages in this process. First, they had to do research and surveys to find out what kind of trendy products and flavors already exist in the market.
“Then we will get our R&D team to work on it and make sure all products meet food safety requirements with prior lab testing. Then the marketing team will plan how to launch the product on our online channels. and offline touching our social media platforms. “
Fix your durian wishes anytime, anywhere
Guests can enjoy the fresh durian delights of Golden Moments with its island-wide delivery service, which promises to ship to your home in less than 90 minutes so you can satisfy your durian cravings at any time.
“We are proud to keep the freshness of our durian delicacies. We carefully place the items in cooler bags and make sure the delivery process is fast and efficient, so orders are kept refrigerated (throughout delivery), ”Josiah said.
Alternatively, Golden Moments is also available on major food delivery platforms such as GrabFood, foodpanda and Deliveroo, as well as e-commerce platforms such as Shopee and Qoo10, as part of its delivery expansion efforts. .
Josiah said they have since received many online orders from customers, even during the circuit breaker period, where many are forced to stay home.
When their craving for durian arrives, they can only order durian candies from Golden Moments with a few clicks.
Aside from online channels, Golden Moments has recently introduced distribution channels such as local supermarkets such as NTUC FairPrice and HAO Mart, as well as Shell, Cheers and many more, as part of its ambition to have a presence on most retail channels. FMCG.
“By expanding our presence to offline channels, customers can address their durian desires anytime, anywhere. We want our products to be comfortable, accessible and affordable for our customers, ”he said.
Jeanette Aw joins Golden Moments
More recently, local actress, filmmaker and pastry chef Jeanette Aw has been named as The new creative director and brand ambassador of Golden Moments.
Commenting on this quote, Josiah said his values resonated with the values of the brand. In addition, she has experience in cooking, as the actress is a baker trained by Le Cordon Bleau.
He also starred in the Golden Moments film ad, where he wrote, directed and acted in the brand’s first short film to be released at the time.
As a fervent fan of Golden Moments, it should be noted that he has since joined the Golden Moments family.
On Mother’s Day, Jeanette debuts as the face of Golden Moments, promoting her new Super Mama Rosette Cake.
The luxurious six-inch Rosette cake is smooth and creamy, with delicate layers of charcoal butter cream, count gray floral sponge and pure Maian Shan Wang durian puree.
Adhering to these special occasions is important, because “sales usually peak between 300 and 400 percent” during this period, Josiah revealed, adding that they will be introducing another Father’s Day cake.
Struggles before success
In 2018, Golden Moments received $ 1 million in funding from Ivan Lee, who is also the founder of Thai Express Group.
Josiah counts on his lucky stars to be able to find an investor and mentor who believes in him and the business. Beyond being a sounding board, Ivan leverages his knowledge and experience by providing advice and support, guiding him closely on his business journey.
Although the brand itself has been successful today, its initial journey was not a bed of roses.
“When I started, the people around me were dubious and skeptical about how a consumer goods company would last (fast consumer products) looking to succeed. With optimism, I chose to believe in vision and mission, as well in the potential of what was beginning ”.
He ignored the curses and clung to their weapons. Today, Golden Moments has become a household name that is synonymous with Durian delights.
When asked about the challenges of the early days, he said that to be new to the industry, he had to be constantly on the ground. This meant being practical in every aspect, from manufacturing, production forecasting, inventory, compliance, even branding.
Predicting production in particular was a real challenge, Josiah shared. While increasing sales is usually good news for the company, it can also be a real challenge.
When this time of year arrives, the team is very busy. They would receive 300 to 400 deliveries per day, reaching a maximum of 600 deliveries per day.
Carrying out the logistics then became another challenge, mimicking a domino effect.
“We had to meet with 10 different logistics partners to work and establish a framework for good compliance. During peak periods, we make sure to hire more logistics partners to better deal with rising orders, ”he shared.
Another major challenge is hiring the right equipment. It is not easy to hire the right team with the right vision and values to drive the business in the right direction.
Josiah expressed that he is happy to work with a team that is willing to embark on this journey with him and quoted the saying, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.
Amazing gold despite the Covid-19
When Covid-19 arrived last year, it marked one of the most difficult times the company has had since its inception.
“Our booths at the Mid-Autumn Festival were affected and we had to put things in line and (move) there. There were 300 to 400 deliveries on demand every day, and the team had to make sure that all orders were fulfilled on time and accurately ”.
Although there were no emerging booths, Golden Moments managed to set a sales record $ 1.5 million a month.
This could also be attributed to the unique and interesting mooncake flavors he introduced last year such as Lychee Martini, D24 Durian and Docello Hazelnut.
That same year, he also partnered with home-made jewelry brand SK Jewelery to launch a limited-edition 24K Mao Shan Wang snow-skinned truffle sandwich that costs a whopping $ 888. dollars.
According to his marketing research, this limited edition set, which came with a 24-carat gold bar, is the “most expensive milk cake in Singapore and probably in Asia.”
It’s also interesting to note that Golden Moments has successfully “sold out” all of the moon cakes during the Fall Festival over the past four years, demonstrating the popularity of their moon cakes.
Durian is without a doubt the king of fruits, and it is no exaggeration to say that Golden Moments has come a long way in successfully becoming the king of durian desserts in Singapore.
Featured Image Credit: Golden Moments