Bakery in Kuantan selling French cakes and pastries – Health Guild News

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Stumbling Koko Cafe on Instagram, I was impressed, but I wasn’t surprised by the level of detail that French pastry chefs are able to prepare for their desserts, especially with years of training.

The details of the tangerine orange, peach and strawberry pastry made them look like more realistic and semi-realistic versions of real fruits. Their little cakes and pastries also seemed too delicate to eat, like something you’ll find at most high tea points in KL.

Going deeper, I later discovered that this little pastry shop in Kuantan was not even started by professional pastry chefs, but two girls who loved dessert and the art of eating them.

Foster passion

The bakery sells a variety of cakes and delicate cakes / Image Credit: Koko Cafe

Shen worked in an advertising agency, while her partner, Jessin, was previously an art curator. The duo first immersed themselves in the world of F&B in 2014 with the release of their first coffee, Coffee and Art of 90 degrees. Later, in 2016, they started the Koko Cafe right next door and imagined it would be the first quality dessert cafe in Kuantan.

“We love dessert, we like to eat, and at the time, Kuantan didn’t have many places where quality desserts were sold, especially French pastries,” they told Vulcan Post.

Without formal pastry training, Shen and Jessin took classes in KL and Singapore, while experimenting on their own through trial and error. They would cook and sell the pasta on their own until they were ready to incorporate more chefs to help them, which was a challenge in Kuantan.

Many of them were not trained to create French-style pastry shops. However, the founders would train their employees by organizing in-house or online hands-on classes to constantly improve.

These training sessions also aim to educate the team about the quality of the products and services offered by Koko Cafe.

The team is between 18 and 30 years old / Image credit: Koko Cafe

Shen and Jessin pointed out that one of their biggest hurdles in operating a coffee shop in Kuantan was really logistics, especially in acquiring good quality ingredients for their recipes. Since Koko Cafe is branded as Halal pastry, the ingredients must be of good quality, in good condition and must be Halal certified by JAKIM.

These ingredients are not easily accessible in a small town like Kuantan, compared to the wider range of selections available in the Klang Valley, the founders acknowledged. Prices are also usually higher, taking into account the additional logistics charges of your dealer.

“We have to settle for what ingredients we can get in Kuantan. As for the team, we often travel to the Klang Valley to get them, ”the team shared.

Despite this, Koko Cafe’s pastas are more affordable compared to what can be found in the larger cities of KL and Penang. Their small cakes can range from RM13-RM16, a 5-piece macaron box to RM22, and full-size cakes ranging from RM45-RM135.

“Actually, it’s pretty hard to get a good margin when we have to make sure our ingredients are of good quality and also balance the perceived value of our customers in Kuantan,” the team said.

But they are persistent and invest in good machinery and equipment to improve efficiency in the kitchen. Doing so takes fewer hours to produce more products, thus reducing labor costs and improving coffee margins.

Inspiration is everywhere

Koko Cafe desserts require a lot of time and care to make. Take for example these mentioned fruits, the team took 2-3 days to complete, as these designs incorporated many elements.

A man’s cake with a mustache / Image credit: Koko Cafe

The duo explained: “Our little cakes will usually consist of at least 4-5 items, for example, a foam, creamy, whipped ganache, fruit compote, cake base, cake finish (cocoa butter, mirror glass, chocolate shell, etc.). ”

But their desserts are not just the look: each elaborate item must also be delicious and carry a balanced texture as originally intended. With this in mind, the team cannot manufacture pastries in large quantities and each batch is limited to 12-20 pieces, based on pre-orders.

Of course, coffee sells some permanent cakes in its bakery to be purchased by accessible customers and online orders on its website.

Koko Cafe chefs are inspired by objects with which they interact in their daily lives: fruits they see in the market, flowers given away for Mother’s Day and the like. “It’s always something that people can easily relate to. Google is also the easiest place to inspire any idea, ”the team reflected.

Although chefs described their cooking methods as standard cooking procedures, the most important element needed for everything to work is the bakery freezer.

The team shared its worst scenario: “Another of our most feared situations is probably the health of our refrigerator and freezer. Imagine it showing up in the morning just to check that the freezer has stopped and that all of our cakes are melted! ”.

Therefore, freezer temperature checks are done two or three times a day to make sure they are working properly.

Going all over the country

Since KL and Selangor are usually the centers for different F&B experiences, Shen and Jessin plan to climb the Koko Cafe outside of Kuantan one day.

“It’s worth a try, isn’t it? We plan to open a kiosk in the Klang Valley and also in other cities, “they said.” Our last dream is to have a Koko Cafe in every city! “

Aside from expanding, Shen and Jessin have modest plans for their short-term goal: to refine and improve the consistency of their products and improve staff.

There is no absolute answer to whether a business will fail or function, in its current state and in the future. The pandemic has changed the course of business, from offline to online. As long as we continue to evolve over time and always listen to the needs and wants of our customers, it’s worth running all the businesses.

Shen and Jessin, co-founders of Koko Cafe

  • You can find more information about Koko Cafe here.
  • You can read more F&B related content here.

Featured Image Credit: The Koko Cafe Team





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