Epoch Times, Singapore Edition (Issue 491, July 25 – August 7, 2014)
By Michael Ng
Epoch Times Staff
Founder of Bakerzin Daniel Tay is now generously sharing his passion for patisserie with food lovers—this time, gourmet cheesecakes—through his Cat and the Fiddle online shop, with whole gourmet cheesecakes going for as low as S$19.90.
Creative as always, his repertoire of cheesecakes ranges from classic offerings to wilder options containing martini, brandy, rum and vodka; there are twelve delectable choices in all as of today. There is even a creamy durian cheesecake for local flavour lovers.
Cat and the Fiddle, which sells direct to consumers, started in February this year, after Daniel, 43, started the Foodgnostic wholesale business last December to cater to restaurants and hotels. Daniel wanted to offer good cakes to consumers at affordable prices – hence the online shop.
Daniel has made a name for himself for his upscale bakery chain Bakerzin that he started in 1998 when he was 25 years old. Bakerzin’s menu has greatly expanded to include salads, soups, pasta and main courses. It now has nine outlets in Singapore and five outlets in Indonesia.
What drove him to resign from Bakerzin last year to start his new venture? “Expensive rental, expensive labour, utility costs and all have become the biggest problem for retailers,” Daniel remarked.
“I want to make tasty food affordable to people.” With Foodgnostic and Cat and the Fiddle, Daniel is able to offer businesses and consumers food items at factory price. “How else can you get a whole cheesecake at S$19.90?”
Daniel is confident of his new wholesale business and online shop. “Literally through word-of-mouth, consumers spread the news around especially when my cakes are cheap and good.”
“Within a few months of starting the Cat and the Fiddle online shop, I have consumers who are below twenties buying from me; they don’t have to think (about the price). They can share with their friends, each (piece) costing just two dollars.”
“That’s where the business model is. Everybody can afford to buy. Even low income people can afford twenty dollars for a complete cake.”
Why choose cheesecake as the anchor food item?
“I used to have a cake called Sumatra, which most people don’t know what it is and I have to explain to them. But with cheesecakes, everyone knows. I do not have to educate people.”
“There is a lot Internet cake shops selling cheesecakes. But there aren’t many that sell cakes with a personality. I believe that my cakes have a personality as I have been in this business for a long time. There is assurance and trust of quality of my cakes.”
Cat and the Fiddle currently sells thousands of cakes per month—just six months into business. They have just launched a new flavour—the Milo Dinosaur, complete with a video on YouTube on how to eat the cake.
Daniel intends to strengthen his foothold in Singapore before venturing overseas. He has plans to go to Vietnam, with customers from Maldives wanting to import his cakes. Daniel hopes to export the Singapore brand through his creations.
“I will also start classes in future to teach people about baking, tasting, understanding ingredients, etc. Many people still don’t know the difference between butter and margarine.” Food lovers in Singapore are looking forward to Daniel’s bakery classes.
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