Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Marble Slab Creamery at BUGIS+ - Background and Origins

Back in the 70's when I was in Elementary school, the ice cream we fantasize about were : Cornetto ice cream cone, Magnolia milk bars, Moos ice cream, Paddle Pop popsicle. 

Then comes the 80's and 90's and brands like 
  1. Swensen's (founded in San Francisco, California in 1948) 
  2. Häagen-Dazs (founded in New York, USA in 1961)

  3. Ben & Jerry's (founded in USA in 1978), 
  4. Andersen's Of Denmark Ice Cream (founded in Solvang, California in 1978), 
  5. New Zealand Natural Premium Ice Cream (founded in Christchurch, New Zealand in 1984)
  6. Baskin-Robbins (founded in California, USA in 1945)
came into the Singapore market and gave the concept of ice cream a whole new definition.

Now that we have progress into the year 2013, the playing field for the ice cream industry has completely shifted from a mass market to a customer centric approach, where the customer having develop more sophisticated tastes, are more health conscious, therefore more proactive in determining the flavor they desire. 

Hence we have Retail Artisanal Ice Cream Parlours sprouting from within Retail Shopping Malls, serving healthy less sugar, less fat, natural ingredients ice creams like that found in this month's feature : Marble Slab Creamery

Ownership - Marble Slab Creamery is a Master Franchise owned in Singapore by Thirtythree Pte Ltd with Ms Li Li Hui as its Managing Director in July 2009, Ms Li is a former Corporate Finance Lawyer turned business entrepreneur. 

Thirtythree Pte Ltd owns Marble Slab Creamery franchise here in Singapore wef July 2009 for 15 years on a renewable basis. Although Ms Li does not have any Food & Beverage experience when she bought the franchise, she does bring with her many years of experience in Retail Franchising. Two other partners has stakes in Thirtythree Pte Ltd. Marble Slab Creamery is a popular brand in the USA.

Ownership of Other Brands - Apart from Marble Slab Creamery, there is Maggie Moo's (located at Bugis Junction & Tampines One) owned by Thirtythree Pte Ltd,

and hic'Cup - a healthy dessert drink stall concept using fresh ingredients with no added sugar, colorings, flavors, to make super fruit smoothies, yakult infused fruit blends, premium and classic ice blended drinks. 

Positioning - Marble Slab Creamery is a happy dessert place for people from all walks of life, who wants to indulge in a little happiness. The company believes in the Slab Concept - the customers choose their favorite ice cream with their favorite choice of Mix-ins (nuts, fruits, chocolates). Marble Slab Creamery has a wide selection of about 40 Mix-ins to enable customers to customize and create their own flavor. 

Apart from these three brands Hiccup, Maggie Moo's, Marble Slab Creamery, the company is in talks to own and develop other brands. Thirtythree Pte Ltd hopes to make Marble Slab Creamery a super premium brand in the region here, and a premier choice.

Outlets - Today, there are a total of 10 Marble Slab Creamery outlets here in Singapore, and the company has plans to open new outlets in the near future, as well as in South East Asia region in the later half of 2013. 

Menu Planning - currently managed by Thirtythree's Franchise Management team (handling functions like brand management, operations, personnel) in Singapore with active input from the USA HQ. New flavors developed in local market may be introduced but subject to USA guidelines.

Menu Expansion - The company is actively launching new flavors every season. In early 2013 the company launched new flavor : King of Durian, together with 4 new seasonal flavors in the Tasty Creations Menu (available till 31 Aug 2013 only) namely :

  1. Salted Caramel - Salted Caramel ice cream hand mixed with bananas, Caramel, cake chunks. 
  2. Rose Macaron - Rose Macaron ice cream hand mixed with assorted sprinkles, mini marshmallows, marshmallow toppings.
  3. Lemon Puff - Lemon Puff  ice cream hand mixed with fresh strawberries, cake chunks, strawberries sauce. 
  4. Kickapoo Float - Kickapoo Float ice cream hand mixed with Oreo's, assorted sprinkles, mini marshmallows. (The company does sometimes collaborate with external parties e.g. Pokka to launch new flavors e.g. Kickapoo Float. )

Marble Slab Creamery launched its Celebration Platter in May 2013, made with top 10 favorite ice cream flavors such as the flavors below :
(Note : The flavors may change based on the seasonal availability of fruits.)
    • Vanilla
    • Double Dark Chocolate 
    • Cheesecake
    • Birthday Cake
    • Coffee
    • Chocolate Swiss
    • Strawberry
    • Blackberry
    • Cool Mint
    • Red Velvet Cake
    Menu Items - may vary between the 10 Marble Slab Creamery outlets. There are a total of :

    • 18 creations  for the Ice Cream Cakes - 9 standard flavor with customization available

    • Mixins  - about 40 types 

    • 50 ice cream flavors in total. However, at any one time, only 25 flavors are made available at each creamery outlet.

    • Shakes are a customize option - customer choose their ice cream flavors to be made into a shake. 
    • Currently there is no yogurt available yet. 

    Kitchen Staff - Three  skilled Ice Cream Chefs prepare raw ingredients and ice cream mix at the company's Central Kitchen at Tai Seng daily. 

    Training - All kitchen staff are trained locally at the company's Central Kitchen at Tai Seng. Creamery outlet service staff undergo Operations Training (conducted by the Franchise Management Team )  & Food Hygiene course. 

    New flavors - The company uses social media to ask fans what new flavors they like. 

    Food Ingredients Sources -  The company sources ingredients from all over the world, Mix-ins from various vendors, e.g. Matcha tea powder from Taiwan to ensure highest quality ingredients. Of the food ingredients 70% are sourced overseas, whilst 30% are sourced locally. 

    Mission Statements - "Freshest Ice Cream on earth" and "Find Happiness Within". 

    At Marble Slab Creamery, the ice cream is  made fresh daily with fresh and quality ingredient without using any preservatives or additives, at its local creamery, offering customers a wide variety of flavors, and a memorable customer experience. This makes Marble Slab Creamery stand out from other Ice Cream Parlour.

    Ordering - ordering can be done 
    1. online via Ordering App on mobile
    2. at the Creamery outlet's Ice Cream counter. 

    For those  orders via Mobile Ordering App - the order goes to company's HQ at Tai Seng Drive, & HQ will instruct the outlet nearest to customer to process the order, making it easier for customer to self collect. 

    Payment - made at Creamery outlet's payment counter upon collection of online order. For in-house dining, payment is made at the payment counter.

    Catering Services - The company offers a Basic Package for 100 pax at $480 only, be it office parties, family gatherings, special events. Customisation for events is also available. 
    Email : catering@marbleslab.com.sg
    Booking of venue (for Special occasions) - Yes 

    Takeaway services - Yes, no minimum order required.

    Tie up with food vendors - Not yet.

    Promotion with banks - The company has a year long tie up with DBS Bank, POSB, Standard Chartered.

    Loyalty Program - The company has an In-Store Loyalty Program on Marble Slab Creamery mobile app. 

    Merchandise on sale - Currently company has no plans yet, but used to have giveaways such as home made pads given to customers during Birthday parties, Anniversary, etc. 

    Target market - everyone (be it families, shoppers, working adults, PMEBs).

    Seating Capacity - 50 pax (for the bigger outlets)

    Signature Items - Tasty Creations,
    freshly made Country Waffles Set 

    Non Halal certified yet as company has two flavors with alcohol.

    Famous Celebrities who love Marble Slab Creamery - Yes, but company declined to mention names.
    (Left : Matilda Goh, Right: Ho Ming Zhen )

    The Marble Slab Creamery can be found at:
    201 Victoria Street #05-02,
    Bugis+, S(188067).
    Tel : 62380721
    For location of the other 9 outlets, visit: http://www.marbleslab.com.sg/store_locator_sg.html

    River JOrdan and JOrdan being groovy on the disco floor !

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