Sunday, May 3, 2015

Elyon Cakes at 126 Bukit Merah Lane 1 #01-202 S(150126) - The Founders Part I


Magdeline Chin (L), Anne Chin (R)


The Introduction to Elyon Cakes 
Elyon Cakes located at 126 Bukit Merah Lane 1, #01-202 is a boutique cafe specialising in specialty cakes, waffles, muffins, cupcakes, whole cakes, sliced cakes, tarts with exotic flavors & Peranakan influences. 
Co-Founders Chin sisters - Anne Chin & Magdeline Chin (both Christians) come from a traditional Peranakan family with rich Peranakan heritage with dad, a Hakka & mum, a Teochew. Both sisters come from the financial banking industry. For 10 years Magdeline Chin has been baking from home, having developed a broad clientele base from the corporate world, including key industries such as the healthcare sector. 
On 1st May 2013, both sisters took a bold step, put up their corporate socks &  took up a 3 year lease with the landlord at 126 Bukit Merah Lane 1, #01-202, pay a four figure rental to the landlord & set up Elyon Cakes, with Anne Chin specialising in muffins, cupcakes & tarts whilst Magdeline Chin specialises in whole cakes, sliced cakes. 

The Beginning 
Peranakan sisters Anne Chin & Magdeline Chin started Elyon Cakes on 1 May 2013 at a HDB shophouse located at Blk 126, Bukit Merah Lane 1, #01-202 on a 3-year lease from the landlord. 

Prior to this opening of a retail shopfront, younger sister Magdeline Chin had operated a home-based bakery business for close to about 10 years. She finally decided to set up a retail front to cater to demanding needs of her growing customer base. Back then whilst running the home-based bakery, Magdeline Chin does a lot of sponge based cakes, cupcakes, butter cakes. 
Since operating this retail shopfront at 126 Bukit Merah Lane 1, the Chin sisters demarcated their individual roles at Elyon Cakes, with older sister Anne Chin (above) as the pastry chef concentrating on baking muffins, cupcakes & tarts, whilst younger sister Magdeline Chin does the whole cakes.
Positioning  
With a physical retail shopfront, it became easy for the Founding Chin sisters to reach out not only to retail walk in customers but also to corporate customers. 
In addition Elyon Cakes has also developed their wholesale market where they supply cakes, muffins, cupcakes to cafes in Singapore depending on the customer demographics of each cafe. 

In the corporate sector, Elyon Cakes supplies mainly to key industries such as the healthcare industry where the customers are very health conscious & are concerned with the amount of sugar used in the bakery's offerings of cookies, tarts, sliced cakes, cupcakes & muffins. 
The Founders at Elyon Cakes value add & does customisation for these customers depending on the occasion (be it events such as farewell party, weddings or birthday party) & the budget of the client. 
For Wedding orders, the Founders of Elyon Cakes work directly with the wedding couple & their wedding organiser to establish the wedding theme, & adds a fair amount of customisation of the cakes. Elyon Cakes supply the cakes & cupcakes for these wedding events. 

"Elyon Cakes" is a brand that the Founders come up with when they decided to open a retail physical shopfront to grow & stoke their passion for baking after having spent 10 years running the business from home.

Background of Founders 
The Chin sisters come from a Peranakan family. The matriarch of the family, Mrs Chin, has been baking cakes in the family kitchen since the Chin sisters were very young. 
Both Anne Chin & Magdeline Chin (above) comes from the corporate sector but both left in 2012 to start Elyon Cakes together. Magdeline Chin used to work in the commercial banking sector for more than 20 years whilst Anne Chin used to work in the investment banking sector for 20 years as well.
  
Many of the recipes used at Elyon Cakes has been passed down from generations to generations, from their great grandmother to their mother & now passed to the Chin sisters. A good example is the recipe for pineapple tarts that came from their great grandmother that is an authentic Nonya recipe. 
The cakes served here at Elyon Cakes are all hand made, Founders Anne & Magdeline Chin shared that very few machinery, equipment, gadgets are used in the preparation & production process of these cakes & bakes. The piping, frosting & designs of the cakes & bakes at Elyon Cakes are still very much done manually, & not automated, they are all made from scratch. 
Magdeline Chin has 10 years' experience in home based baking prior to starting Elyon Cakes. Most of Magdeline Chin's Pastry & baking skills as well as her recipes are derived from her conscientious self study, mostly through self taught. 
Some recipes come from observing her mother Mrs Chin baking at home since she was a little girl, then there are some recipes that are developed from the constant research & development & fine-tuning at Elyon Cakes. Every week they set aside time for new recipes. 
Besides the two Chin sisters, their older brother does help out in Elyon Cakes whilst managing his own business. 
Mrs Chin (above), their Peranakan Teochew mother, is the official food taster (as she has an astute taste-bud) at Elyon Cakes & gives her stamp of approval for cakes that she deem good enough to be sold here at Elyon Cakes. 


The Ownership 
Currently both sisters Anne & Magdeline Chin own equal shares in Elyon Cakes. They do not have a holding company at all. To date Elyon Cakes is the only brand they handle now. 
Business Expansion 
Besides setting up a retail bakery shop-front in Elyon Cakes, the Founders are keen to explore (in the future) setting up F&B restaurant offering traditional authentic Peranakan Cuisine based on the authentic Nonya Peranakan recipes passed down from their family through many generations, by riding on their mother's culinary skills (*assuming resources permit as labour is tight in the F&B market right now.)
Despite being in the F&B industry for only 1.5 years, they are indeed privileged to have been invited to participate in the Food & Hotel Asia Fair in April 2014 held at the Singapore Expo. 


Currently this outlet at 126 Bukit Merah Lane 1 is the flagship store for Elyon Cakes. The Founders do have the vision to expand the Elyon Cakes brand, but for a start wishes to establish the brand awareness at this flagship store before moving forward to open more outlets. Given the tight labor market in Singapore, the Founders do face difficulties in hiring part-timers during peak festive seasons, more so they do foresee difficulties in staff hiring if they were to expand into other locations. 
Menu Planning 
Magdeline Chin plans what cakes to bake for the day, sometimes on an impromptu basis. She does the whole cakes, whilst Anne Chin bakes the cupcakes in various flavors for the day. As for the muffins, both Founders bear the task together to come up with mouth watering delicious muffins in assorted flavours. For the sliced cakes Magdeline Chin will come up with ideas as to what flavors to bake for the day. Elyon Cakes have themes that are based on English & American influences, but also depend on demographics of the customers around here. 

Menu Changes & Expansion

  • At Elyon Cakes, the cupcakes comes in 6 to 7 flavors, muffins come in 6 flavors, whole cakes come in 3 to 4 flavors daily besides the pre-order cakes. 
  • To date, there are a total of more than 20 items on the Elyon Cakes Menu. 
  • Besides cakes, Elyon Cakes serves Tuna sandwiches, Waffles in various flavors & toppings (such as Ice Cream, Kaya, Cheese, Blueberries, Peanut Butter).



Co-Founder & Pastry Chef Anne Chin 


Co-Founder & Pastry Chef Magdeline Chin 


The Signatures 
At Elyon Cakes, the Signatures include :  
1. Lemongrass Coconut cake (made with fresh coconut & lemongrass carefully grated to ensure the fibre parts are tiny) has a dense spongy  texture with a strong lemongrass & coconut flavor. 
2. Red Velvet with frosting made using cream & cheese & vanilla to lend a smooth silky texture with creamy cheesy flavor. 
3. Banana Walnut cake made using Del Monte banana batter mix with crushed walnut then baked. The flavor of the Del Monte banana comes out pretty strongly in this recipe. 
4. Galaxy cake is made using vanilla base batter with various colors piped lengthwise side by side then baked. To it is added the fresh cream and cocktail fruits then rolled into Swiss roll & served in half inch slices. 
5. Blueberry tarts made with Blueberry compote as tart filling.
6. Salted Caramel muffins  
Much of the Chin sisters culinary influences come from Mrs Chin their mum. From a young age Anne & Magdeline up in the kitchen watching mum prepare food using whole raw ingredients like a true blue Nonya. This becomes like their mantra when they started operations at Elyon Cakes - using whole real ingredients to make their cakes. For their black & white chocolate chip muffin, they use real dark & white chocolate chips. 
For their cupcakes they actually layered the cupcake with alternate layers of batter & fruit compote so customers can taste the real fruit in between the sponge layers. 

Elyon Cakes launch waffles serve with ice cream, kaya, chocolate, fruit compote. Their waffle tastes more flavorful as they use butter in their recipe. 

As for their cheese cake, they use premium Philadelphia Cheese so the cakes has a smoother texture. 

The Chin sisters do customise their cakes according to the customers needs & theme. Their personalise service, unique flavors, delectable concoction using real ingredients made from scratch is what makes Elyon Cakes stand out from the other confectionery bakery establishments.
Elyon Cakes is located at :
Blk 126, Bukit Merah Lane 1,
#01-202, S(150126)
Tel : 62747422
Email : elyoncakes@singnet.com.sg
www.elyoncakes.com
Opening Hours : 
Mon to Sat    9am to 7.30pm
Sunday (Closed)

River JOrdan and JOrdan being groovy on the disco floor !

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