Angel Phoo gained success at a young age with her amazing baking abilities. Her work ethics and attitude not only inspired me, but it captured the hearts of Yangon foodies. I myself haven’t tried her famous crepe cakes, but that is one of my goals when I go back – just order a whole bunch of cakes!
Here’s my interview with her.
Hi Angel, thank you for doing this interview with me! You’re so successful at a young age and your work ethics and attitude has not only inspired me but has inspired many people. Correct me if I’m wrong, but you started off with making Crepe Cakes, didn’t you? Why did you decide to start off your business with making Crepe Cakes?
To be honest, I didn’t really aim to have my own bakery – I remembered attending a short baking class which took only a day or two at Junction Mawtin’s Valentin after my high-school summer year, and I started to bake crepe cakes. I decided to apply the methods that I had learned from the baking class, even though I could not remember the procedure and ingredients since it’s been a long time. Out of nowhere, it turned out really well and I took a photo and post it on Facebook. Then I got comments from my friends and they asked if I was selling or treating them to taste these crepe cakes.
I discussed with my parents whether I should give it a go and start selling, and they fully supported me to start the business with my environment and surroundings. Luckily I gained attention from the Rainbow Crepe Cake and people kept sending me messages to order them. The orders had gone crazy and I couldn’t even handle it – because I started out with 2-3 baking staff. So people who wanted to eat my Crepe Cake had to wait for a 3 or 4 days or even a week.
Later on, my passion and goals of having a bakery made me do it, so I continued on with establishing this bakery by putting in all the effort and getting the opportunity to upgrade my own perfect bakery.
What were some of the challenges that you’ve faced as a baker and as a business owner?
The unforgettable challenge that I’ve faced was when I haven’t attended any decoration classes – it was just a normal Rainbow Crepe Cake Class which is only taught by baking a crepe cake. But most of the customers would order a cake for a birthday and that they highly needed decoration on the cake. For me I can just bake and not include decorations, therefore I hired a decorator and the decorator taught me really well. The difficulties I had to face was my decorator missing her working days and I had to deal with the cakes being decorated on time – which meant that I learned to decorate cakes on my own. She did teach me really well and because of her, I’ve learnt how to decorate cakes on my own.
Best things about baking?
I was an AP Art student at my high school, so that it helped a lot with baking, especially decorating cakes. All these colour combinations, creations and the drawings on the cakes taught me during my high school year, therefore I applied it really well I guess. The best thing about baking is, you can create things when it comes to decorations, the colour combinations, the varieties of different taste of cakes – overall you can go crazy and then upgrade as much as you want and then it’s ready to put it on the shelf!
You’ve recently opened up a café as well, how do you balance doing all of this and do you find yourself having to come up with new ideas because there are so many competitions in Yangon now?
Yes, new ideas are always running on my mind 24/7. So what I do is brainstorming; where I have new menus for all the different departments because I am not doing only Cakes – coffee, drinks, European and Thai Cuisine (that’s the most difficult part when it comes to my work hour). And yes there are competitors – pretty much all around Yangon, but I always focus on my work and my menus. I focus on Quality Control, regardless of other competitors – franchises and new shops. But Quality Control is the main key for me. I always care about my quality of my products. I want to set a TREND and be inspiring – but not only am I focusing on the appearance, but also the taste of it. That’s pretty much important to me and who would go for the second time if the appearance is looking good but the taste sucks?
Rainbow is my main theme so I always go crazy with Rainbow and unicorn themes. I always create with something Rainbow when it comes to my new menu.
What do you want to succeed in the next year or so?
New shops, new branches and new work, but not in this field. I want to step into something new. I just want to WORK HARD! I hope I can manage well since I am young and I am afraid that I won’t have an excellent quality to manage a big amount of manpower.
Now let’s have some fun and I’ll ask you 5 random questions.
1. Do you like to use post-it notes? Yes, very – especially when my cake orders up and the important thing to do first to start my day off!
2. Biggest pet peeve? My biggest pet peeve is that I can’t sleep early and wake up late since my high school year until now.
3. What is your song of the week? Bebe Rexha – The Way I are
4. What do you drink for dinner? Water
5. Favourite cake flavour? Vanilla – pretty much all of the light ones, not too sweet ones.
Any final words for people wanting to get into the baking business?
Create, practice more and focus on what you’re doing – not just the baking business. When you start something on your own, don’t give up, work hard no matter what. If there is something wrong, find out the solution and change it. DON’T GIVE UP! “Fall Seven, Stand Up Eight”
Thank you again for taking the time to do this interview with me, it has been a pleasure!
ALL IMAGES TAKEN FROM ANGEL PHOO’S FACEBOOK
FACEBOOK: ANGEL PHOO or COFFEE HEAVEN BY ANGEL PHOO’S BAKERY