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Leave job, start bakery: New trend at work

  • Published: Jan 3, 2014 18:20
  • Writer: Jon Fernquest | 3,586 viewed

This young cream puff baker's marketing touch includes a distinctive brand identity & continual expansion with new branches.

Choux pastry puffs, hot out of the oven.

SMALL BUSINESS 

Dreaming big with small pastry puffs

For some young people, desserts are a lifestyle and a business. Why did these young people quit their nice office job to open small bakeries? Has the experience of being their own boss been as sugar-coated as they imagined? Read on, to find the answers.....

Tanawat Damnernthong, who left his marketing consulting job at a big corporation to start his own small bakery.

"This is a total downgrade from my office job," Tanawat Damnernthong said with a laugh. "I do miss my old work culture - and my old salary."

Many years ago, Tanawat first took a bite of a choux pastry in Singapore, which left such an impression that it led him to this moment. Despite having zero culinary experience, he left his full-time job as a well-paid associate consultant at marketing consulting firm Vitamins Consulting, to start his own brand of choux puffs at Silom Complex. And although he may not have the know-how regarding food, he is more than well-versed in understanding the market and how to run a venture, especially with his business administration degree from Thammasat University.

"Hardly any of my friends work at companies anymore, they're all doing their own thing and getting into start-ups. I think it's a generation thing," he said.

"It resonates with many people of our generation because we're not from Generation X. We're no longer loyal to corporate jobs and are less likely to spend decades at the same place because today, there are many more options for us unlike in our parents' time."

Young adults seem to feed on the fact that you must own your own business to make more money and Tanawat explained that other than being a male ego thing and having to deal with the pressure of being the breadwinner, a food business requires lower resources than other fields. He revealed that a few million baht can get you started in the food profession.

However, it's also one where human resources will always be an issue.

"Unfortunately, the service industry is a lot of headaches and requires a lot of little details," he said.

"Ask anyone who is a baker or restaurateur and I can guarantee you every one of them will have some sort of problem with their staff - it's very hard to find good staff these days.

"This industry's also the slowest to grow, however, it's more manageable."

His brand colour has a solid blue and manly persona to imply that Choux Creme's cream puffs are modelled on the original French desserts - choux a la creme - unlike the more Japanese kinds we see from his yellow-hued competitor.

The brand has done well to create a distinctive identity thanks to Tanawat's marketing touch, but the struggle to break even is still there.

More branches always have to be in the pipeline because more branches equals more credibility according to the Thai mentality.

"It's a short-term sacrifice, but one that will be worth it in the long run. I'm just a boy who dreams big, who wants to make more money and have something to call my own," said Tanawat.

Choux Creme Basementfloor, Silom Complex, Silom Road. Opendaily 10.30am-10pm. Call 082-455-7083.

Read about more young start-up bakery owners at http://www.bangkokpost.com/lifestyle/food-features/387701/sweet-men