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.
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
Learn from listening
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associate: someone you work with, especially in a business - ที่ร่วมมือกัน
baker: a person skilled in making breads and cakes -
bakery: a place where bread and cakes are made and/or sold - ร้านขนมปัง,โรงทำขนมปัง
branch: an office or shop representing a large company or organisation in a particular area - สาขา
brand: a type of product made by a particular company - ตรา, ยี่ห้อ
breadwinner: a person who supports their family with the money they earn - ผู้ที่เป็นหลักในการหาเงินเลี้ยงครอบครัว
break even: when a business earns just enough money to pay for its costs, not making a profit or a loss; cover the expense, make money to cover the cost - คุ้มทุน, คุ้ม, ไม่ได้ไม่เสีย, ไม่เสียดุลย์
competitor: a person, team or company that is competing against others - ผู้แข่งขัน, คู่แข่ง
complex: an area that has several parts - พื้นที่ประกอบด้วยส่วนต่าง ๆ
consultant: a person who knows a lot about a particular subject and is employed to give advice about it to other people - ผู้ให้คำปรึกษา
consulting: giving expert advice about something to other people - ให้คำปรึกษา
corporate: involving large companies - บริษัทใหญ่
credibility: the degree to which something can be believed or trusted - ความน่าเชื่อถือ,ความน่าไว้วางใจ
culinary: connected with cooking or kitchens - เกี่ยวกับการทำอาหาร
culture: the customs and beliefs, art, way of life and social organization of a particular country or group - วัฒนธรรม
decades: periods of ten years - เป็นสิบๆปี
dessert: sweet food eaten at the end of a meal - ของหวาน, ขนมหวาน
detail: the small facts or features of something - รายละเอียด, ส่วนเล็กๆ น้อยๆ, ส่วนย่อย
distinctive: easy to recognize because it is different from other things - พิเศษ, มีลักษณะเฉพาะ
downgrade: to reduce someone or something to a lower rank or position - ลดความสำคัญ
ego: your idea or opinion of yourself, or a great feeling of your own importance and ability - ภาพลักษณ์แห่งตน, ความถือตัวเองว่าสำคัญ, การถือว่าตัวเองเหนือกว่าคนอื่น
experience: the knowledge and skill that you have gained through doing something for a period of time - ประสบการณ์
full-time: a job that uses 40 or more hours a week (opposite: part-time) -
generation: a group of people in society who are born and live around the same time - รุ่น (คนรุ่นต่างๆ)
guarantee: to be certain that something will happen - รับรอง, รับประกัน
headache: a person or thing that causes worry or trouble - ปัญหา
hues: degrees of lightness, darkness, strength, etc. of colours - ความมืดหรือความสว่างของสี
human resources: people's skills and abilities, seen as something a company, an organisation, etc. can make use of - กำลังคน, ทรัพยากรมนุษย์
identity: who or what somebody/something is - ชื่อ เอกลักษณ์
imply: to suggest that you think something without saying it directly - บอกเป็นนัย, แสดงนัย
impression: an opinion or feeling that you have about someone or something you have seen but do not know very well - ความรู้สึก
in the pipeline: working on it now, but not finished -
issue: a problem that needs to be considered - ประเด็น
know-how: knowledge; knowing how to do something - ความรู้และทักษะ; ความรู้หรือวิธีการ
loyal: firm and not changing in your friendship with or support for a person or an organization, or in your belief in your principles - ซื่อสัตย์
manageable: possible to deal with or control - จัดการได้,ควบคุมได้
mentality: a particular attitude or way of thinking - จิตใจ,ความคิด,เชาวน์,ปัญญา
model: something such as a system that can be copied by other people - น่าถือเป็นแบบอย่าง, ต้นแบบ
model on: to use something as an example or model to help build another similar thing -
model on: to make a copy of something - จำลองแบบ
moment: a very short period of time; a particular time or occasion - ชั่วขณะ, โอกาสสำคัญ
options: choices - ทางเลือก
original: the first of something - เดิม, แบบฉบับ
oven: the part of a cooker/stove shaped like a box with a door on the front, in which food is cooked or heated - เตาอบ
pastry: a food made by mixing flour, fat, and water. The mixture is rolled flat and used for making pies and other food; a small cake made using pastry - ขนมปิ้งรสหวานที่ทำด้วยแป้งหมี่
persona: the aspects of a person's character that they show to other people, especially when their real character is different -
pressure: a worried feeling that you get when you have to deal with a difficult or complicated situation - ความกดดัน
profession: a type of job that needs special training or skill, especially one that needs a high level of education - อาชีพ
puff: a hollow piece of light pastry that is filled with cream, jam, etc. - ขนมพายที่มีไส้
resonate: to produce an emotional effect on someone; to remind somebody of something; to be similar to what somebody thinks or believes - ตรงใจ, โดนใจ
resources: things such as money, workers and equipment that can be used to help achieve something - ทรัพยากร
restaurateur: someone who owns or manages a restaurant - เจ้าของร้านอาหาร
revealed: made known or showed somthing that was surprising or that was previously secret - เปิดเผย
sacrifice: important or valuable things given up, so that you or other people can have or do something else - ความเสียสละเพื่อส่วนรวม
salary: a fixed amount of money that you earn each month or year from your job - เงินเดือน
staff: workers employed by a person or organisation considered as a group - คณะผู้ทำงาน, คนงาน
start up: a new business -
struggle: a very difficult task that you can do only by making a great effort - ความพยายาม
touch: a small detail that is added to something in order to improve it or make it complete -
unfortunately: making you sad or disappointed, or getting you into a difficult position - เป็นที่น่าเสียดาย
venture: a new activity, usually in business, which involves risk or uncertainty - ธุริกิจเสี่ยงแต่สามารถทำกำไรได้
well-paid: receives a good salary or pay for the work they do -
well-versed: know something very well -
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