Host Spotlight: From Marketing Executive to Passionate Pastry Chef
Meet Amber, Chef Owner of Yume Patisserie
Amber graduated from National University of Singapore business school and worked as a marketing executive for a few years before deciding to change her career as a pastry chef. She began her formal training with Le Condon Bleu in Japan with award winning Master Chefs from Japan and France to perfect her skills in French pastry.
Upon her return to Singapore, she started an internship with one of Singapore most influential 5-star hotel. During her stint, she worked with award winning chocolate masters and competition chefs and was given the opportunity to participate in Philippines Culinary Cup - plated dessert category.
Every week, we talk to business owners to learn about what drives them to do
what they do, the challenge they face and how they overcame adversity.
1. Tell us about your background: When did you first become inspired to do what you love?
I started exploring making desserts even as a child. One of my first few desserts was mango pudding which I had learned off an old recipe book when I was in primary 1 or 2. To my surprise, my parents - especially my father - enjoyed it tremendously! I felt that that sense of approval was very important
and I really enjoyed the feeling of validation. More than that, I feel this sense of joy whenever I see people eating desserts I make and it was precisely this joy that drove my passion when I was young.
Following that, I went on to do French pastries and Korean buttercream cupcakes as these have the biggest WOW factor in terms of taste and aesthetics. My goal was not just to make my customers happy but for them to experience a “wow” experience they will never forget.
2. What made you decide to open your own store?
After graduating from university, I first started working in a tech startup for a short period of time before moving to a SME as a marketing executive. Although the pay is really good, the environment didn’t suit me and even though I worked very long hours from 9am-11pm, I didn’t get much sense of achievement.
Despite my busy work schedule, I found myself baking whenever I had the time and sold pastries to my friends and handled corporate orders. That’s when I knew that pastries were a joy for me and how wonderful it would be for me to do that every day instead of only during my free time. What better way to do that than to open my own store!
3. How has Yume Patisserie impacted your community and the people who support it?
Before I went for my formal training at Le Condon Bleu Japan Tokyo, my friends were always telling me that the pastries I made were always macaroons and nothing else. By attending Cordon Bleu, I learned the fundamentals and intricacies of French pastries and perfecting my craft. Since then, my family and friends have started seen how my pastries have transformed and show a lot more support as they learned that for me, being a pastry chef is not only just an interest but a passion.
I also decided to hold master classes as I want to help people who are either interested or simply curious about baking to realize the joys just as I did. In fact, quite a sizeable number of my students hope to become a full-time baker and I hope that through my personal life story, I’ll be able to inspire them to pursue their dreams.
4. What made you want to pursue your passion and
become a host?
Convincing my family that being a pastry chef –as compared to a more stable life corporate job - was a very, very tough choice. In fact, this was only possible after years of persuasion and showing on a day-to- day basis that I love baking. I had to show that I have a strong passion for pastries, and this is what I want with my life. It took me a very long time to convince my folks, friends and my then partner to support me to go on this journey but I have zero regrets about my decision since that day.
The decision to start my own store was one of the toughest decisions I had to make in my life. In order to pay for the down payment of the store, I had to use almost all of my life savings and took a very heavy pay cut from my full-time marketing career to my hotel job and subsequently own my own shop.
Setting up my own business is very tough, but the most important part for me is that I have the support of my family and that was what keeps me going every day.
5. Did you face a lot of rejection from your parent and friends?
When I first told my parents that I wanted to do attend a local culinary school, my family was very apprehensive about the idea as my family was concerned over committing another 2 years of my life to studying for a diploma. Furthermore, I had made a few career changes and did not have the luxury of time. As a compromise, I proposed a fast-forward program in Japan which is super intensive but it only took 3 months.
6. Where do you see Yume Patisserie in the future?
The logo of Yume Patisserie is a humming bird which represents courage – the courage to dream. I see myself opening a chain of F&B concepts that does everything from fine dining dessert bars to cafes and a bar. Oh and not to forget an area that features live cooking and baking!
7.What advice can you give to people who want create a business from doing what they love?
You will suffer a lot; don’t even think of becoming rich from starting your own business unless it stems from passion. But so long as your passion drives you every day, some day you will get there. You can blame the world for your circumstances but so long as you stay positive, you’ll be able to conquer everything. Every day, one step at a time, stay positive, push yourself one step further and eventually you’ll be able to be able to achieve your dreams.
Amber is the proud owner of Yume Patisserie, which specializes in Custom cakes, Korean buttercream, fondant cakes as well as French pastries.
To find out more about their master classes available, click here (https://www.yumepatisserie.com/masterclass).
Use Promo code AUG10 to get 10% off your signup in this August (only valid for the first 5 students)