I’m sure if you are a baking enthusiast, you would have attended many baking classes in the various baking workshops/schools in Singapore!
So let me make a bold guess and my guess is that you would have at least once attended a class with Anna of Sugar Inc. =P
It was Anna who has gotten mydearbakes hooked into this hobby called baking. Time files! Still remember that mydearbakes first contact with baking was attending a lesson with Sugar Inc!
And… guess what ? Today, mydearbakes has got the good fortune of having an e-interview with Anna herself! =D
In this interview, look forward to know more about Anna herself, her experiences in running Sugar Inc and her plans for the future!
Without further ado, mydearbakes presents to you, the interview with Anna of Sugar Inc!
Thanks for agreeing to an e-interview with mydearbakes!
1. So let’s start with an easy question. How did you first get started with baking? =P
I started baking in university and used to bring cheesecake to share with my friends at our guitar ensemble practices. It was a way to distress from teenage angst and studies, haha.
2. I really admire you how you went on to start up Sugar Inc Baking Workshops. What prompted you to set the baking school?
I started Sugar Inc. as a home business selling cakes back in 2005 and in 2007, I changed its direction. This was because in 2007 I gave birth to my first child and my husband suggested that I teach baking at home so that I could be with my kid and work from home.
Sugar Inc. registered as a hands-on baking workshop business in 2008 onwards. Since I had already been an English teacher and I loved baking so much, we both thought it was something I could do. In 2011, the home business did well enough to open a studio in Tiong Bahru, where we operated for 3.5 years. In mid 2014, I closed the studio to give more attention to two children who are now 5 and 7 years old.
Currently I teach freelance at two or three baking schools, which gives me the ability to be a stay home mom and still continue teaching baking which I love.
3. How was it like in the beginning? Did you find it challenging in setting up Sugar Inc Baking Workshops?
Everything was hard but a lot of things were possible because we had a great team and a lot of supportive customers who followed us year after year. Setting up and running a business felt like setting up a home and family again, with all its joys and struggles, smooth and rough patches.
4. Any memorable or interesting incident to share during your 7 years as head chef-instructor of Sugar Inc Baking Workshops?
I have been very blessed to be on TV, but even more blessed to have the tremendous support of customers on social media who are in constant contact with me. I feel that a business is about providing a service and having a relationship with a community. This is what gives me the most pleasure and the best memories come from the interactions with people who actually use my recipes and have fun during the classes. We have had some hilarious times with butter, sugar, eggs and flour together, some of the jokes that we make in class should not be in print as they are neither in English or fit for young readers.
5. Cool! So do you still bake during your spare time?
I still bake regularly for social gatherings, and as a freelance trainer I continue to write new recipes and work with my partners in the industry to at least teach once or twice a week.
6. Lastly, what’s next in store for you? Venturing overseas?
Currently (Sept 2014) I am in Beijing to teach baking at a cooking school for two weeks. I hope that this opens more roads for me to share what I have learnt, outside Singapore. Baking is becoming very fashionable in Singapore and even home bakers follow world trends in baking thanks to being quite well-travelled and of course the internet. Aside from a common nostalgia for old school cakes like pandan cake, pineapple tarts and kueh lapis, we generally have quite adventurous taste buds due to our cosmopolitan F&B landscape, but maintain a preference for pastries that are lighter and less sweet. This fine balance of good texture, rich flavour and mild sweetness in pastries is something my Singaporean customers have motivated me to attain and I hope to share my recipes overseas more often.
Thank you for your time!
Folks, your attention pls.
I hope you enjoyed reading the interview we have with Anna. =)
Now knowing mydearbakes, I’m sure you know that the fun doesn’t end here. So… all thanks to Anna, we are going to have a giveaway event tomorrow! =D
Check out mydearbakes tomorrow again to find what is the giveaway item and how you can take part in the event!