Jiawen Lin | Arc-en-ciel Pâtisserie
Jiawen is the chef owner of Arc-en-ciel Pâtisserie. We learn about her journey from the corporate world to starting a home based business during COVID-19, to finally opening a store in a heritage shophouse. Read on to learn about her sweet life adventure.
1. What's your story?
I’m Jiawen, the chef owner of Arc-en-ciel Pâtisserie, a new cake restaurant located in a heritage shophouse along Neil Road. I have been in the F&B industry for close to a decade, during which I have worked with some amazing chefs, all who have shaped me into the pastry chef that I am today. The interesting story behind my journey is that I started out working in corporate marketing before taking a six-month sabbatical holiday that totally changed my life because that spurred me on to enrol in a pastry school in Singapore, and since then it’s been an exciting sweet life adventure!
After pastry school, I knew I wanted to have a little shop on my own but also understood that craft takes time to master so I chose to work with some amazing chefs whose mentorship helped me make my little dream a reality. About three years ago, I felt I was ready to start out on my own and started small with my home based business. When the pandemic stabilised, I made the decision to move out of the comfort of my home and found a little cozy space at 37A Neil Road for my cake business. It’s been an awesome journey so far, a lot different from working for someone but extremely fulfilling!
2. What’s the most satisfying part about what you do?
I love it when customers enjoy the cakes I make and leave the shop with big happy smiles.
F&B is a happy business because food is what makes the world go around. Even more so when it’s desserts! That’s also why my business tagline is “sweets for bigger smiles”.
It is precisely my customers’ smiles that make my day and is also the main reason why I’m doing what I’m doing today.
3. What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve faced and how did you move forward?
During the covid years when I was home based, there was a period of time when home-based businesses boomed. My home-based cake business saw a spike in sales during the same time but unfortunately, once borders opened, I saw a stark difference in sales. I figured that after two years, people did not want to continue to be stuck at home and wanderlust could finally be fulfilled. Also, with the cakes that I was selling, people preferred very much to enjoy it as an afternoon tea break outside than in their homes. It was then extremely clear to me that the home-based business was no longer working and was the time to start a brick and mortar cake shop. Sometimes challenges present themselves for new opportunities to happen!
4. What's the best piece of business advice you would like to share?
Learn to delegate and accept that things will not always be perfect.
5. How has working with Harvest Accounting and using Xero impacted your business / life?
I found Harvest Accounting when I was looking for expert help for my tax filing needs. I spoke to Bryan and Jacintha shortly after that and since then, the finance side of the business has been extremely easy and straightforward.
The Harvest Accounting team has been very helpful, whenever I have questions, they were always quick to answer and address them.
Thank you Harvest Accounting for making the finance side of my business so easy!
6. Shameless plug for your business:
If you are looking for cakes that are both beautiful to look at and taste great, come by our little space. We are big on serving our customers belly smiles, because we believe our cakes will give you the ultimate cake eating experience filled with only bigger smiles! Have fun locating us, we are on the second floor at 37A Neil Road (p.s. Open the green door on the second floor and we’re sure your belly will be thanking you right after that!).