Conversation with: Mdm Lily and Jeanne Liu – Founders of Rich and Good Cake Shop
By John Stanley Marsh
Bringing home baked goodness to everyone is what this mother-daughter team makes possible at Rich and Good Cake Shop.
Q: You opened as a mother-daughter business back in 1997. What were some of the factors that made you start this family run bakery?
Lily and Jeanne: “Many of our friends and family knew about our passion for baking, they mostly encouraged us to start. Interestingly, our first endeavour was not a smooth process as we did not have formal experience in running a business so it took us some time and effort to get all the aspects of the business in order before we started on the right path. We are very grateful that we have such a great team working behind the scenes and that stood by us throughout the early years. Most are still with us, like our Head Baker who has stuck with us for more than 20 years!”
Q: Your first main outlet is in Kandahar street in Kampong Gelam. Any special reason for selecting that location?
Lily and Jeanne: “We adore the heritage and location at Kampong Gelam, originally we had two outlets in Ang Mio Kio and Bedok in the early 90’s but they did not work out. When we moved to Kandahar Street, we started to attract the crowds from the nearby offices since it is close to the Central Business District (CBD). Crowds who frequent the Bugis area would also drop by and buy or cakes. We are not Halal certified but we do not use any pork or lard products, so we consider ourselves halal-friendly and we have lots of Muslim customers from the area that frequent our bakery.”
Q: Your recipes often have an emphasis on being traditional and simple yet delicious. Do you feel that nostalgia plays a role in making everything taste better?
Lily and Jeanne: “Yes definitely, we make our own kaya paste which consists of the same recipe since we started and that legacy ties in with the tradition of having a flavour which is uniquely Singaporean. We also use real D24 durians for our durian flavoured swiss rolls and many have mentioned that it tastes more authentic. It is always charming when something you eat can rekindle happy memories.”
Q: Other than Swiss Rolls, your confectionery also offers other cakes like Walnut, Carrot and Chiffon cakes. Are there any special stories for choosing these flavours?
Lily and Jeanne: “Chiffon cakes were some of our favourite foods growing up and we only made them on special orders when we first started. Over time, some reporters from Hong Kong visited us and photographed some of our chiffon cakes. Little did we realise, but they published them on a food travel guide and soon many people came along with the guide book wanting to buy our chiffon cakes. We have since made it available to order from our website and so far the response has been great.”
Q: Do you think it is important for people who might not be aware of Singapore’s heritage to try out traditional or seasonal flavours like kaya and durian?
Lily and Jeanne: “It helps them to get to know more about Singaporean flavours and how we enjoy different flavours.”
Q: Are there any new and unique flavours that we can look forward to in the future?
Lily and Jeanne: “We are working on introducing a Birthday series made up of classic round cakes and flavours. We hope to start making them available sometime soon, so do keep a look out!”
Q: In your own opinion, when is the best time to have a slice of Swiss roll? For Breakfast, Lunch, Tea, Dinner or a late-night snack?
Lily and Jeanne: “Traditionally, a slice is eaten for breakfast and teatime. However, who could resist a delicious Kaya roll with a cup of coffee? So the best time would be anytime you fancy.”
Rich & Good Cake Shop
24 Kandahar Street