|Juliana Omar, Founder & Co-Owner of Bisque|
Interview with Juliana Omar, Founder & Co-Owner of Bisque, owned by Bisque Bites Sdn Bhd
What do you do and how did you get into the industry?
I started off wanting to start a business that needed a small amount of capital, and something related to food, as I love to cook, bake and eat. I started experimenting with baking and flavours. I'd go back and forth calling my mom and dad for help: asking mom for baking tips and dad for business ideas.
I started Bisque on the 1st of August 2013 - baking from home. I wanted to set apart my cakes - look, flavour and feel - from other cakes on the market, so I was adamant in using only the best ingredients available.
My idea was to grow Bisque bit by bit with whatever capital I had, so I created FB (bisque.my) & IG (bisque_my). Five months into the business I partnered up with my brother Hakim Omar, along with Davina Gomes as part of the expansion plan. And... here we are today.
Share with us an interesting story from behind the scenes.
Creating new recipes and flavours can be very interesting. When it turns out wrong, we get frustrated, but at the same time it becomes a joke. When it does come out right, we all gather and taste and give our thoughts on each flavour, and whether we can still improve upon it or maintain as is. For me that’s the most interesting part.
What's the best part of your job?
Satisfying customers is the best part of my job. Hearing them say how delicious my cakes are and seeing them come back for more, just makes my day.
What's your personal favourite cake from the Bisque menu?
This is like asking a mother who her favourite child is. But my personal favourite is the Michelangelo (Exclusive range). It is a concoction of feuilletine enveloped with a generous amount of pure hazelnut paste and Valrhona Jivara chocolate, layered with Valrhona Dulcey blonde mousse, and in between all that is a fine layer of vanilla bean cake with chocolate pearls to take you to the next level. The end note is topped with chocolate glaze, and decorated with gold leaf. Always when the first bite hits my tongue, I say “I just died, went to heaven, and came back.”
What's one of the funniest moment behind the scenes?
The funniest moment would be when Hakim replied to a customer when we were still new on social media. Aside from our admin team having access to Social Media; Hakim, Davina and I have access as well (just to monitor for smooth flow of work). At the time I had just installed it on his phone. He received a notification in a personal Facebook message from a customer asking for the pricelist for our cakes. He thought it was a friend of a friend messaging his personal account, so he replied very casually, “I’ll ask my friend and get back to you, tq.” When I read through that notifications, I saw it was replied like that by Bisque, so I flipped. I told Hakim about it, and he was like “Ohhh, that would be me, Bisque arr? Not my personal fb? Owhh My God...” and we all cracked up laughing... until today.
The perfect day off would be...
Going for a one and half hour foot massage while Googling on my phone for recipe ideas and places to eat dessert.
A day in the life of a food entrepreneur is ...
... hectic and tiring, but I love and enjoy every moment of it. Every day is a new day, and a learning process. There's lots of trial and error. When you are surrounded and work with a wonderful team, it makes the whole process so much easier.
What do you do for fun?
For fun I like to travel in both Malaysia and overseas. I love trying out new food. It gives me ideas to create new things and menus. I learn new things every time I travel.
What's something you'd like guests to know about BISQUE?
We take our cakes and desserts very… very… VERY… seriously!
What's your view on the KL food scene?
I see that food scene in Malaysia goes in trends – cupcake trend, donut trend, sheesha mamak trend, kopitam trend, hipster trend. Aside from the trend side of it all, I just love that you can get food any time of the day. Different types of food are easily available here with different price ranges, easy for foreigners as well.
What's in store for you in the upcoming months?
We will definitely launch new cakes that will be magical and delicious and in the next few months we will be working on expanding Bisque into a café by early 2015. That’s all we will say for now, so do stay tuned…