It is becoming a trend for the younger generations to step out of their comfort zone in search of their own dreams. Let’s hear from Daryl Lim, the owner of Tart & Co, who has left his stable job and now striking out with his girlfriend, Wendy Quek. The two met in Buffalo, New York when Daryl was there as an exchange student while Wendy was traveling the States.
Daryl and Wendy
When did the two of you start to harbor the thought of starting your own business?
We have been trying to conceptualize a business since way back when we first started on our jobs. Since Wendy’s parents were already operating a bakery and have had experience in this field, we thought why not do something similar as well.
What makes you feel that the two of you were suited for this?
The decision came about only after we have had experience in the corporate world and felt that we were ready enough. I am more technical while Wendy has a lot of creative ideas and is passionate about marketing. We felt that a business platform would allow us to develop our strengths better than if we were to develop them as an employee in another company.
Why the decision to specialize in tarts? Was it based on Singaporeans’ preference?
Cupcakes are too mainstream and yesterday. So we decided to give things a twist and specialize on tarts instead for a more refreshing experience.
We did our research not based on tarts as an item to be sold but rather on consumer habits, for example, how much people fancy pretty and nice looking food products, especially when they can take photographs and post them on Instagram or other social platforms. Especially since when it comes to sweet treats, girls demonstrate a strong preference for them.
What are the best selling items?
Our tartlets are a big hit at events such as Birthday Parties, Weddings, Corporate Gifts, etc. While our bestselling slices include: Hazelnut Rocher, Speculoos, and Rum & Raisin. Highly favoured Artisan Tarts include: Sea Salt Caramel & Hazelnut Praline.
From bottom to top are: Speculoos slice, Rum & Raisin slice, Dark Chocolate Peppermint Slice, and Hazelnut Rocher Slice.
Artisanal Tarts (in clockwise): Summer Bloom, Trownie, Sea Salt Caramel, Chocolate Raspberry, and Hazelnut Praline.
Are the tarts all self-baked?
All our products are 100% handmade and baked in-store. We pride ourselves in using the finest ingredients and do not cut back on quality just to save costs. Our items are also very rich, dense and as most customers would say “generous”. We are also very experimental when it comes to pushing out new flavors and we frequently engage our customers by surveying them on the next flavor they would like to see available in-store.
Your current outlet is at Star Vista, is there any reason why you chose to set up the store at Star Vista?
We are a young start-up brand and securing a space at a high-profile location is not possible. We therefore settled on Star Vista as an incubation outlet while we look towards other expansion plans. The good thing is that we now have several high-profile malls approaching us with regards to opening an outlet at their premises.
So, any plans for new branches? And, would you consider anything more than Tarts?
Yes. We are in the midst of expanding our product ranges and all will be revealed after Chinese New Year.
Thanks Daryl for the email interview.
Through the interview, we can tell that a lot of thoughts have been put in to set up the business and all the more to sustain it. Let’s look forward to more outlets coming our way. All the best, Daryl and Wendy!