Red Velvet Sweet Treats is an online-only bakery that home delivers all kinds of delicious brownies, from classic fudge to butterscotch, salted dulce de leche fudge and red velvet cheesecake swirl. Will Jackson this week caught up with the woman in the oven mitts – camera-shy Filipino Luisa Taing – to find out a little more.
How did you get the idea to start a brownie delivery service?
I’m not a trained baker, but I’ve always loved to bake – must be because my family are huge baked goodies lovers – and I was getting antsy staying home looking after my few-months-old son.
I bake a lot for my daughter and Khmer relatives, and over time I noticed they kept asking me to bake this and that! Ha! I realised, hmm, maybe it’s better if I charge a bit, no?
I enjoy it, but I think it’s just right I get some earnings out of it too.
What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of being an online/delivery only business?
Most people here aren’t used to ordering online. Trust is an issue.
And people get enticed more if they can see the actual product. But the people who were my first customers were friends, and these friends tell other friends.
Khmers are increasingly becoming fans of delivery services, plus social media is a huge help in spreading the word.
It also helps that the info about the business is there online and can easily be found. I also don’t need to have an inventory. I just bake what is on the order list for the day.
No pressures in keeping a glass display full. Also, no rent to pay. It also needed just minimal capital to start.
This all started for less than $50! Why brownies?
Easy, I love them! They are easy to make but quite tricky to get right. They look great and make perfect gifts.
Fudge brownies are also quite hard to find here. And quite pricey too in some shops.
Is there a good story behind your recipe/recipes?
My friends tell me I have OCD when it comes to my brownies. I have a couple of taste testers and I tried a total of 17 recipes just to settle on one recipe that got the majority vote.
And when I picked that recipe, I modified it more to suit my picky fudge taste. I made about eight more sets of it just to be sure.
It was especially gratifying when one of my friends said: “It’s amazing. I’m dying. Yes, I can die now.”
What’s the most popular brownie variety?
Still the classic fudge. with lots and lots of chocolate chips. Also fudge with Oreos and M&M’s.
These are huge hits with kids. Most expat clients prefer really fudgy brownies, while Khmers quite like cake-like brownies.
For special treats, the red velvet cheesecake swirl and Nutella swirl are the top ones.
What are your plans for the future?
Expand our menu. Spread the word, build the brand. I’m hoping we can have our own physical store soon.
We’re also working on good packaging cause I want to market this as a “bring home box” or “gifts to go”. For now though, I’m enjoying this little ‘hobby/business’.
“Classic” brownies are $10 for 12, while “special treats” are $16 for 12 Details: redvelvetcambodia.wordpress.com.