Archive for June, 2012

Of Newspaper, Waffles and EURO2012

June 18, 2012 Leave a comment

After three weeks as a full time ice cream man, I’m glad to say that all my fingers are still intact, neither harmed by stray knife cuts nor frostbitten.

The past three weeks had been pretty eventful. For a start, I got my ugly mug printed in a Business Times feature on young entrepreneurs. I received plenty of encouragement and some good natured ribbing from friends and ex-colleagues, but sadly no attention from the opposite sex yet. Putting that disappointment aside, friends have been suggesting that we plaster that newspaper article on our shop window as a way to publicize our brand. I’m a bit iffy on this one, but if it helps to get us noticed, I’m all for terrorizing passerbys with my ugly mugshot.

Last week also saw us finally launching our waffles after two months of intensive research. While Chief Craftsman’s role during the research phase was to tweak with the receipe until we find THE one, my role was much simpler and primitive. It simply involved opening my mouth and shoving truckload of waffles into it. As most of our waffles research take place mostly after 11pm once we have closed for the day, one can imagine the relief and elation that my tummy felt when we finally launched the waffles. Speaking of the waffle launch, we are currently running a promotion for the waffles, details can be found here.

Of course this period also see sixteen footballing powers (I am using the term loosely) from Europe battling  for bragging rights and also the right to possessing the gigantic gold plated water mug. After having to miss a good part of EURO 2008 and World Cup 2010 due to reservist training, I finally get a chance to catch the matches. One thing about being self-employed is I get to watch football matches in the wee hours without risking the wrath of my boss when he catches me nodding off the following day. Unfortunately while the mind is willing, the body clock often refuses to function at 2:45am as I often dozed off much to the aghast of my mum when she finds the television set still powered up the next morning.  If you are wondering what is the link betweenEURO2012 and the ice cream business, it is because WE ARE RUNNING A EURO2012 THEMED COMPETITION. Hope that caught your attention. Being the football crazy nuts (we named our holding company after the once popular football game Winning Eleven), we decided to roll out a contest that rewards customers who correctly predict the winner of the EURO2012. I won’t bore you with the mechanism of the contest, you can find out more here.

All right, I’m signing off.  Remember, when you feel stressed out, keep calm and eat ice cream.


First week as a full time ice cream man

June 4, 2012 2 comments

Update: Apparently Victor’s Kitchen isn’t closing down after all. They have pasted a notice saying that they will reopen on 20th June. Good news for all of us.

Here I am, on a Sunday night recapping the week that has gone by. It isn’t any other normal week where each day comprises of dragging myself to work, boot up the PC, thrash emails, ponder on what to have for lunch, go for an extended loo break and sneak in a game of Words with Friends or Draw Something while at it, wait for 6pm to arrive, mutter some expletives when I am still stuck at my desk at 8pm. It is the week where I finally leave the shirt and pants behind and fulfill my full time duties at Merely Ice Cream.

If anything, the fact that I get to wake up later, get a seat on the MRT and not getting shoved into someone else armpit already justify my decision to leave the corporate world and be my own paymaster. Always prone to random acts of stupidity, I have decided to celebrate the occasion by doing a tongue in cheek obituary poster and post it onto our facebook page. Thank goodness my mum only knows how to use facebook to ogle at pictures of my niece or else I would have gotten an earful from her.

I hope my presence in the shop didn’t put off any customers who were accustomed to seeing sweet young things behind the ice cream counter. Even if it did, the customers certainly hid it well! Jokes aside, being finally able to put faces to the regular customers who have been propping up our sales all this while, I hope that we can build up a long lasting relationship Merely Ice Cream can provide a cosy environment to satisfy their sweet tooth. We are into the second month of the school holidays, which means business is still kind of stop start without the support of the nearby students. NAFA, LASELLE and SMU KIDS, COME BACK SOON! WE MISS YOU AND YOUR $$!!! Given the slow activity in the mid afternoon, it can get kind of boring at times. To keep myself busy, I have decided to embark on a new DIY project for the shop. Saddled with egg cartons plus the fact that I have one less bar stool for my pallet counter, I am going to emulate what these guys did and turn the stray egg cartons into a bar stool. I probably need another 100 of those egg cartons before I can get down to work though…

The week ended with the bombshell that the building’s de facto anchor tenant, Victor’s Kitchen, is calling it quit and bringing his dim sum across the Causeway. Their non-opening for the entire week has already caused some murmurs among the tenants at Sunshine Plaza, with rumors going round that they have flouted some laws in relation to the employment of unregistered foreign workers at their premise. I finally got the confirmation from the owner himself that he is pulling out for good. He is increasingly finding it difficult to sustain his operations with the restriction in hiring foreign help to cope with the overwhelming business and came to the conclusion that the only way is to pull out from Singapore and relocate to Johor Bahru where the labor cost is lower and locals are more willing to toil the long hours. With Victor’s Kitchen gone, it is certainly going to bring us some bother as majority of the foot traffic to Sunshine Plaza are from customers who make the trip down to savour their Dim Sums. Oh well, this is really unexpected but then again, it is out of our control too. We just got to buckle down, continue to churn out delicious ice cream and raise  the awareness to our product and branding and hope the crowd starts pouring in.

Time to sign off and start my Diablo 3. Chill folks!

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