Rome wasn’t built in a day, and the same goes for Merely

March 4, 2012 1 comment

It has been slightly over a month since we commenced renovation. Given how green we are, we actually didn’t know of the requirement of opening our own utility account before electricity and water can be supplied to our shop unit. One can imagine how dire it was when the construction workers came with power drills on 1st February and left with a face palm over the non-activity due to the lack of electricity.

So it is a mixture of joy and relief that our renovation is almost complete with the exception of some minor touching ups. With that, we would like to share with you some of the key milestones of the past month captured through the camera lens.


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Categories: Miscellaneous

Banana Walnut

February 24, 2012 Leave a comment

Truth be told, we spent the most time researching on this flavor. There was a period when LoST (true to his moniker, he is currently lost in wilderness and no longer contribute cryptic and depressing posts) would come up with a variation of banana ice cream every week.

Ang bak jio, pang jio, gek leng jio and even Del Monte, he has laid his nefarious hands on every available banana species available on our shore. His obsession with banana is so bad that we likened him to Banana Man, the greatest superhero that has yet to grace the cinema screen.

But thanks to his obsession with bananas, we are able to come up with this kick ass rendition of banana walnut ice cream. Made with ang bak jio, the ice cream has an alluring banana fragrance which is complimented by the presence of honey roasted walnuts, and all these made without a tinge artificial flavoring. The chimps would probably run riot when they see this.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Sourcing the freshest fruits

February 18, 2012 Leave a comment

A cornerstone of our corporate ethos is the eschewing of artificial flavorings and preservatives in favor of the usage of fresh produces in the production of our ice cream. As fruit flavors feature prominently in our ice cream line-up, we are sparing no efforts in sourcing the freshest fruits. In Singapore, fruits don’t come fresher than those at Pasir Panjang Wholesale Centre, and that was where we ended up on a lazy Saturday morning.

The day started off on a wrong note as I slept through the alarm clock which left me with only 10 minutes of preparation time before my scheduled meetup with the Chief Craftsman. While I managed to wash up and pack my bag at the same time, I have to forgo my breakfast and also valuable poo poo time. And all this to find out he was late when I arrived at the scheduled meeting point at 7.30am. Damn.

For those who haven’t been to there, Pasir Panjang Wholesale Centre is situated in front of the Pasir Panjang Terminal, where the produces are shipped in on a daily basis. Hawkers, wet market stall proprietors, purchasers for supermarkets congregate there every morning to pick the freshest vegetables and fruits. The stalls are housed in four to five sprawling blocks, grouped together by the nature of their produce. There is one for vegetables, fruits, dry goods and even a large cold room to store the produces.

Having alighted at the Wholesale Centre after a long and expensive cab journey, I reluctantly gave the food court a miss in favor of heading to scour for fruits suppliers despite the audible protest from my tummy. The first supplier that we came across brushed us aside when they heard how puny our orders are. Can’t blame them given they are the biggest fruit supplier in Singapore while we don’t even have our own name cards yet. The next few suppliers we approached were more positive, as they do provide free delivery if we chalk up orders of up to 80 dollars per order. One supplier that gave us positive vibes was KSY . Helmed by a relatively young chap, whom I pressume is the boss, he was patient in explaining the finer details and even showed us the various kind of fruits they have in the cold room. Another big plus is they are the fruit supplier for major local ice cream parlour and they know the needs and requirements that of us ice cream parlours.

Regardless of which supplier we choose, be rest assured that our fruits ice cream are made from the freshest produce possible.

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Categories: Miscellaneous

Not just merely a cash register

February 16, 2012 Leave a comment

If only the setting up of an ice cream parlor is as easy as making tasty ice cream. Over the past few months we have been fretting over issues ranging  from shop location, staffing, furniture and right down to the number of ply in the paper napkins. And one of the topic that took up a sizable chunk of our time is that of the cash register system. A seemingly simple decision soon became a long drawn out decision making process when it became clear the merits of using a point-of-sales (POS) system has over the vanilla cash register.

Scouring the internet for affordable POS solution proved futile as most of the costs were way out of our budget. While the local government agency, Spring, provides funding of up to a grand for POS solution, most of the available vendors charge hefty delivery and training fees which is not economical for a new start up like us. Then through sheer luck or perseverance, we stumbled upon this video on how one shop in the United States uses the iPad as a POS system. Yes, the same iPad that you use to play Angrybirds and watch your TVB dramas on.

With more time spent on google, we unearthed this local app that offers a POS solution for a one off fee without any recurring monthly charges that their US – based competitors levied. Coupled with a thermal printer, cash drawer, router, mobile broadband USB dongle and a litany of swear words, we finally got our iPad POS system up and running last night!

While this isn’t much cheaper than your regular POS system, at least we will look cool and hip punching in your orders when you drop by Merely next time.

Categories: Miscellaneous

The soft serve lady

February 10, 2012 Leave a comment

Its the Oscar season and Meryl Streep gets a nod for Best Actress nomination for her portrayal of Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady. The former British PM was known to be a no nonsense politician, but its a little known fact that she was the inventor of the soft serve ice cream! McDonald ought to be paying royalties to her for every ice cream cone that they peddle!

Before entering politics, former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher put her Oxford chemistry degree to good use with a research job at food manufacturer J. Lyons and Co.

Tasked with whipping more air into ice cream, she produced a type of ‘soft-scoop’ cream which could be pumped through a machine. It heralded Mr Whippy vans and the ‘99’ cone.

Oreo Milk with Oreo Cheesecake Cookie Dough

February 4, 2012 Leave a comment

I remembered way way back, there was this promotion where they would give out Oreo cookies when you purchased two pack of HL Milk. Its a bit contradictory isn’t it? Milk is supposed to give you strong bones while Oreo cookies is supposed to make you fat, which kind of explains why I grew up to be a fat kid with strong bones. I digress, but it was then that I discovered the simple joy of dunking Oreos into milk, devouring the drenched Oreo cookies and lapping up the milk like a famished kitten.

Our featured creation is a mishmash of two popular Oreo by-products; Oreo milk with Oreo cheesecake cookie dough. While we acknowledged that Cookies and Cream is a classic ice cream flavor well loved by all, we decided to let our creative juices run amok in the kitchen to bring a new meaning to Twist, Lick and Dunk.

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Peanut Butter Squares Ice Cream

January 29, 2012 Leave a comment

Before the arrival of the Hershey candy store, a friend of mine used to implore anyone who was jetting to the United States to lug back packets of Resse’s Peanut Butter Cups. Probably worried about getting a flaming throat or adding a few inches to the waistline, she would always share these little butter cups around and I happened to be a lucky recipients of her handouts.  Oh boy, those were some delicious little pick me ups.

Inspired by the Butter Cups, we created these little peanut cuboids made from mixing in a variety of ingredients like butter, peanuts bits, peanut butter, sugar and others. One tiny square can cured your peanut butter craving. We then took to throwing it into a creamy peanut butter ice cream base.

So how did the ice cream turned out? Well, its like adding Reese’s Butter Cups into your bottle of peanut butter and spooning it into your mouth.

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