M’sian Concept Store Selling Avocado Cheesecake & Desserts
While everyone was thrilled with the burnt cheesecake trend last year, Tang Ling thought, “How about an avocado cheesecake instead?”
“I love to eat avocados. I had always dreamed of owning an avocado cafe when I was older, probably after the age of 30 when I was financially stable, ”Tang Ling, founder of Dolicado, told Vulcan Post.
So she started Dolicado, an online business that aims to sell everything about avocado, starting with avocado cheesecakes.
“I thought that to make avocado more palatable, maybe sweet avocado could be a good start to change people’s perception of the fruit,” she thought, and immediately , avocado cheesecakes came to mind.
Stimulating cheesecake Standards
Now, dairy alternatives haven’t fully penetrated the Malaysian market, let alone the desserts that incorporate them. Something like avocado cheesecake is still foreign to our local market. But abroad, that’s another story.
Many years ago, Tang Ling had followed an Amsterdam avocado concept store called The Avocado Show, from which she drew her inspiration.
However, she was also inspired by local concept stores like Niko Neko Matcha and the art of salmo which respectively sell niche products like matcha and salmon.
To bring Dolicado to life, she spent 3 months (April to June 2020) practicing and experimenting with her own recipes.
Why lawyers? Because they’re packed with a bunch of vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats, in particular, making them a healthier substitute for cream cheese, Tang Ling said.
Since she had no previous pastry experience, she needed to figure everything out from scratch, such as learning the differences between the texture and taste of butter, cream cheese, and heavy cream. Its R&D also includes cross-testing of different brands and servings of each ingredient for use in a cheesecake.
“I thought a lot about the design of my cheesecake and decided to put together everything I love: flowers, the color green to represent avocados, and a rectangular cake topper to overcome the classic round shape. cheesecake, ”she says.
Break even in 4 months
Currently, Tang Ling runs Dolicado alone after starting this business in July 2020. She works full time as a fashion designer.
As a creative, she sees this home baking business as another platform to explore her personal brand and push the boundaries of her creativity.
Due to her tight schedule, she only attends Dolicado on weekends, but slowly takes orders on weekdays to meet growing demand.
She sells around 200 cakes a month and earns a monthly income of RM4,000 just for her weekend orders. In her fourth month of running the business, she broke even and has been profitable ever since.
Most of his customers are young women, many of whom have bought from him because of the aesthetics of the cake. Returning customers contribute 10% of its sales from now on.
Its cakes range from RM38 to RM168, depending on the size of the cakes and the tart shell. For all of her cakes, she uses Australian Jumbo Hass avocados as they have a slower rate of oxidation (so they don’t turn brown that quickly).
Through a simple google search, I found that these can cost around RM6 per unit on Shopee and MBG Fruit Shop.
An expensive basic ingredient
Most of us can agree that one of the reasons Malaysians don’t eat a lot of avocados is their price, which is also an issue Tang Ling faces in his business.
Tang Ling said that since May 2020, the price of avocados has actually increased 1.6x, which is squeezing its profit margins.
However, she has decided not to charge more for her cakes and hopes that when her demand increases, she can stock up on avocados in bulk to improve her overall margin.
Another issue that she faces with this business is the fast oxidizing nature of avocados. Therefore, she always advised her customers to consume her cakes within 1-2 days.
“After this period, the cake would start to form a brown layer on the surface, which is still safe to eat, but the taste may have changed slightly,” she explained.
Put avocado in more desserts
Tang Ling’s main objective for Dolicado is now to expand it into a physical concept store when it has the means.
“I already have some weird ideas about how I would like to decorate the space and the different types of avocado dishes I want to experiment with,” she shared with Vulcan Post.
“I plan to post more avocado related desserts in the future, there are so many interesting avocado desserts to explore like avocado cream puffs and lava lava cake. ‘lawyer.”
She is already making this happen, as she is currently speaking to several experts in the F&B industry about how she can bring this concept store of her dreams to life.
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As someone who has tried avocado shake and used it as a spread to replace butter, having avocados substitute for a few common dairy ingredients has never disappointed me.
Due to the neutral taste of this fruit, it is possible to incorporate it into all kinds of desserts and foods that we are used to, with its extra creaminess as a bonus.
So while this is a niche market that Tang Ling is addressing from now on, the possibility of it expanding into more F&B products and converting more customers is quite viable.
- You can read more about Dolicado here.
- You can read the other startups we’ve written here.
Featured Image Credit: Tang Ling, Founder of Dolicado
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