Sunday Folk: Yijia & her passion for baking
Baking; a love that Yijia found at the age of ten and a joy that keeps her going in this industry. In our inaugural journal feature on the folks behind our brand, we spoke with Pastry Chef Yijia on her journey so far and what is to come.
After graduating from a local polytechnic in biotechnology, a career in science was the likely path for Yijia at age 20. But she had other plans. Wielding a decade-long interest in making desserts, she enrolled in At-Sunrice in pastry and baking, and in 2012, joined the company first under Creamier, our sister-brand.
When asked why she chose to work in a kitchen over a laboratory, Yijia draws the similarities between the two. “I love the science behind baking, how by mixing certain ingredients in specific quantities can result in a whole new (and delicious!) product. It is a lot like my previous industry, but there is definitely more joy and gratification when you see people enjoying your labour of love.”
This background in biology comes through as Yijia shares about how she would one day like to experiment with fancier molecular techniques. Though she concedes that this might be more fitting in a restaurant setting ala minute (which means prepared to order, and not in advance). “Here at Sunday Folks, customers usually go for something more homey and satisfying.”
With five years under her belt, she sees the challenges the brand faces and echoes the brand ethos in doing things differently but always with a steadfast focus on quality.
“Ten years ago, there were only a handful of cake and dessert shops. Now, the competition is very steep. To stay on top of the game, we will have to constantly source for new ingredients, and explore new creations and techniques to excite customers.”
True passion and love for the craft of dessert-making means Yijia still bakes at home, despite stepping into the kitchen for work. Her go-to comfort bakes: a banoffee or bread and butter pudding.