KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 27 -- Wander into the Telawi area in Bangsar and you will find one bakery after another; folks here love their bread, it would seem. With so many options available, it takes a lot to stand out.
One bakery has enthralled the locals with their promise (and delivery) of fresh, nutritious breads and the appeal of it being entirely a family affair.
Tedboy Bakery by former pharmacist Patrina Tang and husband Edward Tan is a true labour of love; they named it after their firstborn son, affectionately called Ted Boy.
Tang was still working at a multinational pharmaceutical company a year ago while Tan was busy with his mobile phone trading business in Hong Kong. They decided to start a business that would combine their love of healthy breads
with a slower pace as they were starting a family.
A year on, Tedboy Bakery is a beloved fixture in the Telawi area and many residents are regular faces, dropping by for their breads and morning cuppa.
How do customers respond once they know you’ve named the bakery after your son?
Most people love the idea of us naming the shop after him! This really shows the connection and our personal promise to nurture both Tedboy Bakery and Ted Boy, our son.
Of course, the next question we get a lot is “What will you name the second branch? After your second child? Ted Girl?” It’s hilarious!
You offer more German-style breads as opposed to the more widely available Japanese/Taiwanese style breads. Why this preference?
Edward’s been abroad for many years (from student years to joining the workforce) and we always enjoyed German-style bread which we found lacking in Malaysia. We saw it as a market opportunity to focus on such breads as there will be more and more Malaysians coming back from abroad seeking more choices.
We are guided by what we ourselves would eat, market insights and customer feedback. Some items were created due to customer requests and became permanent fixtures on our menu.
If our regulars miss an item that we’ve removed from the menu, we are happy to take orders and make them a fresh batch.
Only the best ingredients are sourced to create the homemade taste that we love. We create things with Ted Boy in mind hence quality is our topmost priority. That said, Ted loves our German breads and bagel!
How has customer feedback affected Tedboy Bakery’s product line?
We offer half-sized loaves as they are popular with working adults living on their own. These are just nice to last 2-3 days without freezing or discarding the leftovers.
We’ve also introduced mini-sized pastries so customers can taste a few items rather than having their stomach filled with just one pastry. Kids (including Ted Boy) love our mini buns which fit their lunch boxes perfectly!
Recently, in line with our healthy concept, we’ve added a charcoal loaf, essentially white bread with bamboo charcoal added for the detoxification properties. Spin-offs include our charcoal sausage bun and charcoal turkey ham bun.
Ultimately we aim to cater to what customers (like ourselves) would want out of a personalised bakery rather than a run-of-the-mill one.
Describe a day at Tedboy Bakery.
We are usually busy for breakfast and lunch, especially on weekends. It can get noisy and packed with the happy chatter of young children. This is what makes Tedboy Bakery special. It’s a place for everyone to have a genuine meal with the family.
The crowd tapers out a little during teatime so do drop by then you would like a cosy, quiet spot to spend some time reading over a slice of cake and tea.
I’m curious; what happens to any unsold bread at the end of the day?
Charity is part of what we strongly believe in so all unsold bread will be donated to charity the next day. So far we have a good relationship with Ti-Ratana Welfare Society, Kechara Soup Kitchen and Grace Assembly. They will pick up the bread and send it to the homeless, old folks and children.
It’s been a year since you first opened. What has changed since then?
Our first year was the most challenging as we were dealing with a new area of specialty requiring different skill sets from the corporate world. A year on,
we have managed to create a more complete dine-in menu, improved on production efficiency and product presentation. We have definitely learned a lot more on how to manage manpower in the F&B industry!
We are also very active on Instagram; social media is the fastest way for an F&B business these days to reach out to our customers (most between the age group of 18-45 and active on such platforms). This is compared to traditional print media which needs at least three months’ lead time when we have something new to introduce.
What’s next for Tedboy Bakery?
We are looking into the delivery segment of the market to reach out to people who don’t necessarily want to brave the Bangsar traffic for a loaf of good bread. Also, we look forward to serving the offices and residents in Bangsar South when we open our second outlet there by end October this year.
10, Jalan Telawi 4, Bangsar Baru, 59100 Kuala Lumpur
Open daily 8:30am – 10pm
All ingredients halal
This story was first published in Crave in the print edition of The Malay Mail on September 26, 2013.