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Jeanette Aw expanding her bakery to Japan with 'very different concept' from S'pore store

Mothership logo Mothership 6/10/2022 Mandy How
© Provided by Mothership

Jeanette Aw's bakery is going overseas.

In May 2021, the actress launched her patisserie brand Once Upon A Time to much fanfare:

Besides being an online store, Once Upon A Time also has physical presence in Jalan Besar.

Photo by Mothership © Provided by Mothership Photo by Mothership

Its next outlet, however, will not be anywhere in Singapore. Instead, you'll find it in Japan, where competition is stiff and standards are even higher.

As for which part of Japan, that's yet to be decided, a spokesperson for Aw said.

Aw tells Mothership that she is working with two partners on the expansion, both of whom are Japanese and friends that she has known for a "long time."

The collaboration almost came about by chance, the 43-year-old reveals.

"It just happened organically, we didn’t intentionally plan for this to happen. It was just a conversation we had one day about starting something in Japan and before we knew it, we started working on it."

It's still in early stages, if you're thinking of visiting it on your next trip to Japan.

Aw is still in the R&D (research and development) stage, and the team is also working with a "top designer" in Japan for their packaging and marketing materials.

There is no concrete timeline for the store's opening date yet.

"We’ll launch when we feel everything is ready and good to go. We’re not in a rush to start it immediately. Everything in its own time," Aw adds.

One thing that we do know is that the Japan outlet will be a "very different concept" from the one she has in Singapore, in the sense that there will be no overlaps in the bakes, menu, or recipes.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Jeanette Aw 欧萱 (@jeanetteaw)

Therefore, a major challenge for Aw would be to come up with recipes for both markets within a tight timeframe, as she tries to change the menu monthly for her patisserie in Singapore.

"I need to plan way in advance for my bakes. I’m also someone who wouldn’t let anything I’m not happy with go out of my kitchen. So it’s many trials and test bakes sometimes."

We also tried asking Aw if she has broken even from her initial investment, as well as how much she intends to pump into the expansion, but the actress declines to answer.

Ah well.

Top photo via Jeanette Aw's Instagram page

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