- Posted on Monday, 06 May 2013
As part of our mission to highlight creative talent in Singapore, we are delighted to introduce Vanessa Tan, the spunky woman behind Plain Vanilla's cupcakes (and their Bak Kwa cookies!), who put her career in law on hold to realise her dream of opening her own bakery. We were able to sit down with Vanessa and asked her to give us the scoop behind her scrumptious baked goods!
TWS: What started it all?
Vanessa: I think I've always had a baking bone in me - my mother used to bake butter cakes, orange pound cakes and chocolate chip cookies for us while I was growing up. I never really came out of my baking shell until I moved out of home and acquired my own kitchen in university - and I haven't stopped baking since! After law school, I joined a firm and practised for almost four years before I realised law could wait but my youthful aspirations might not. So I left the industry and the rest, as they say, is history...!
TWS: Why the name Plain Vanilla?
Vanessa: I don't remember exactly when I decided that it would be a good idea to open up my own bakery, but it was definitely an idea I had since the days of law school. There is one day in particular, whilst in contract class, when the lecturer began teaching a segment on plain vanilla loans and - snapping out of my reverie - I decided that's what I would call my bakery if ever I opened one. Plain vanilla in the context of financial instruments refers to the simplest version of that instrument - and that's what we try to do, we keep our bakes simple but we do it really well.
TWS: Most popular and unusual flavors?
Vanessa: Hands down, our most popular flavours would be Red Velvet, Salted Caramel and Earl Grey Lavender. As for unusual - it will probably be our Bak Kwa cookies that would win this award!
TWS: How do you differentiate yourself from other cupcake bakeries in town?
Vanessa: By not compromising on what we believe in! In our world, there is one way that a cupcake should be and that's how we make it. Not everyone will agree, of course, but we would rather believe in what we do than try to please everyone. We also really value our relationship with our customers - a lot of our regulars have become friends which is how we like it!
TWS: Most memorable wedding where you provided cupcakes or cakes?
Vanessa: Probably Sylvia and Jamie's wedding - not so much for our bakes, but more for the surprise hoax they pulled on their guests when they performed a flash mob-style dance in the middle of dinner!
TWS: What would you dream wedding request be?
Vanessa: We're not big fans of fondant but so many brides are, so it would fantastic to work with a couple who share similar sentiments as us! There is so much to be said for a gorgeous, tiered wedding cake frosted in creamy buttercream that guests can enjoy. I am also still holding out for a couple who would like a cupcake tower at their wedding but with a fondant tower stand - a cupcake tower that looks just like a traditional wedding cake!
Right, enough chit-chat! Win yourself some of Plain Vanilla's delectable cupcakes by registering a free account with us, heading to our Directory and submitting at least one wedding vendor review between 1 May and 31 May. Find out more by reading about our giveaway here.
Cupcakes and Baked Goods: Plain Vanilla Bakery