Tökfej Bakery is a fusion online bakery (homemade Asian bakery goods with a western twist) that produces unique organic matcha cookies, banana bread, and Mochi balls. All their products are relatively healthier than other bakeries by using natural & organic ingredients, low in sugar, salt, and fats.
The rationale behind this is the owners wish their customers can enjoy sweets in a mindful and healthy way. They would also love to create happy memories with their customers, such as some customers take their cookies during their vacations. As well as, East London customers have a privilege in enjoying door to door delivery service, but they also provide nationwide delivery within the whole UK.
Where did the idea for Tokfej Bakery come from?
We didn't plan all of this! I (Mondi) have just finished my masters and were looking for jobs. However, due to COVID-19, jobs that I was interested in have stopped recruiting. So I had been staying at home. And one day I have over baked matcha cookies, which I can't finish at all. So I've asked my neighbours are they interested as I love sharing food. Surprisingly, there were a lot of them interested! So I started to see a market.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive, keep yourself busy?
Normally we wake up at 8 am, do some light stretch, meditate (This is an important routine!) then we started to bake! As the bakery foods need to be cool down, so during the time we cooked for ourselves brunch and clean up. Then started the packaging so my boyfriend can drive and deliver them on time. Then I took a rest, prepare dinner. And usually, after dinner is time for accounting and administration work... so every day is a busy day!
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive?
They say journaling or writing down what you need to do every day makes you more productive, but it doesn't work for us! The motivation to become more productive is to set up a goal! Our goal is to have enough money to open a real shop. We wrote this down on a note so we could see it every day while we bake! Every time I feel I've powered up when I see the note!
What advice would you give your younger self?
Travel as much as you can, go to places which are far from the city, try anything that you interest in, be adventurous.
What is the one thing you do over and over again and recommend everyone else do?
I personally do 8 minute abs exercise plus 5 minutes light stretching every day. I love it and I feel like I'm not myself if I'm not starting the day like this. Always maintain your normal routine even you have a hectic schedule. You can do Workout/ yoga/ or just some movement every day, I know life is busy, but even though it's only 5 minutes, just to shake your body, it helps your physical and mental health.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Customer engagement. We can't say we have expanded our business in a successful stage, it's just the beginning. Looking back at these five months, we have gained more than 1000 followers, we guess it's because of our customer engagement? We always try our best to engage with all our customers, not in an intimidating way, but in a natural way.
For example, leaving a personal handwritten note in each of their orders, carefully package our cookies, asking for genuine feedbacks via email (if customers gave some suggestions for improvement, we will send a follow-up text and also amend our recipes eg. One customer said the earl grey shortbread doesn't have enough earl grey taste, so we tried other tea bags in order to increase the richness, then we sent the improved version earl grey shortbread to her)
Nowadays, customer service & recovery are very essential, especially with social media, if customers left unhappily, your brand image can be affected. So we always aim to achieve happy and satisfied customers.
What’s one trend in the F&B industry that excites you?
There are always new competitors, especially in London! You can see there are always new restaurants, bakeries open up, and different food products released every day! So we always need to create something new in order to maintain our competitive edge!
What is the best £20 you recently spent? What and why?
One of our friends has also started his small business, we spent almost £20 from his online business in supporting! We are never afraid to see others are doing better than us, you know what I mean...we love to see friends around us being successful. We will be so happy for them 🙂
What is your favourite quote?
I am not sure is this a proper quote, but this is my motto, 'there is no best but only better'.
What are some of your favourite places to eat at?
Our favourite places to eat are not in London unfortunately. It's in Paris, La Gauloise, Spring (it's closed now), and macarons from Pierre Hermé.
What's the best thing to order from Tokfej Bakery?
We love all items in our bakery! But if it's a must to choose... matcha cookies with white chocolate!!
Are there any exciting plans coming from Tökfej Bakery soon?
There will be a giveaway collaborating with one other company. And also, we will be selling our cookies in some shops and restaurants in a few months' time.
Interested in more delicious desserts in London? Read our interview with WA Cafe's Head Patissier, Atsuko Otsuki.