Meet Jane Tan, founder of RÒA Midnight, where she creates beautifully adorned chocolate cakes. Her cakes are also Vegan, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free and Eggless. She creates them using avocados and not butter, brown rice milk, and psyllium husk, RÒA cakes and cupcakes are amazingly light on calories. Read on to find out more about her journey into making guilt-free desserts!
How did you come up with the idea for RÒA Midnight?
I took nine months to create and fine-tune, ROA’S MIDNIGHT CHOCOLATE CAKE. It was a response to numerous requests from mothers with children with allergies and the tipping point for me to spend time to develop MIDNIGHT by ROA seriously, was the birth of the goddaughter Emma, who was born with severe allergies. The joy to hear and see young children and people like Emma able to indulge in the dessert was amazing to me.
Did you start the venture alone?
In the business sense of things, yes, I opened this business alone. But I would say no man is an island. My husband has been the silent supporter of this business with a lot of moral support and assisted me with the physical set up. My head chef, a dear friend has also been with me for the past four years now (from my earlier businesses). Both of them have been invaluable in this venture since Day 1.
What was the hardest part in the early stages of the company’s growth?
I started this business knowing it must serve people a delicious but more importantly, safe product. – no eggs, no dairy, no nuts, no gluten and no soy. This was extremely hard to achieve. Thus, being essentially a 1 product company meant not many choices and was met with a lot of scepticism in the beginning. But I realised the importance of staying true to your passion and brand. I didn’t want to compromise on my quality by offering a variety of mediocre products.
Do you think luck played a role in the success of RÒA Midnight?
Luck, to me, is where opportunity meets hard work. I have spent countless days working hard on the brand and recipe, only to be met with a multitude of rejections in the beginning. But when the ‘right’ people tastes and loves it, the word can spread like wildfire, without even you realising.
How has the food industry changed in the last year?
A lot of more health-conscious choices have been made available. This is due to a variety of reasons – from being eco-conscious to health concerns. Plant-based and low sugar choices have been a growing trend, and I believe is here to stay. But one thing is for sure- taste still matters! This has been a challenge for the food industry, to create food that is good for the body and our tastebuds.
What advice would you give to a food company just starting their business online?
Stay focussed, and stay prudent. Focus on your tribe – know your customers well and serve them diligently. Never compromise on your food standards no matter what. All it takes is one lousy batch to ruin your reputation.
We hope you enjoyed it and we thank Jane Tan for this interesting interview.
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