We’re a married couple who founded the store in 2016 (When I hit 2nd year at Huge as a product design lead) and my partner Dada has been in food & coffee industry for quite a while.
Before Huge, I’ve been in a startup where I was responsible for doing everything design related from UI/UX, research, marketing, industrial hardware as well as print design, and I always wanted to use the experience that I gained for our own business.
And dada always had a passion for baking and cooking since she was young, and started practicing baking since early teen.While working towards to her barista career getting SCAA certificate in NYC, she saw an opportunity based on the recent rising trend for Japanese dessert in Toronto and realized that majority of them never offered true Japanese dessert as is – They would change out the ingredients to cheaper, easier to get ingredients and adapt quicker, easier baking method.
That’s why we decided to offer Asian-French fusion dessert experience in Toronto as if you’re in Japan or Korea. We try our best to respect asian desserts(which a lot of them were influenced by French pastry) – by focusing on good ingredients, simple and delicate baking methods, ultimately bringing out rich, subtle flavour of those recipes.
For all of our baked products, we use finest ingredients where they make difference, such as Johakuto sugar that has fluffier, moist texture with less sweet flavour profile and shade-grown Matcha Hojicha powder from Japan which is created totally different way compared to green tea powder giving richer, subtler taste.
Getting it started wasn’t easy, as we had to learn everything from scratch, from securing finance, choosing a commercial space, planning out the interior, renovating, as well as making sure we comply with complex zoning and licensing requirements. It was super fun designing and curating all of the customer touchpoints such as branding, marketing, interior, packaging, music, artworks, and how we present our coffee & dessert with Japanese ceramics.
Once we launched, it was extremely valuable experience for me as UXer to directly learn from our customers and how they react and behave, using our digital and physical touchpoints throughout the journey. A lot of “UX best practices” were often thrown out the window and there were ton of interesting insight that I gained how people’s mindset changes in the context of physical store, as well as how much they know about us as a brand.