By CHRISTINE CHEAH
IF you were waiting tables and cleaning the lavatory every night at a restaurant, would you fight the fatigue between working hours to make cheesecakes?
Well, that was exactly what Lim Kuo Yang did for a year while he worked at a Thai restaurant in Petaling Jaya, Selangor four years ago.
“I started from the bottom. Mopping the floor, helping the chef and I gradually moved up to be the cashier and now, I am one of the partners of the restaurant,” said Lim, 28.
As the restaurant served no desserts, he seized the opportunity to introduce his luscious cheesecakes to the customers. And just like other start-up businesses, it was no cakewalk for Lim as well.
“I would start off my day at the restaurant. In the afternoon, I’d come back and make cheesecakes; take a shower and back to the restaurant in the evening. At night, I continued making the cheesecakes.”
His endeavour received positive response from customers, especially those who wanted to order a whole cake for birthdays and other celebrations.
That prompted Lim to start his online cheesecake business, Purple Monkey – a name he believes suits his young and playful character.
Lim’s love for cooking and baking started at a young age. He was eight when he embarked on a gastronomical adventure attempting a cheese-infused instant noodles meal at home.
“Since young, I helped my mum and aunts in the kitchen and I have always had mock-up menus for my siblings,” he recalled.
At 16, Lim’s parents sent him to New Zealand to complete his secondary and tertiary education and that was where he made his first cheesecake.
“I wanted to impress people so I tried to make a blueberry cheesecake. Fortunately, I was successful after three attempts!”
Lim and his business partners opened two more restaurants within the Klang Valley (which also serve the cheesecakes), and it was only about a year ago that he found time to focus on his online cake business.
One of this entrepreneur’s pet peeves is seeing cakes go to waste, which is why his business vision and mission is to see people enjoy his cheesecakes to the very last bite.
“Most of the time people only eat half the cake. It’s quite a pity because (it seems that) cakes are no longer enjoyed (just for the sake of eating them). It’s like a cake is now just like a ‘chair’ for a candle to sit on,” he quipped.
Currently, only customers within the Klang Valley are able to enjoy the Purple Monkey cheesecakes but Lim was quick to assure that soon they would be available across the nation.
“I am currently looking for restaurants (across Malaysia) to sell my cheesecakes and I am also planning to open a tea shop later this year.”