NOMS: CECILIA TO & TIFFANY TSANG
If you’ve seen photos of their elaborately layered cakes, it would be hard to believe that there are only two people behind up-and-coming Noms. What started as a fun hobby blossomed into a burgeoning business for Cecilia To and Tiffany Tsang, who now process around 40 orders a week.
Desserts in our city are enjoyed, first and foremost, on Instagram. Each month, a new craze permeates our feed – bird’s-eye view photos of cupcakes or ubiquitous shots of a perfectly manicured hand clutching an ice cream sandwich, for example. Noms caught the attention of avid Instagrammers with their neon coloured layered cakes topped with inverted ice cream cones, inspired by Sydney-based baker Katherine Sabbath. Their other cakes are pared down from the varieties we often see in shops; instead they are embellished with natural ingredients like bouquets of fresh flowers, fruits and herbs for a minimalistic, rustic look.
“We started this to share our passion for baking and to have an outlet for us to try new things in a unique way,” explains Cecilia To, who met co-founder Tiffany Tsang while attending culinary school in Pok Fu Lam two years ago. “We weren’t A-plus students, actually,” admits Tsang. “But we really loved baking, and wanted to continue it after we finished school.” The pair set up Noms last year, when To was working as a secretary and Tsang at a cafe; they officially launched in May this year and work at Noms full-time from a studio in Kwun Tong.
Noms offers cakes as small as four inches to custom-made wedding cakes, as well as tarts and cookies. The pair split the duties: To is a fan of exotic flavours, while Tsang prefers cakes made with Hojicha, Thai, or green tea. Standard flavour combinations won’t be found at Noms – the girls aren’t afraid to experiment, as evidenced by the cakes they bring along to the shoot. The fig, rose and pistachio cake comprises five layers sandwiched with a smooth rose buttercream and garnished with fresh figs, honeycomb and roses, and is delicious. Their bestsellers include a Horlicks cake with cream cheese icing, sakura cheesecake and purple sweet potato tofu mousse cake.
But it hasn’t been smooth sailing for the pair, as they have encountered their fair share of setbacks. “It’s especially difficult when you don’t have a shop, so people don’t get to try the flavour combinations beforehand,” shares To. “We’ve had a few cases where customers have told us they like the cakes, but then have given us bad reviews online! It was difficult to deal with in the beginning, but we’ve learnt a lot, and we’re still learning. We’re passionate bakers, and not afraid to be different.”
Noms; tel: 6799 8979. Follow @nomscake