Words by Janelle Ting
Bringing artisanal bakes to the neighbourhood in downtown Singapore
Nestled along the quiet and quaint street of Bukit Pasoh Road, you can pop in Baker’s Bench Bakery for some comfort bakes, humble cooked food and coffee.
Founders Vera Tan and Joey Eng started this bakery mainly for their desire to provide a grounded and laidback bakery ambience, which they experienced while living abroad in the UK and Tasmania respectively. It also serves as a safe space for the staff to create, make mistakes, learn and grow.
By embracing an open concept, this bakery emphasizes on creating and nurturing bonds. Evidently, there are no walls separating patrons and staff, exposing the kitchen in full view of anyone who steps into the bakery, likened to entering one’s home kitchen.
One can savour some of their bakers’ specialties, such as their exquisite Sourdough Croissants, Sticky Buns, Humble Loaf and Milk Toast.
Being adventurous, Joey (the baker) decided to omit yeast from all her baked goods. Instead, she replaced it with her sourdough starter (levain), which creates the unique flavour and texture in their croissants.
Their Sticky Bun is a great crowd-pleaser. It can be likened to a cinnamon bun, jazzed up with a luxurious toffee glaze and walnuts – deliberately made to be less rich and sweet so that one can happily enjoy the bun without much guilt.
Their Humble Loaf, although plain as the name suggests, shines on its own with its distinct tasting notes and versatility. It is perfect for sandwiches, spreads or even just on its own.
Another signature item, the Milk Toast, is a lighter version of brioche. It is soft and fluffy, with a unique tanginess and flavour to it. If you fancy Asian soft breads, you will enjoy this heavenly experience.
Even though the founders’ vision is to provide patrons with artisanal baked goods crafted traditionally by hands, they understand the importance of using the latest smart technology and skills-upgrading to improve their business. One example is the use of Point-Of-Sale (POS) system which provides the bakery with an updated statistical analysis of their sales and customer management. This system helps the bakery strategize on how to attract new customers, retain regulars (who make up the majority of the daily patrons) and which products are the most popular.
Baker’s Bench Bakery also hired barista Clive Chiam to brew coffee that pairs perfectly with the bakery’s baked goods. She shared, “Previously, I worked as front-of-house in an F&B establishment. Even though I didn’t receive proper training as a barista, I was given the freedom to experiment, and through observation, I was able to pick up the basics that allowed me to better understand what makes a good cup of coffee, and apply it to my current position as a barista at Baker’s Bench Bakery.”
The bakery plans to send Clive for SG Barista Training Course conducted by School of Coffee, supported by the Employment and Employability Institute (e2i), to refine her skills and technique to the next level.