Interview: Founder Niklas Frassa On The Genesis Of CakeRush, Cake Trends In Malaysia & Morejessie tan
Craving cake but having difficulties finding something for your sweet tooth? Try CakeRush!
CakeRush is an online cake store that offers goodies from local bakeries. Their site is very interactive, allowing you to browse according to cake types, flavours, bakeries and even your budget. The best part? It delivers fresh bakes straight to your doorstep.
CakeRush started operating in Malaysia in March 2020 and later became available in the Philippines in July 2020. Since then, many satisfied customers have been using their services to deliver cakes to themselves, family or friends. We got the opportunity to interview one of the founders, Niklas Frassa, about the business and what their journey in Malaysia has been like so far.
1. How did CakeRush come about? Is there a backstory to the business?
We’ve noticed how more and more people started to buy cakes online, as we have recorded rapidly increasing cake sales on our flower delivery website, Flower Chimp. We knew how many are in a rush to send a cake to a loved one (or to fulfil their own cravings), thus the name Cake “Rush”.
2. Prior to starting CakeRush, did you have any experience running a business? Do you bake yourself?
We had been in the delivery business of delicate things for more than three years at that time, having founded Flower Chimp which is a flower delivery service active in five markets across Southeast Asia, and therefore already had the fulfilment platform (logistics, cooling facilities etc.) needed for a business like CakeRush.
3. What were you doing before CakeRush?
We founded Limitless Technology in 2016, which is an e-commerce holding company that focuses on building ventures for various categories, such as cakes, flowers, and most recently health supplements (lyla.my). Before that, we worked with other digital businesses, including Zalora and hear.com.
4. CakeRush Malaysia was launched right before the pandemic hit. What were the challenges in managing this platform?
The main challenge was supporting its growth. As restaurants and cafes closed their doors during the first MCO, people were looking for alternatives to satisfy their cake cravings and found them online, resulting in our fast growth during the first Covid-wave.
5. Currently, you are available in both the Philippines and Malaysia. Is there a difference between running the business in the Philippines and in Malaysia?
Business-wise it’s very similar, however the tastes do differ between the two countries, requiring us to pay close attention to the local heroes when it comes to flavor. While Malaysians love traditional flavors such as ondeh-ondeh, people in the Philippines are big fans of everything Ube-flavored, which is not so common over here.
6. With the pandemic, everyone has shifted to online shopping, which works for your business. Was it easy to adapt?
From our previous experience, we know what to pay attention to as delivery businesses like CakeRush scale. However, cakes have their own challenges as some require handling that differs from flowers, especially items like ice cream cakes that are obviously very sensitive to heat. The other challenge was expanding our assortment quickly to meet everyone’s unique tastes, for which we’ve scaled from 30 to 300 different cakes in the first few months.
7. CakeRush has a lot of options from different bakeries. Do you filter out bakeries before featuring them on the website? Is there a list of criteria they have to meet?
We do, and besides the quality and flavour, availability is very important. People are not very patient when ordering food items, therefore it’s crucial that our bakers can offer deliveries on the same day or at least next day delivery. We’re also always constantly trying to identify new trends and bakers that pick up these trends, be it in terms of spectacular cake designs or experimental and new flavours.
8. Your website is very buyer-friendly; especially the option that displays cakes within certain budgets. Was that a conscious decision?
Yes, we are striving to offer everyone a selection of cakes that suits their budget and taste.
9. You have been in business for about a year now. What are the biggest lessons you’ve learned so far?
We found it puzzling to see how quickly cake trends come and go. Products may be bestsellers for one month and shortly after that, they are barely selling. For these reasons, we strive to keep our assortment as alive as possible by adding new designs every week to keep up with latest trends.
10. What sets CakeRush apart from other existing online cake deliveries in Malaysia?
We strongly emphasise convenience, that means having the right cake available for any budget at the shortest notice. That means having the best assortment in the market at the most attractive prices.
11. Where do you see CakeRush in the next year or two?
We are focusing a lot on expansion, and will also be improving the service level in the markets that we’re covering. This means, two years from now, we want to be the market leader in Malaysia, Singapore, and the Philippines, while constantly being the benchmark when it comes to our cake assortment and price level.
12. Do you have plans to expand or branch out into other countries?
We will be launching in Singapore soon and have more markets in the pipeline for CakeRush.
13. Now, onto the most important question: What are your favourite cakes that never fail to cheer you up?
We are massive (burnt) cheesecake fans, especially if the cheesy core is melting away. Sweet Passion’s Premium Cakes and Wellbakes are achieving this amazingly.
Are you hungry? Check out their website. You may find a few other bakeries there that you may recognise like Avalynn Cakes, Champignons Cake Shop, September Bakes, Junandus and more. We also suggest peeking at their Instagram; it’s a feast for the eyes.
CakeRush promises to have your bakes delivered ASAP, so what are you waiting for?