Crunchy balls of sweet treats at Mr Baguette
If you don't evolve and change, you'll die.
That's the business mantra for hawker Kent Wee.
The Singapore permanent resident used to sell bread in Sarawak, where he was born. He came to Singapore and started a little bread stall in Beach Road but it went bust.
He says: "I realised I had nothing special for the customers, they could get what I was selling anywhere."
So Mr Wee started Mr Baguette, selling baguettes and garlic bread.
It did not resonate either.
He brainstormed and came up with a light and crispy baguette ball, hollowed out and filled with whatever he felt the customers wanted.
And the rest is street food magic.
Mr Wee loaded the crusty baguette balls with timeless favourites: Chocolate, Japanese azuki red beans in mint cream, cheese, cookies and cream, red velvet lava - stuff the young and the young at heart love.
His other bestseller is the egg custard version ($1.20).
The Chocolate Baguette Lava ($1.80) is my favourite. It is appealing for simple reasons: The filling is generous and it explodes when you bite into the crusty and crispy ball.
Your nose and cheeks are likely to be smeared with chocolate goodness, I kid you not.
That gentle hint of salt in the chocolate is what makes you want to take the next bite even before you are done chewing the first.
I also like the egg tart version but I think the crust is too crisp in contrast to the wobbly egg custard.
The Azuki red beans and green tea version is very comforting, especially if you are a fan of matcha and red bean ice cream.
The secret to Mr Wee's success is his generosity with toppings and fillings. This is why regulars, who buy in bulk, flock to his little hawker stall Mondays to Saturdays.
Dainty office ladies make up the bulk of his clientele, alongside heartland aunties and uncles.
YUMMY: (Above) Chocolate Baguette Lava. PHOTOS: KF SEETOH
YUMMY: (Above) Hawaiian Pizza Baguettes, with pineapple, ham and cheese. PHOTOS: KF SEETOH
Mr Wee's other winning formula: His stoves and ovens are all set to warm up each order.
Two other baguette balls worth a mention: The Tiramisu Lava ($1.80), with lovely bits of ladyfingers soaked in espresso and cheese, and the Cheese Lava Tart, which is all cheesy and oozy inside.
Mr Wee and his wife Irene, who helps out at their little central kitchen, have come a long way.
"We could barely hit $100 a day when we started out and worried about making enough to feed our two children," said Mr Wee.
"Today, thanks to word of mouth, we are pushing 600 baguette balls a day."
If you visit his stall, don't forget to try the basic baguettes and the Hawaiian Pizza Baguettes, with pineapple, ham and cheese.
Mr Wee said something new is in the works: Ball Baked Chicken Pasta.