Former CEO starts online business selling DIY cannoli kits
Despite losing her job, Ms Adele Chia saw an opportunity during the circuit breaker.
The 46-year-old was CEO of a leading education company in Singapore before moving to Vietnam last year to head up a branch under the same company.
She returned home when the Republic imposed the circuit breaker, and three days later, Vietnam went into a lockdown as well.
Three months after working remotely from home, Ms Chia lost her job when the company owners sold off the business.
She said: "My contract was prematurely terminated, and the thought of starting all over again (especially during the pandemic) was scary."
Her husband, Mr Edmund Ng, 45, ran a yong tau foo stall at a hawker centre, but had to give that up after difficulties in finding a stall assistant.
Together, the couple decided to venture into the food and beverage business, baking and selling cannoli. They started a home-based business last month called Cannolicious, which offers a DIY kit that lets customers pipe their own cannoli.
The Sicilian pastry is a tube-shaped shell of fried pastry dough filled with a sweet, creamy filling usually containing ricotta cheese.
Ms Chia said: "Edmund had always been interested in the food and beverage business; I guess it was natural for us to venture into it.
"Cannoli is a lesser known Italian dessert in Singapore as compared to tiramisu and gelato. A lot of hard work goes into making the cannoli - the shells alone take three days to make.
"Edmund insists on manually chopping the pistachio topping to ensure that customers can relish the crunch."
The effort has paid off as response has been positive, and customers include local celebrities and influencers.
Each cannoli DIY kit consists of 12 mignon cannoli shells, freshly made ricotta cream cheese filling in a piping bag, two toppings (chocolate chips and chopped pistachio nuts), icing sugar and a disposable sieve.
For the Christmas season, Cannolicious is launching a new flavour.
Ms Chia said: "Raspberry is red, bright, cheery and gives you a burst of flavour."