Rolling with his childhood cinnamon dream
An ode to his favourite snack, man starts up cinnamon roll kiosk
It was his favourite childhood snack, so when Mr Wilbert Tedja decided on a start-up in the food and beverage industry, baking and selling cinnamon rolls was a natural choice.
The rolls are made fresh at the Rrooll kiosk which opened last month at Jewel Changi Airport.
Mr Tedja, 30, who worked previously in the finance sector, told The New Paper: "My (Indonesian) wife and I wanted to offer something unique.
"Cinnamon rolls are nostalgic for me because they were a part of my youth. Recipes have evolved and grown, but I always go back to that familiar, childhood taste. The smell of those rolls are ingrained in my memory."
The circuit breaker in April last year kicked off a series of experiments for Mr Tedja.
"I had no experience in bread-making, so my first batch of cinnamon rolls turned out really bad, almost inedible," he recalled.
"It took me five to six months to perfect the recipe, and I even gained 5kg from all the eating."
Mr Tedja had obtained a scholarship with Spring (now known as Enterprise Singapore) with the intent of learning how to operate a business.
He said the agency helped and supported budding entrepreneurs in all aspects of business, and he picked up several tips along the way.
"During those years, I knew I wanted to start something on my own one day," he said.
Rrooll was not Mr Tedja's first entrepreneurial venture.
After Spring, Mr Tedja worked in finance and investment for about two years, before he took the plunge to pursue his own project in 2018.
He and his wife started an agricultural business in Indonesia to produce fruit and vegetables. But that came to a halt when the Covid-19 pandemic hit last year.
Said Mr Tedja: "We were starting to gain momentum... but with the travel restrictions everywhere, our operations had to be put off."
The name Rrooll is based on the back and forth kneading motion involved in making the dough.
The use of the double "r", "o" and "l" letters reflects the brand's concept of offering dual flavours of sweet and savoury.
Mr Tedja said the unique Japanese curry and coco orange flavours are his personal favourites.
"It takes weeks to come out with a new flavour... we have to get the right ingredients from the right supplier. The quality of our products is important, and we will not compromise on taste."
Mr Tedja hopes he can one day franchise his brand in Singapore.
"One reason we decided to be at Jewel food hall is so that when air travel resumes, customers can take it overseas and the cinnamon rolls hopefully gain presence in other countries."