Earlier this year, graduating student Thara Theany was facing a challenging situation. Full of ambition she returned from her internship at the Michelin Star Chef Philippe Girardon in France. But back in Phnom Penh, Covid-19 forced her to stay home with no job opportunities. At that point she decided to take a risk and start with her own pastry business.
What was the crucial point for you to decide opening your own business? Well, I have been dreaming of my own pastry business since I was little. I have always been passionate about pastries and about how creative you can be in this industry. When I returned from my internship in France, Covid-19 had forced many businesses to shut down and there were no interesting job vacancies available for me. Spending a few weeks at home I told myself “why sitting around and wasting time?” So I decided to take it into my own hands.
Your online shop is called Petit Gâteau Patisserie. How did you choose this name? Petit Gâteau means little cake in French. Many of the pastries I’m creating now I have learned during my time in France, during my internship. I was trained by a French Michelin Star Chef and I wanted this to be reflected in my business.
And how is the business developing? Can you make a living out of it?Oh yes, definitely. As a matter of fact, I already do. When I started 2 month ago, my customers were mostly friends and family members. My very first one, for example, was a friend of mine who ordered 50 glasses of passion fruit mousse for a birthday party. Now, almost all of my customers are pure customers really.
How can customers get your delicious pastry creations? Currently, I sell my pastries online. Customers can contact me vie Facebook or Instagram and choose from the menu on a pre-order basis.
And which of your pastries would you personally recommend? Personally, I love the chocolate raspberry mousse but the mango-passion fruit mousse is my best-seller.
What are your future plans?
Currently, I sell my pastries online. My plan for next year is to open up a physical shop and then in a longer term expand and not only sell my pastries in Phnom Penh but in entire Cambodia and who knows even internationally. You got to have ambitions, right?