“We used to only have 3 jobs in a month, and through Kaodim, now we have caterings every single day. We’re fully booked during the weekends.” — Christine Bong, caterer
Scroll down to watch Christine’s video!
Born and raised in Singapore, Christine Bong ventured from law and property development into the food and beverage (F&B) scene in Malaysia to start coffee and catering businesses under the collective branding Brick House Sdn Bhd. The Brick House Group is a two-year-old foodie-centric company that aims to bring sexy, wholesome food to the masses at affordable pricing.
Since partnering with Kaodim in March 2016, her catering service has soared from having only 3 jobs per month to constant bookings every single day, ranging from birthday parties to corporate events and wedding spreads. She enjoys food styling as much as cooking, so her caterings always feature Instagram-worthy food that taste as good as they look.
You may have heard of the Glass House Cafe, a sunlit coffee house at MAHSA University which was founded by Christine and her partner. We had the privilege to chat with her about her passion for the F&B industry and how our service has enabled her business to grow within a short span of time.
Christine and her mom, Aileen, who assists her with catering
KAODIM: Hi Christine! What inspired you to start The Brick House Group?
Well, I have a law degree and was working in property development, while my partner was a chemical engineer and now works as a director of finance in another company. The opportunity presented itself through a glass structure inside MAHSA University and we decided to go for it and start our own cafe. What better way to start serving food than from the ground up, which is at universities! We want to make sure that we feed people with good, solid, sexy food.
KAODIM: In your opinion, what makes your food unique?
Our catering is structured on our desire to serve healthy, wholesome food. I’d say our food is relatively different. It’s a fusion of western and asian flavours, such as chilli padi grilled chicken, chilli padi pesto pasta, and more.
KAODIM: That’s delicious. What inspires your catering menu and designs?
We do a lot of research online, especially on Instagram, for ideas on table decor, food styling and recipes. We look for sources from New York and Australia and then we spend a lot of hours working with our kitchen boys to come up with that perfect recipe and appearance. Every menu that we create is different.
KAODIM: What would you like to achieve for yourself over the next few years?
Well, we started with cafes inside universities and then we diversified into catering to support our staff during the school holidays. This year alone, we have ventured into event planning, event decoration, asset management of canteens, and we even started a convenience store. We’re also running a gift shop for the university where we produce our own stationery. I still foresee myself as one of the front runners for the F&B line within universities. We’re taking food in the universities to the next level by encouraging healthier food.
KAODIM: How has Kaodim helped you expand your business?
For starters, Kaodim has given us more exposure into the marketplace. We had never intended to cater aggressively, until we decided to give Kaodim a try. Our catering business just took off and started growing organically. We used to only have 3 jobs in a month, and through Kaodim, now we have caterings every single day. We’re fully booked during the weekends.
KAODIM: We’re so glad to hear that! What are 3 things you like about our app?
1) It’s very easy to use. I’ve tried other sites, but many of them have too many buttons and so forth. Kaodim’s interface is very user-friendly and specific.
2) Kaodim constantly updates the progress of the queries, and there is a constant follow-through. I like that it’s easy to feedback as well.
3) Overall, Kaodim is relatively affordable for us vendors to utilise the program to advertise our services and acquire more jobs.
KAODIM: Tell us about the most interesting customer you’ve met through our app.
Oh, she’s this wonderful lady who was planning her daughter’s one-year-old birthday. Although her original intention was for us to cater at her home, she kept coming over to our cafe to try our food. On her third visit, she decided to just host it at our garden, so we did the decorations for her. What made her so interesting was the way she was with the whole process. She constantly called to make sure everything was going okay. She also made her own owl lanterns! She was by far one of our nicest clients. She had no complaints, she planned everything through and she kept communicating well with us.
KAODIM: What do you love about your job?
I love the rush of meeting impossible deadlines and crazy client requests. Secondly, I love the look of joy on my clients’ faces when they see and taste the sexy food. You know it’s sexy. And finally, it’s the immense pride I feel when I see the growth of my staff and our team as a whole. It’s amazing when some of our staff come in with barely any spoken English, and within 3 months, their English is flawless and they’re able to take orders and communicate fluently.
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written and photographed by Carissa Gan