New Specialty Cinnamon Roll Kiosk Includes Milo Dinosaur, Japanese Curry, and More Unconventional Flavours
STORY: Diane Lam
24 March 2021
Wilbert Tedja, 31, did not plan on going into the cinnamon roll business.
The former banker, who spent six months planning a franchise in Indonesia, had to put his plans on hold after COVID-19 crept onto our shores.
"The quarantine requirements kicked in just two days before the franchisor team were supposed to fly into Indonesia to give the final go-ahead to open the restaurant," Teja said. "Given the requirements we had to adhere to, it had made it operationally difficult for travelling, and thus we had to put the opening of this new restaurant on hold."
"It was disappointing that everything had to come to a standstill just as we were geared up and ready to welcome this new business. I had to accept that COVID-19 was that serious and the restaurant opening would not be happening soon given the lockdown happening worldwide."
With no job and no way to open his restaurant abroad, Tedja set his sights on Singapore, where he was born and raised. As a nation of foodies, Singapore has welcomed its fair share of bubble tea brands, salted egg chips, chunky cookies, and other trendy food items. But it didn't have an eatery dedicated to Tedja's favourite childhood snack: cinnamon rolls.
Armed with an oven and a bevy of buddies willing to taste-test his creations, Tedja spent six months perfecting his cinnamon roll recipe, gaining 5 kilograms in the process.
"Luckily, I am a huge foodie so did this not affect me much but rather, I was happy to embark on this exciting journey in developing the business," he says.
Going into F&B during a pandemic proved especially challenging due to tighter border controls, and thus, limited entry of new labour and delays in ingredient orders.
"I had to think of a plan fast to address these issues," Tedja recalls. "One of our plans included offering more attractive remuneration packages so as to increase brand awareness and attract job applications. Another plan was to reduce the reliance on labor. I took some time off to relook into the business operations, and figured out a way to make it leaner and more efficient. Lastly, to address the issue of shortage in ingredients, I worked closely with the suppliers to source for alternatives on hand to replace our key ingredients, whilst not compromising the flavour and quality of our products."
But it was all for the best, because in January 2021, rrooll, Singapore's first specialty cinnamon roll kiosk, opened in Jewel Changi Airport.
Unlike conventional cinnamon roll kiosks, rrooll serves sweet and savoury flavours.
"I had observed that most Singaporeans tend to prefer food that are less sweet," Wilbert says. "Thus, this spurred me to venture into other flavours besides solely focusing on the classic cinnamon flavour, that may be too overly sweet to some people’s liking. This led to the development of four other variations of sweet flavours, and to make things interesting, even three different savoury flavours, with which has never presented as cinnamon rolls before in the Singapore market.
The sweet flavours are inspired by my favourite flavours as a child, while the savoury flavours are inspired by popular flavours from other countries. For the Japanese Curry, I was eating Japanese curry rice one day and thought, what if I tried incorporating that into a roll? And the results turned out to be a pleasant surprise.
To explore further, I also conducted numerous surveys with my friends and family members to understand the flavours which would excite their palette. Garlic and Onion was one flavour that was popular among most of them."
You can choose from 5 sweet flavours - Classic Cinnamon, Cinnamon Apple, Cocoa Orange, Hazelnut Rocher, Sweet Cheese, and three innovative savoury flavours – Japanese Curry, Hawaiian, Garlic Onion and Cheese.
rrooll also launched two local-inspired flavours this month in bite-sized portions: Cheesy Kaya and Milo Dinosaur.
Want to try them for yourself? Islandwide delivery is available at rrooll.sg. You can also find them on Foodpanda, or of course, in Jewel itself.
78 Airport Boulevard, #B2-266, Jewel Changi, Singapore 819666