While growing up, Josiah Jeremy never thought of running his own business.
He had worked in a trading company for the past five years and finally took a leap of confidence outside his comfort zone to create his own Dorian brand.
“I’m glad I did because I’m passionate about it,” said the 32-year-old.
Foundations of Josiah Golden moments Back in 2017, which launched with its first product: Signature 100% Mao Shan Wang Snow Skin Mooncake.
“The response was tremendous and we hit a six-figure figure with our product selling in one month,” said Josiah.
It remains the best-selling product to date, with more than 400,000 items sold so far. That’s not surprising, given that Golden Moments is a pioneer that sells durian moon cakes in Singapore – and it actually does it well.
For Dorian Lovers, by Dorian Lover
From day one, Josiah has always envisioned a brand that lives and breathes durian.
Golden Moments was built on the idea of bringing families and loved ones together through Dorian’s shared love.
This was also the reason why their brand name came into being: they wanted to defend the brand’s essence of ‘appreciating golden moments and celebrating relationships’.
Josiah said, “Being a fan of durian, we aspire to be the durian revolution by creating delicious fresh durian dishes from farm to table.”
While durian is generally loved among Singaporeans, it is an acquired aftertaste and some people may not be able to stand its pungent smell.
So, diving into the durian food and beverage business might mean that there’s a chance that it might not be able to attract and taste everyone’s hearts. Regardless, he was determined to start turning on the golden moments due to his passion for Dorian.
While he loves Dorian, he realizes that they are not the easiest to work with. Firstly, they have a higher product cost compared to other fruits.
Moreover, Golden Moments only use Dorian Mao Shan Wang who is of “unmatched AAA grade”, which is more expensive than other durian grades.
“We also have to work closely with Durian Farm partners to get a steady supply of durian.”
“Finally, we need to be very insightful and knowledgeable in this cyclical trade market as it is a seasonal fruit and prices fluctuate from season to season.”
Innovation in their DNA
Although Golden Moments started out with a mooncake product, it has quickly expanded beyond this traditional delicacy.
In 2019, it launched a wide range of product offerings such as Signature Mao Shan Wang Galaxy Cake, Golden QQ (Mochi-like durian balls) and dark chocolate Mao Shan Wang Durian Macaron.
Macaroon in particular is one of the few products whose production has been discontinued since then.
The gap was caused by the buying behavior of the customers. They prefer to have macarons in a restaurant when having tea, rather than buying from FMCG (FMCG) channels, “Josiah explained.
In 2020, they have taken things to a higher level with newer offerings such as Hokkaido durian cheesecake, freshly packaged durian, vanilla and chocolate durian cream shu, Mao Shan Wang durian puffs, French premium crepe, more variations of durian cakes, and the fruit chain of Golden Bonbons.
According to Josiah, Golden Moments come out with new products every half year to keep things fresh.
He is personally involved in the product research and development (R&D) stage to help maintain the company’s high and strict standards when it comes to product quality.
“I will work very closely with the R&D team to create these products, and have focus groups to obtain feedback to determine the product’s taste, look and feel.”
Generally, the entire product development process can take up to six months to a year.
Josiah explained that there are different stages to this process. First, they needed research and surveys to gain insights into the type of popular products and flavors already on the market.
“Then we will have our R&D team work on that and ensure that all products meet food safety requirements through prior lab tests. The marketing team will then plan how to launch the product on our online and offline channels by clicking on our social media platforms. “.
Fix your cravings for durian anytime, anywhere
Customers can enjoy the freshest durian food from Golden Moments with our nationwide delivery service, which promises to send it to your doorstep in less than 90 minutes so you can satisfy your durian cravings at any time.
“We pride ourselves on preserving the freshness of our durian dishes. We carefully put items in refrigerated bags and make sure the delivery process is fast and efficient, so that orders remain cool (throughout the delivery process), “said Josiah.
Alternatively, Golden Moments is also available on major food delivery platforms such as GrabFood, foodpanda, and Deliveroo, as well as e-commerce platforms like Shopee and Qoo10, as part of its delivery expansion efforts.
Josiah said they have since received numerous online orders from customers, even during a cycle outage when many are forced to stay home.
When the durian cravings break out, they can simply order Golden Moments durian desserts with a few clicks.
Aside from online channels, Golden Moments recently entered distribution channels such as local supermarkets such as NTUC FairPrice and HAO mart, as well as Shell, Cheers and many more, as part of its ambition to be present across most FMCG channels.
“By expanding our presence to offline channels, customers can fix their cravings for eating anytime, anywhere. We want to make our products comfortable, accessible and affordable for our customers.”
Janet or joins the golden moments
Most recently, local actress, director, and confectioner Janet O. The latest Creative Director and Brand Ambassador for Golden Moments.
Commenting on the appointment, Josiah said her values are in line with the brand’s values. Furthermore, she has a baking background as the actress is a trained baker at Le Cordon Bleau.
She also co-starred in Golden Moments, writing, directing and starring in the brand’s first-ever short film to be released in time.
As an avid fan of the Golden Moments herself, it is most noteworthy that she joined the Golden Moments family.
This Mother’s Day, Janet makes her debut as the face of Golden Moments, promoting the all-new Super Mama Rosette cake.
This luxury 6 inch rosette cake is smooth and creamy, delicately topped with charcoal buttercream, pink Earl Gray sponge and pure Mao Shan Wang Durian puree.
Adhering to such special occasions is important, because “sales usually peak around 300 to 400 percent” during this period, Josiah revealed, adding that they will be serving another cake for Father’s Day.
Struggle before success
In 2018, Golden Moments received $ 1 million in financing from Evan Lee, who is also the founder of the Thai Express Group.
Josiah counts his lucky stars to be able to find an investor and mentor who believes in him and his business. In addition to being a voice board, Evan raises his knowledge and expertise by providing advice and support, directing him closely on his business journey.
Although the home-grown brand has had success today, its startup journey wasn’t just a bed of roses.
“When starting out, people around me were skeptical and skeptical about how Dorian had sought to succeed. With optimism, I chose to believe in the vision and mission, as well as the potential of what I was starting out.”
He ignored the naysayers and stuck to his gun. Today, Golden Moments has become a household name synonymous with durian delights.
When asked about the challenges in the early days, he said that being new to the industry he should always be down to earth. This means being practical in every aspect – from manufacturing, production forecasting, inventory, fulfillment, and even branding.
Josiah was particularly involved in forecasting production. While increased sales usually indicate good news for the company, it can also pose a real challenge.
When this time of year comes the team is very busy. They will receive 300 to 400 births a day, reaching a peak of 600 per day.
Then fulfilling the logistics became another challenge, simulating the domino effect.
“We had to meet 10 different logistical partners to work with and create a framework for smoothing. During peak periods, we make sure to engage more logistical partners to better cope with the surge in orders.”
The other major challenge is hiring the right team. It’s not easy to hire the right team with the right vision and values to drive business in the right direction.
Josiah said he was happy to work alongside a team ready to take this journey with him, and he quote, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
Gold struck despite Covid-19
When Covid-19 hit last year, it was one of the most difficult times the company has faced since its inception.
“Our Mid-Autumn Festival booths were affected and we had to move things online and (shift our focus) there. There were 300 to 400 on-demand deliveries per day, and the team had to make sure all orders were met on time and accurately.”
Despite no pop-up booths, Golden Moments managed to set a record for sales S $ 1.5 million a month.
This can also be attributed to the unique and interesting flavors of mooncakes that it introduced last year like Lychee Martini, D24 Durian, and Docello Hazelnut.
In the same year, it also partnered with local jewelery brand SK Jewelery to launch the 24-karat snake skin Mao Shanwang moon cake costing SGD 888.
According to their marketing research, this limited-edition set – which comes with a 24-karat gold alloy – is “the most expensive moon cake in Singapore and possibly Asia.”
It’s also interesting to note that Golden Moments have successfully “sold” all of their mooncakes during the Mid-Autumn Festival for the past four years, which is a testament to the popularity of mooncakes.
Durian is without doubt the king of fruits, and it is no exaggeration to say that golden moments have successfully ascended to become the king of durian sweets in Singapore.
Featured Image Credit: Golden Moments