Many people dream of owning a bakery one day, but life can easily set us on a different path. However, Hong Kong-born Stephanie and Kevin Yang (ages 16 and 12 respectively) have already turned this dream into a reality.
The siblings run a bakery called Fawn’s Sweets in the basement of Chaowai SOHO. As we surveyed the strawberry ice cream and Valrhona cake, we were shocked to discover that they were both made by the young Western Academy of Beijing (WAB) students.
Fawn’s Sweets isn’t the Yang siblings’ first venture. Six years ago after returning from a vacation in France, their parents encouraged them to open a bakery to satisfy their longing for French pastries. “We thought it was a joke,” says Stephanie, then only 10. “But when we returned to Beijing, we found ourselves looking for a place to start our business.”
Their first shop, A Piece of Cake, soon opened near WAB and catered to the school community. However, it shut down after a year when WAB required all students to take the school bus home, resulting in very little foot traffic in the afternoon. However, Kevin says “it was a great experience, and we really wanted to try again to see if we can actually achieve something.”
Their entrepreneur mom guided them through the opening of A Piece of Cake; it was only when the siblings set up Fawn’s Sweets that they took over responsibility. Kevin takes care of accounting. He calculates overhead costs, revenue, profit, and loss, and communicates with shop employees to ensure the numbers match up. Every month, he also tallies the total and makes decisions on products and pricing. Stephanie is responsible for marketing and general management. Both participate in product development and baking.
Both siblings work at Fawn’s Sweets on weekends and bake cakes every day after school. Their driver then delivers the products to the shop to ensure freshness. They routinely check in on the phone during their lunch break and review revenue figures after school. “This is more a commitment than a hobby,” says Stephanie. “If you don’t do your homework at school, the teacher will just scold you. But here, [the business]will collapse.”
After the interview, I bought Raspberry Cheese Cake (RMB 18), Red Velvet (RMB 18), and Carrot Cake (RMB 13). As I savored the desserts, I could already picture the siblings confidently presenting Fawn’s Sweets in front of their future MBA classmates.
Fawn’s Sweets 佛恩斯蛋糕店
Mon-Fri 8.30am-9pm, Sat-Sun 10.15am-7.30pm. Shop B118, Chaowai SOHO Phase II, Chaoyangmennei Xiaojie, Chaoyang District (6517 6680) 朝阳区朝内小街朝阳门SOHO2期B118店铺