Names of Recipients:
Ms. Karylan Lee
Ms. Cherylan Lee
With Singapore’s flourishing food culture, desserts both Eastern and Western are now commonplace locally. For those who like a fusion of both in their dessert, 51 Fiveone Degrees may just be the perfect dessert haunting spot for you.
Established in September 2012 by sisters Karylan and Cherylan Lee, Fiveone Degrees is a Singaporean patisserie that incorporates both Peranakan and French baking methods to create their dessert offerings. With an emphasis on simplicity in their desserts, Fiveone Degrees currently offers four main items; chiffon cakes, cupcakes, tartlets, and their Butterbloc.
Light and airy, but not sacrificing on taste, their chiffon cake offers both a traditional and new twist to the Singaporean favorite, with flavors like Pandan, Orange and Chocolate in their line up. Likewise, with their Butterbloc, also known as buttercake, uses 100% rich pure butter with a hint of cognac mixed in.
However, what is front and center in their shop are their cupcakes. With flavors like Dark Grey and Lychee Martini, the unconventional flavors have amassed its own group of faithful customers hooked on Fiveone Degree’s offerings.
At the helm of these delicious treats is Karylan, who is the main baker of Fiveone Degrees. When asked about why she decided to open a patisserie, she reflects on some early memories. “Since I was young, my mother has always baked at home. So you can definitely say she is an inspiration to me.” Karylan continued, “When I graduated from ITE with qualifications in graphic design, I did not really see a future for myself there. I decided to try something different.”
Inspired by her childhood, Karylan decided to take the plunge into the food and beverage industry. To hone her skills, Karylan took up a diploma course in pastry and baking at SHATEC, and as she graduated, decided to establish a place of her own. With the financial assistance from her father, administrative assistance from her sister Cherylan, and baking assistance from her mother, 51 Fiveone Degrees was born.
Owning a business at a young age, Karylan soon realized and experienced the challenges entrepreneurship can bring. One challenge in particular she faced was the location of her shop. “We are located in Toa Payoh North, which is a heartland area. It is different from suburban areas, and some of the crowd here are not really into the things we are selling, or the prices we are selling them at.”
However, Karylan was determined to even the odds, and make Fiveone Degrees a success. “I want to show people that success in life is not just about qualifications, a piece of paper. Therefore, I know I had to work extra hard, and prove to people who have looked down on me that they are wrong.”
With the motivation firing her on, Karylan poured her heart and soul into Fiveone Degrees. The opening of a Mapletree Hi-Tech industrial cluster opening up in Toa Payoh further brought around more customers. With time, effort, and the sheer quality of her baked goods, people began flocking into her patisserie.
One aspect, which Karylan thought differentiated her patisserie from others, is her product range. “We cater to people of all ages. For example, our chiffon appeals more to the older crowds, while younger people will more often go for our cupcakes and tarts instead. We also have our Butterbloc, a rich buttercake which will appeal to many as well.”
Their appeal eventually piqued the interest of the media, and Mediacorp’s Channel U approached them for a feature for their documentary series on shop stories. Being one of their first exposures to the mass market, the event remained one of Karylan’s proudest achievements for Fiveone Degrees, with the video taking pride of place in their shop today.
Looking back on her entrepreneurial experience so far, Karylan muses about important lessons she has learnt in the last few years. She said, “There are a lot of sacrifices you just have to make, and you really have to balance your social and family time with your time, because your business comes first.”
In addition, Karylan believes perseverance is an important quality an entrepreneur must have. “Good comments, bad criticism, you just have to accept them and don’t give up. You have only one chance to do it; you don’t really have a second one.”
With the success Fiveone Degrees has gathered, Karylan is contented to sticking to what they do best. “It will always be quality over quantity. We are not interested to franchise our brand, as the products will not be personally supervised by us and the quality will not be the same. But we are definitely in the process of expanding the range of our products, so that there will always be something new.”
With their delicious offerings and commitment to quality, it is clear to see why Fiveone Degrees have attained the success and accolades they have today. Under the watchful eye of sisters Karylan and Cherylan, and with the support of their family and friends, there can only be more success down the road for them and 51 Fiveone Degrees.
203 Toa Payoh North #01-1113
T| 6526 9328