Where Sweets And Design Meet
Kki Sweets offers a Japanese-themed experience with its lovingly handcrafted cakes and award-winning interior design.
You may have heard of Kki Sweets, the cozy cake shop that serves up Japanese-inspired French mousse cakes. However, not many may know that it is owned by husband-and-wife team, Kenneth and Delphine Seah, City Harvest Church members for over 10 years.
Founded in 2009, Kki (“cake” in Japanese, pronounced “Cakey”) Sweets started at Ann Siang Hill (together with another business The Little Dröm Store) after the couple were inspired by the preaching of CHC’s senior pastor Kong Hee back in 2006, when he shared about the importance of writing down and praying for one’s God-given visions and dreams. Kenneth, the main man behind the baking of these artisanal cakes, is an engineer by training. Interestingly, it was his frequent travels to Europe for work that first piqued his interest in French cakes.
On their honeymoon in 2007 to Tokyo, the couple fell in love with Japanese-style cakes—delicate and beautiful to look at, the cakes were lighter in taste and texture compared to the French cakes, which were denser and sweeter. Realizing that there were, at that time, no such cakes sold in Singapore, they decided to embark on a new business venture selling Japanese-style cakes.
Together with cell group members Stanley Tan and Antoinette Wong, the graphic designer couple behind The Little Dröm Store, an art and design retail store favored by design lovers the world over, they prayed for the right space to be made available for them—one with the right rental rates and location with a large window display, and the perfect size: 1,000 sq ft. God answered their prayers with a space at Ann Siang Hill, which was where they stayed for four years.
Since then, Delphine, who has a background in events management, and Kenneth have made good on their passion to introduce Japanese-style baking techniques to the local pastry scene.
Their great attention to detail is evident throughout Kki Sweets, from the décor to the tableware to, of course, the stars of the show: the exquisitely handcrafted cakes. Each cake has a story to tell, from the delightful “Antoinette” which celebrates the “girl next door with a heart of gold”, to “Kinabaru”, a tribute to South East Asia’s World Heritage Site, Mount Kinabalu in Sabah, Malaysia.
Believing that organic growth is the best type of growth, the couple banked on word-of-mouth marketing to expand their business. In doing so, they also had time to carefully hone their craft and build the business while starting a family; their daughter is now four.
When their lease at Ann Siang Hill came to an end after four years, God led them to a 1,700 square-feet space at the School of the Arts (SOTA) after a hiatus of eight months. They were serendipitously connected to PRODUCE Workshop, a design studio that helped them create a charming, cozy atmosphere within the stunning architecture of Kki Sweets’ new location.
The design of Kki Sweets and The Little Dröm Store was so appealing it clinched an award in the retail category at the INSIDE World Festival of Interiors 2015, one of the most important events in the global interior design and architecture scene.
The result is a homely, welcoming enclave reminiscent of the look and feel of the streets of Japan.
The design of Kki Sweets and The Little Dröm Store was so appealing it clinched an award in the retail category at the INSIDE World Festival of Interiors 2015, one of the most important events in the global interior design and architecture scene. They beat big names like LOTTE World Mall in Seoul and the Kabuki Gate in Narita Airport Japan, despite being the smallest location by far in their category. This win confirmed Delphine’s belief in the Bible saying that believers are to be “the head and not the tail”, and that they are to be the salt and light in the marketplace.
To tie in with their Japanese-living concept, they also launched their new brand, Kki Home, offering their very own line of household ware and products founded on the belief that a home is not just about food and shelter, but also about a community of friends and family, identity and aspirations for a better life.
This way of life extends past Kki into Kenneth and Delphine’s life; in fact, their weekly cell group meetings are held right in the café. Pay Kki Sweets a visit and experience for yourself the stories this place has to tell.
School of the Arts,
1 Zubir Said Drive, #02-01,
Tel: 65 6225 6650
by Joelle Pang