Friday, 1st December, 2017
Business Profile: Bubblewrap Waffle
Since launching earlier this year, Bubblewrap Waffle have experienced huge success and have been met with much acclaim. A first of its kind in the UK, Bubblewrap’s sweet egg waffles have proved a huge success in the capital and have drawn crowds from all over the UK. With hungry customers queuing up for up to an hour, London’s Chinatown has benefited hugely from the reputation that precedes this unique concept. “People are enjoying dessert in a more sophisticated way”
Still in relative infancy the dessert spot has appeared at just the right time. The UK seems to be crying out for dessert only restaurants, with sweet treats spots now commonplace on UK highstreets. The success of this waffle enterprise can be attributed to Bubblewrap founder Tony Fang and his business partner Sunny Wu, who have reinvented the classic waffle for the street food market.
The egg waffle for which Bubblewrap pins its success on originates from Hong Kong and is traditionally served plain, Bubblewrap have added their own unique spin on the classic, from whipped cream and strawberries to chocolate and marshmallows – and even an egg and avocado savoury option – creating huge crowds of excited fans at their Soho branch.
We speak to Sunny, Business Management graduate and Co-Founder of the sweetest street food concept around……
Hi Sunny! Tell us about Bubblewrap, how did it begin?
Bubblewrap evolved from an Imperial Business School masters project, and following help with rebranding and redesigning we established our name and products in the London market. We were going around London Street food markets and festivals during 2015-2017 and finally secured a site in Chinatown London which is now our home. We test each of our products carefully and make sure that what we offer suits customers’ needs, our focus has always been on both the presentation and taste of products.
In the beginning, Bubblewrap had 3 co-founders including myself, however one of us decided to accept a job offer back in Hong Kong and so left the company before we had opened the shop. We currently have 2 co-founders, and I mainly deal with day-to-day operations and focus on product design and digital marketing. With the help of the Bubblewrap team, we are hoping to open a second site soon.
What is your background, what did you do before Bubblewrap?
I came to the UK when I was 15, and I have lived in a few different cities back in China and then the UK. I have always wanted to open a shop and when I chose my bachelor major I opted for Business Management at the University of Warwick. Before I joined Bubblewrap I worked in digital advertising.
I have always been passionate about creating something that people enjoy and like, I suppose this is exactly what I want Bubblewrap to be like, something that customers enjoy and would like to share with their friends, loved ones and family.
What is the best thing about working at Bubblewrap?
For me, the best thing about working at Bubblewrap is the people. All our staff share the Bubblewrap values to be cool, fun and creative. Every time we test new products we ask everyone to try it and put themselves in customers’ shoes to test whether it would be good. Also the challenges we have experienced are countless and that’s something that drives me too, I have grown with Bubblewrap and am still growing with it.
What is your best-selling product?
It really depends what our customers like, we provide complete flexibility with their choices and they can create their own Bubblewrap in whichever way they like. A lot of people go for vanilla gelato, Oreos and Nutella.
Tell us about your proudest moment…
I used to say that if one day Bubblewrap is widely accepted by people who have never tried it and you can see this type of waffle around local markets in Western countries, I would be so happy that we have brought the culture here.
What we would like to promote and encourage is that there are so many nice Chinese cuisines and desserts that deserve to be better presented rather than having a stereotype of being messy and dirty for all these years. We can do so much more and I feel proud to have introduced just a bit of it to Chinatown London.
How has the dessert industry changed over the past five years?
It has become more trendy and blended with a wider range of elements such as fashion and lifestyle. People are enjoying dessert in a more sophisticated way rather than just having the food. They want to know more about the dessert and the story behind it. There is now also a sense of belonging in the dessert industry.
Why do you think dessert restaurants are so popular?
Young generations nowadays prefer more fruitful content especially for dessert which contains so many possibilities that can be added. I am sure collaborations among different industries such as the MOSCHINO and Magnum’s campaign a few months back will be the next trend and can be very popular among young people.
How much does social media play a part in the huge popularity of Bubblewrap?
It has been key, people love sharing our products on their social media and we are working hard to maintain that fun feeling towards Bubblewrap. We’ve had so many customers that have seen our video on Buzzfeed and TimeOut before they visited us!
Tell us about the design of your stores…
I used to work in coffee shops and was lucky enough to know a friend who introduced the designer to us. We love his style of focusing on a sleek design which contrasts the eclectic, surrounding area.
For Bubblewrap we would like our stores to have a rather plain colour foundation then we can add colour to it with all our products. We use bespoke packaging and we have our own font, the aim is to make the design consistent so that when customers see us they have a very clear brand image of our store.
What does the future hold for Bubblewrap?
We are still figuring out what’s best for our employees and customers, and for our brand to keep growing. Currently we are setting the pace of Bubblewrap and we will keep focusing on our product design as well as employees’ training which are the two key elements for the organisation.
Potential collaboration with brands in various industries will be the next step and for sure a second site is definitely what we want to accomplish soon.