Got a sweet tooth?
2018 is the year to have your cake and eat it too! We caught up with 27-year-old Amelia Gay, owner of Amelia’s – a bakery that serves guilt-free sweet treats right here in our heartland, Tampines - to find out more about the secret ingredient behind her diabetic-friendly bakes and why Tampines makes for an ideal location.
TEMPO (T): Share with us the inspiration behind the establishment of Amelia’s.
Amelia Gay (AG): Making pastries has always been a pastime of mine, so when I found out that my dad was diagnosed with diabetes and one of the things he couldn’t eat were pastries, I had to find out why. I needed to know what he can and can’t eat, and I realised that Singapore don’t really have many diabetic-friendly food.
It’s already very limited on what they can eat; not just desserts, even the normal food. From there I started to research on how I can make pastries that are more suitable for his diet, and that’s how Amelia’s came about – to provide options for diabetics.
T: How is the response to the bakery thus far?
AG: People who have diabetes, they’re really happy when they come to try the baked goods, and most do return. If you’re a non-diabetic person, you would normally just think like, “Why would I want to pay extra for this kind of food compared to going to a normal bakery?” The price of our items are slightly more expensive because of our ingredients, but customers do come back especially for birthday celebrations.
After we got our HALAL cert, there were people like food bloggers who came looking for us, and that created the awareness for Amelia’s. Parents buy for their children because they don’t want them to get used to the sugar-loaded stuff. Elderly too will come back because it has less sugar and better for them.
T: Is there a recommended amount for diabetics’ consumption when it comes to your baked goods?
AG: About 100g, which can get them a slice of cake or 4 mini fruit tarts. Usually people share anyway so it’s fine. I will suggest to limit the bakes to one a day. Just in case you’re wondering, I studied nutrition for healthier choices when I was doing my Diploma in Pastry and Bakery, and I do refer to friends too who are professionals, testing Glycemic Index (GI).
T: So what differs Amelia’s from other bakeries?
AG: To have our products diabetic-friendly, we use organic coconut sugar. Previously we used stevia, maltitol…all these are artificial substitutes and I noticed they had some weird taste with some side effects. Coconut sugar is natural and healthier, with nicer taste. We also use wholemeal flour.
The greatest misconception is that just because our cakes are diabetic-friendly and healthier, it doesn’t taste nice. But it does! Especially after I have modified the recipe to taste about the same as the regular options. I just have to make them complex carbs since diabetics cannot take simple carbs like white flour, rice and white sugar.
Setting up in a heartland like Tampines also enables us to reduce our pricing. Essentially, Amelia’s is for the residents.
T: Amelia’s has spent a year of business in Tampines. Which cake do you think best represents Tampines?
AG: I’d have to say the ‘Ondeh-ondeh cake’, as majority of the customers from Tampines would actually get that for their mothers or grandmothers. And it’s green, like Tampines!
Amelia’s is located at Block 820 Tampines Street 81, #01-524, Singapore 520820. Opening hours: 11am to 9pm