In 2009, Damien Low and his uncle William opened a simple gelato parlour, blending Italian
ice-cream with Singapore flavours. Bak kwa, salted egg yolk and mao shan wang gelato are some of
the tantalising treats served at Ice Edge café
along Kovan Road.
But after meeting a friend, a chef who specialises in Italian cuisine and learning his recipes,
they decided to expand their menu beyond desserts. Today, the partners also dish out Italian
favourites such as pasta and pizza.
Damien is the brain behind most of the food items, especially the gelatos that the cafe is best
known for. "We learnt that actually almost everything can be produced as a gelato. Whatever
flavour you want, we can make it into gelato, as
long as you know the recipe," he explained.
Similar to how their menu expanded, their business also boomed over the years. What started with
just eight employees at a single café has now expanded into four eateries around Singapore, with
about a hundred employees. They are grouped
under the company Passion for Food, which the owners established in 2015.
Growing the business came with teething problems. For one, day-to-day operations were getting
"Our accounts were initially very simple, but it got more complicated as the business grew. We
started to hire more employees and more time and effort are needed to keep track of the payments
and salary details," said Damien. Previously
he was only relying on an excel spreadsheet to keep tabs on numbers for around 20 employees.
He had to go through the dreary process of manually calculating salary and CPF contribution for
each of his employees, which got more difficult as manpower increased. He also had to manually
create files for reporting to CPF and IRAS.