Patissiere Nao is a pastry chef in Chiba, Japan who creates a wide range of baked treats: sourdough bread, cakes, cookies, quiche, and delicious desserts.
Fillet helps Patissiere Nao when they develop new products: they can see how production costs change depending on different combinations of ingredients.
About Patissiere Nao
Please tell us, how did you become a pastry chef and start your own pastry shop?
Having a family and raising kids, I had to use pockets of spare time to continue working as a pastry chef. So I had to do it by myself, but it was a joy.
You seem to sell different kinds of cakes depending on the season — how do you come up with new recipes?
Most of the time, I feel by the visual sense. I feel the color changes in each season, from the rich natural landscape. Then I think about taste combinations using seasonal ingredients.
Your cakes are all gorgeous designs — How do you design them? Where do you find inspiration?
I’ve always liked seeing paintings, so when I was in Europe, I tried to visit art museums as much as I could.
I remember the feeling of finding artwork that touched my heart, and that continues to inspire me now. I hope that people can feel that same way when they see the cakes I make for their special occasions.
What do you pay special attention to when making cakes and sweets?
Of course choosing ingredients carefully, and also providing fresh products.
Which of your products do you recommend the most?
”Chikutan bamboo roll”. (This is “roulade cake” that is made with charcoal and rolled into shape using a bamboo mat.)
Daily operations and future goals
How do you choose suppliers for your ingredients?
Unfortunately, small shops like mine cannot buy ingredients from big wholesale vendors. So I shop with vendors who’ll work with us. Most often, we buy seasonal fruits from local producers.
What is your daily schedule like?
6:00 – Make baked goods then make cakes for shop opening
9:45 – Prepare for shop opening
10:00 – Open shop
12:00 – Lunch and check emails
12:30 – Make cakes ordered by reservations
16:00 – Preparation
18:00 – Close shop and cleaning
19:00 – Housekeeping
20:30 – Office work and any overtime work, if needed.
What is the most difficult part of your work?
Managing the inventory and ordering. It is a race against time everyday. Also, I am not good at administrative office work, so that’s not easy for me.
What is the happiest part of your work?
Making our customers happy. And the feeling of accomplishment when you and your staff do a hard job well.
What are some daily challenges of operating your business?
Creating the assortment of sweets for our store display. Also, when we get requests for custom orders, I do my best to create a one-of-a-kind product, for each and every order.
What are your plans and goals for the future?
Last year, I started selling canned cookies in collaboration with a picture book author, which has been a dream of mine for many years. I hope that this product will continue to grow and that we will have another opportunity to collaborate on a new product.
How Patissiere Nao uses Fillet
What is your favorite Fillet feature and why?
I started using the app because we needed to calculate costs of our new products. So I’d say the Menu feature.
Which Fillet feature do you use the most and why?
Truthfully, I haven’t used all the features yet, but I have a lot of things I want to do! All we need to do is enter more of our recipes into the app, it’s just hard to find the time to do it.
Fillet’s costing tools help us to see the profit margin of each product and keep an overall balance.
How has Fillet improved your business operations?
With Fillet, we can see the differences in profit margin for each of our products. This helps us when I develop new products because, as I mentioned, I can think of how to balance costs overall.
Also, it’s great that when I change an ingredient, I can see the difference right away, and make decisions based on that.
Special thanks to Patissiere Nao for doing this interview with us.