When he was growing up, Josiah Jeremy never thought of running his own business.
He had worked for a company for the past five years and had eventually stepped out of his comfort zone to create his own brand of durian.
"I'm glad I did because I have a passion for it," said the 32-year-old.
Josiah founded Golden Moments in 2017, which launched its very first product: Signature 100% Mao Shan Wang Snow Skin Mooncake.
"The response was overwhelming and we hit a six-figure figure because our product sold out within a month," said Josiah.
With over 400,000 items sold, this is the best-selling product to date. This isn't surprising when you consider that Golden Moments is a pioneer selling durian mooncakes in Singapore – and they actually do it well.
For durian lovers, from a durian lover
Josiah Jeremy (right) and Minister Chan Chun Sing (left) at an event / Photo credit: Golden Moments
From day one, Josiah had always imagined a brand that lives and breathes durian.
Golden Moments is based on the idea of bringing families and loved ones together through a shared love of durian.
This is how their brand name came about: They wanted to stand up for the brand essence of “cherishing golden moments and celebrating relationships”.
"As durian aficionados, we strive to be the durian revolution by creating cutting-edge durian gourmet treats that are farm-to-table fresh," said Josiah.
While durian is very popular among Singaporeans in general, it is an acquired taste and some people may not be able to stand its pungent odor.
So, immersing yourself in a durian F&B business could mean that it may not win everyone's hearts and taste buds. Even so, because of his passion for durian, he was determined to found Golden Moments.
Although he loves durian, he is well aware that they are not the easiest to work with. For one, they have higher product costs compared to other fruits.
On her durian farm / Image Credit: Golden Moments
In addition, Golden Moments only use Mao Shan Wang durians, which are of "unparalleled AAA quality" that is more expensive than other types of durian.
"We also have to work closely with the durian plantation partners in order to receive a constant supply of durian."
"After all, we need to be very insightful and knowledgeable in this durian trading market because it is seasonal fruit and prices fluctuate from season to season."
Innovation is in their DNA
Although Golden Moments started with a mooncake product, they have quickly expanded beyond this traditional delicacy.
In 2019, a number of product offerings such as the signature Mao Shan Wang Galaxy Cake, the Golden QQ (durian balls that look like mochi) and the dark chocolate Mao Shan Wang Durian Macaron were launched.
The macaron in particular is one of the few products that has since been discontinued.
“The gap was due to customer buying behavior. They prefer to buy macarons in a restaurant at high tea rather than from fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) channels, ”explained Josiah.
A range of offerings from Golden Moments / Image Credit: Golden Moments
In 2020 they have newer offers such as Hokkaido durian cheesecake, freshly wrapped durian, vanilla and chocolate durian cream choux, Mao Shan Wang durian puffs, premium durian French crepe, other variations of durian -Cakes and a fruity series made a step up of golden candies.
According to Josiah, Golden Moments hit the market every six months with new products to keep things fresh.
He is personally involved in the product research and development (R&D) phase in order to maintain the company's high and strict standards of product quality.
"I would work very closely with the research and development team to develop these products and have focus groups to get feedback to determine the taste, look and feel of the product."
Overall, the entire product development process can take up to six months to a year.
Josiah explained that this process has different phases. First, they had to conduct research and surveys to gain insight into what kind of trending products and flavors already existed in the market.
“We will then get our research and development team to work on it and make sure that all products meet the food safety requirements with prior laboratory testing. The marketing team will then plan how the product will be launched on our online and offline channels by tapping on our social media platforms. "
Eliminate your durian cravings anytime, anywhere
Customers can enjoy Golden Moments' fresh durian goodies with their island-wide delivery service that promises to get them to your doorstep in less than 90 minutes, so you can always satisfy your durian cravings.
“We pride ourselves on maintaining the freshness of our durian treats. We carefully place the items in cooler bags and make sure the delivery process is quick and efficient so that the orders stay refrigerated (throughout the delivery), ”said Josiah.
Golden Moments on GrabFood / Image Credit: Screenshot by GrabFood
Alternatively, Golden Moments is also available on major food delivery platforms such as GrabFood, foodpanda and Deliveroo, as well as on e-commerce platforms such as Shopee and Qoo10, as part of their efforts to expand delivery.
Josiah said they have received many online orders from customers since then, even during the breaker period when many are forced to stay at home.
When your durian cravings arise, you can easily order durian delicacies from Golden Moments with just a few clicks.
Golden Moments can now be found at NTUC FairPrice Finest / Image Credit: Golden Moments
Aside from online channels, Golden Moments recently entered distribution channels like local supermarkets like NTUC FairPrice and HAO Mart as well as Shell, Cheers and many more to be present on most of the FMCG channels.
“By expanding our presence to offline channels, customers can satisfy their need for durian anytime, anywhere. We want to make our products convenient, accessible and affordable for our customers, ”he said.
Jeanette Aw joins Golden Moments
Jeanette Aw, Brand Ambassador and Creative Director of Golden Moments / Image Credit: Golden Moments
Most recently, local actress, filmmaker and pastry chef Jeanette Aw was named Golden Moments' newest creative director and brand ambassador.
Josiah commented on this appointment and said that her values are in line with the values of the brand. In addition, she has a background in baking as the actress is a baker trained by Le Cordon Bleau.
Jeanette Aw behind the scenes / Photo credit: Golden Moments
She was also involved in the film promotion for Golden Moments, in which she wrote, directed and starred the brand's first short film to be released in due course.
As an avid fan of Golden Moments, it is noteworthy that she has joined the Golden Moments family.
On this Mother's Day, Jeanette makes her debut as the face of Golden Moments and advertises the brand new Super Mama Rosette Cake.
The luxurious 6 inch rosette cake is soft and creamy, delicately coated with charcoal buttercream, a gray floral gray sponge and pure Mao Shan Wang durian puree.
Sticking to such special occasions is important because "sales during this time are typically between 300 and 400 percent," Josiah said, adding that they will be introducing another cake for Father's Day.
Fight before success
Josiah Jeremy, Founder of Golden Moments and Investor Ivan Lee / Photo credit: Golden Moments
In 2018, Golden Moments received S $ 1 million in funding from Ivan Lee, founder of the Thai Express Group.
Josiah counts his lucky stars to find an investor and mentor who believes in him and the business. Not only is Ivan a sounding board, but he also uses his knowledge and experience by giving advice, support and closely accompanying him on his business trip.
While the local brand was successful today, their startup journey wasn't a rose bed.
“When I started, people around me were doubtful and skeptical about how a Durian FMCG company was going to succeed. With optimism I decided to believe in the vision and mission as well as in the potential of my beginnings. "
He ignored the naysayers and held onto his weapons. Today, Golden Moments is a household name synonymous with durian delicacies.
Golden Moments Team / Photo Credit: Golden Moments
When asked about the challenges in the early days, he said that as a newcomer to the industry, he needed to be there all the time. This meant being practical in every way – from manufacturing to production forecasting, inventory and fulfillment, to branding.
In particular, the production forecast is a real challenge, said Josiah. While higher sales usually mean good news for the company, it can also be a real challenge.
When that time of year comes the team will be very busy. You would get 300 to 400 deliveries a day and hit a high of 600 deliveries a day.
Fulfilling the logistics then became another challenge that mimicked a domino effect.
“We had to meet 10 different logistics partners to work with them and create a framework for smooth fulfillment. At peak times, we make sure that more logistics partners are brought in to better cope with the increase in orders, ”he said.
Another big challenge is to hire the right team. It's not easy to hire the right team with the right vision and values to steer business in the right direction.
Josiah expressed that he is happy to work with a team willing to take this trip with him, quoting the saying, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. "
Striking gold despite Covid-19
When Covid-19 hit last year, it was one of the toughest times the company has faced since its inception.
“Our stands at the Mid-Autumn Festival were affected and we had to put things online and (shift) our focus there. There were 300 to 400 on-demand deliveries a day and the team had to make sure all orders were on time and accurately. "
Although there were no pop-up booths, Golden Moments managed to set a sales record of S $ 1.5 million in one month.
Docello Hazelnut MSW and Lychee Martini Mooncakes / Photo Credit: Golden Moments
This could also be attributed to the unique and interesting mooncake flavors introduced last year such as Lychee Martini, D24 Durian, and Docello Hazelnut.
That same year, the company also partnered with local goldsmith jewelry brand SK Jewelery to launch a limited edition 24K processed truffle Mao Shan Wang snow skin moon cake that costs a whopping S $ 888.
According to their market research, this limited edition set – which came with a 24-carat gold bar – is "the most expensive moon cake in Singapore and probably in Asia".
It is also interesting that Golden Moments has successfully “sold out” all of its moon cakes during the Mid-Autumn Festival for the past four years, which is a testament to the popularity of its moon cakes.
Durian is hands down the king of fruit, and it's no exaggeration to say that Golden Moments has successfully risen to become the king of durian desserts in Singapore.
Selected Image Source: Golden Moments