Chez Suanne’s Purin Experiment Report

While Suanne is in the kitchen making the last batch of the purins, I thought I share with you our random thoughts and some of the learnings and experiences.

In terms of sales, we are pleased. The response was beyond our expectations. We reckon that if we are able to deliver to a wider geographical location, we could sell even more. As it is, we had to limit this to folks in Richmond. Sorry.


Suanne had a total orders of 55 purins. Since it was a Buy Five Get One deal, she made a total of 66 purins. Actually she made more than that for the family too.

This is our little experiment on a few fronts. We had always talked about the food we ate in our posts. However, reading about it is one thing and actually tasting it is another. Words and pictures can only do so much. At times, I was dying to have you actually taste what the ikan bilis (anchovies) is like when I said it is better than any in Vancouver. Or about the Bah Kut Teh made the way it is supposed to be. Stuff like that.

Personally I also wanted to see how we can leverage on the reach of chowtimes to build on a home business. No, we are not really serious about this but we wanted to see how far we can push this forward. We reckon chowtimes is in a position to easily reach out to potential customers where many people are not able to.

I have a few theories in my head that I wanted to prove.Β With over 11,000 pageviews everyday and with a very specific demographic, I think there is a potential to target this one specific food item to corner the market. I am not telling what yet! LOL!


While Suanne is making purins this time round, this is not the end goal. This is just a … starting experiment since Purin was at the top of reader’s mind.

As a matter of fact, we made a very bad assumption on the cost of production which led us to make a slight loss of 2 cents per purin cup! That is certainly a learning. That 2 cents loss was not the point of this exercise. It was the learnings and being able to achieve a goal that matters to us.

The two major things that caused the loss is firstly our inability in sourcing a cheaper purin cup. But we did learn about plastics and their properties in the process! We contacted a supplier who was trying to help us source for an appropriate cup. We had specific requirements about size, shape, type of plastics, tight lids, etc. We finally found one that suits the purpose but gosh, the minimum order is 2500 cups. LOL! So in the interest of making our “customers” happy by not delaying the delivery any further, we decided to take a hit and buy the purin cups from Daiso. Those are 45 cents each while if we get in bulk we would be looking at 5-10 cents only. So this killed what every ka-ching thoughts we had … all in the name of customer satisfaction. LOL!

The other thing is our misplaced desire to give away that free one purin for every five bought. Each of the purin is $1.25 and so that is also a direct hit to the profit. Don’t blame us. Suanne and I do not come from families with business ownership background. We are salary-men and professionals. So, yeah … next time got to be careful about giving things away. LOL!

BTW, Suanne had some leftover cups and can take more orders if you want. Same deal … Buy Five Get One for $6.25. It’s a deal you cannot refuse!


Here, enjoy this song played using Chez Suanne’s Purin v0.1.

Anyway, two of the customers had asked Suanne if she can make Japanese style cheesecake,Β like these. OK, this will be the second phase of the experiment. We will take a few weeks to research this and make some prototypes and then let you know if this is possible. This slightly deviates from our end goal but it is a good diversion.

To help us get started, can some of you share some recipes or info about Japanese Style Cheesecake with us? We would love to hear about where to find the best Japanese cheesecake in town so that we can have a good baseline to measure against. Yeah … this next experiment is about:

  • making a Japanese style cheesecake that rivals the best
  • branding and packaging
  • competitive pricing
  • oh yeah … and not making a loss!

This is fun. We love “Chez Suanne” projects like this!

BTW, the end goal is not what you see below. It would be nice if it is. This is reportedly to be the mega mansion of Stanley Ho’s second wife located at 9 High Point Road Toronto. I tried to use Google Map and peak at it from the sky above (see here) but it does not resemble the pictures. Anyway, I received this email and here is what is says:

As of today, January 6, 2011, this mega-mansion located at 9 High Point Road in Toronto , is not only the most expensive listing in Toronto, but all of Canada! There are two pieces of land listed in the Vancouver area for over $30 million, but this is the current front-runner for houses in Canada.

Located in Toronto ‘s most expensive neighbourhood, the house has all the prerequisites for a mega-mansion: 4,000+ sq ft. master bedroom? Check. Bowling alley and indoor pool and tennis courts? Obviously. Multiple kitchens, a gigantic atrium and other over-the-top amenities? Well, you get the picture. And with that, here are plenty more!

Current list price: $26,800,000 CAD ($26.98m USD)

































This Post Has 13 Comments

  1. Kevin

    If Suanne sells enough purin, you can move to Toronto! πŸ˜‰

    1. LotusRapper

      Or if Avril Foo paid Ben & Suanne $12350.23 for every post he’s made on Chowtimes ……

  2. Gloria

    I have done this recipe once, worked out very well. Pretty simple.
    It is very simple with just 5 ingredients that can be found at home! But, it is in Chinese-just use the translator and you should be fine, or I may be able to help with translation.
    OH-I think I found my new home ;]

    1. Buddha Girl

      Am I reading this right? Gloria…you mean…you made something??? In the kitchen? And it’s edible??? How come I was not informed?!?!?!?! Hahahaha! Just buggin’ ya!

      1. Gloria

        I can make 123635 edible dishes with Udon. That is pretty much all I can cook. But I can make easy desserts like Purin & cheesecake!
        I will make something in the kitchen..tasty and edible for you to eat ba!~

    2. Ben

      Hi Gloria: Suanne and I went to buy the Japanese cheesecake from Izumiya yesterday to have a closer taste. That cheescake is no where near good looking as the one on the link you gave. Looks like the family will be guinea pigs for the next few weeks. Ben

  3. Jayda

    I’ve never had Purin before but now I’m going to try to make it….. I don’t know what it’s supposed to taste like so I’ll have to go by taste alone I suppose in order to know it’s any good.

    Thanks for leading us all on a daily food adventure.

    1. Ben

      Hi Jayda: Let us know how yours turn out. For Suanne, getting the right consistency requires quite a number of experiments. Oh gosh, some of hers was watery but I think she had been getting good ones of late. Ben

  4. Nong

    Can I come visit when you guys that that dream home? The pool looks awesome! πŸ˜€

  5. Maggie

    What!! No indoor curling sheet in that Toronto home? They should really discount the price for that.

  6. Michelle

    I was successful with make it using a round tin, not a square one. You need a water bath to make it, (my version) and the egg white.. arrgh, have to be beaten to just the right consistency, once i over-beat and it turned watery. arrgghh. Ok, u get my point πŸ™‚ I just need to practise more.

  7. Julie

    πŸ™‚ the Purin was delicious!
    Everyone in my family enjoyed it & asked where I got it!
    and Pherhaps plastic cups could be an option?

    1. Ben

      Oh hi Julie: Did you by any chance turn over the purin cup, break the knob and let it slide into a plate? That was how we tell people to eat it. Glad you and your family like it. We found a problem with some of the purins to tell the truth. You see they need to be constantly chilled and if left to room temperature, it will soften and become watery. We are going back to all of Chez Suanne’s customers to rectify this. Anyway, good to let you know that the orders for purins are still coming in. πŸ™‚ Yeah, one of our biggest problem is the plastic cups. It has to be of a certain plastic material that is suitable for steaming. We can’t get it with the specs we need. Ben

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