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From: CNA Luxury (story by: M. Stewart)
25 June 2021
Edwin Lim has turned his love for ice cream into a gelato boutique business. This former engineer, now entrepreneur, love for ice cream goes way back as he recalls his great ice cream experience in Berkeley, California. He remembers how that beautiful flavorsome earl grey ice cream brought joy and happy feelings on that glorious weather that day. That one moment of happiness enjoying a cone of ice cream was the ultimate drive that stirred his career to owning his gelato boutique in Singapore.
Lim’s artisanal gelato boutique named Birds of Paradise is five years old and has two outlets – the first located on East Coast Road, and the second at Jewel Changi Airport. The name Birds of Paradise draws its inspiration from both the plant (a nod to its botanical flavors), and a type of bird species in Papua New Guinea (details later on). On the menu are flavors such as white chrysanthemum, lychee raspberry, sea salt hojicha, strawberry basil, spiced pear and more, served with the brand’s very own house-made thyme cone. All flavors are plant-derived whether it is the fruits, flowers, herbs, spices, or pods.
With every new flavor, or every aspect of the business in fact, Lim always strives for perfection. This philosophy was what inspired him to name the business after the birds of paradise of Papua New Guinea. This species of feathered creatures is known for their magnificent beauty, courtesy of their extravagant plumage. These beautiful birds live in their habitat with no predators, so they do not evolve to fly higher or move faster or grow stronger. They just evolve to become increasingly beautiful to mate. This evolution concept– to become more and more perfect, is what his business aspires to be. In terms of our gelato collectively with our business, they want to always keep evolving and improving – that is their ethos.
Listed as the Michelin Plate establishment (recognition for good quality food by the Michelin Guide in Singapore), the Birds of Paradise gelato boutique stands on two key values: quality products and best service. Lim’s vision for the business goes beyond just selling ice cream, it was initiated and established to contribute to doing good for the community. Their 3 key missions are: (1) delight its customers through its products; (2) nurture its staff by helping them grow personally and professionally; and (3) to give back to the community. To honor one of their missions, Birds of Paradise donated 100 per cent of its sales profits accumulated over its anniversary weekend in July to its long-term community partner EQUAL (a charity organization that uses animal-assisted intervention to help people with special needs, families, and caregivers of people with special needs, and the elderly with dementia).
The entrepreneur has plans to expand his business but the current pandemic uncertainties has put those plans on hold. The gelato boutique is facing the future with equanimity and will take each opportunity as they come rather than pursuing them aggressively. While there has been requests to franchise the business, including interests from the gelato capital itself – Italy, Lim believes that expanding should not be for expansion’s sake, but rather finding the right partners and remain authentic to its brand and product quality.