Today we’d like to introduce you to Evelyn Ling & Joe Cheng Reed.
Hi Evelyn & Joe, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
Joe: We both started out working in restaurants. Specifically for me, I began in the savory side of the kitchen. After about four years, I made the transition to pastry at the restaurant where I met Evelyn, Ai Fiori. We got along very well in the kitchen, often ate together around the city and brainstormed new ideas and concepts that we wanted to see. Evelyn and I realized that we both wanted to create something that would incorporate our culture, heritage, and our training in French culinary techniques. After many late nights eating Korean BBQ, we conceptualized Domi.
Evelyn: After working in corporate America and changing jobs in different industries a few times, I finally took the leap I always wanted and enrolled in pastry school. The idea of Domi was something that began before I even enrolled in school. Luckily for me, I met someone who shared the same goals and dreams and was willing to work just as hard, if not harder, to make that dream come true. The beginning of Domi was vending on the streets, rain or shine. Our persistence led us to an acceptance to Smorgasburg a few months later, which eventually led to a brick and mortar at Canal Street Market in Chinatown, NYC. Covid-19 hit us two weeks after we opened. After a pretty bumpy year, we decided to move the business to LA so that both of us could be closer to family.
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Joe: I think for anyone starting a business, it’s never a smooth ride. For myself, this was something very new. I had never started my own business, so there were many new challenges that I have never dealt with before. Everyday, there were new obstacles we had to go through. Obviously, one of the biggest challenges we had to go through was the Covid pandemic. This pandemic has really tested what we as creatives and businesses owners can do, both physically and mentally. Through this pandemic, we had to really figure out what could keep our business alive. We had to change what we offered and how we were selling it. Essentially, we had to expand our menu and ideas much faster than we had anticipated. Creating more and more things just to keep people interested, which in turn created much more work. Like, most in the hospitality industry, we had to let go of our employees. For the majority of the pandemic, it was Just Evelyn and I, so the work just became overwhelming. Luckily, we have managed to still keep ourselves going through all of this.
Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
Joe: I guess you can say I have worked with food all my life. I started working in restaurants when I was very little. Cleaning tables, washing dishes, prepping food, etc. I started off cooking savory food professionally but always had an interest in sweets. I would teach myself how to make desserts while working in savory kitchens. Eventually, that lead to get a job in a pastry kitchen, I feel like one thing that sets me apart from others is knowing both the savory and sweet sides of the kitchen.
Evelyn: I currently wear a lot of hats. Because of the nature of a small business, I do a lot of the creative design and marketing, pastry production (i.e., making all of our cakes and desserts), customer service, and whatever else needs to be done. Before beginning my pastry career, I was working in Marketing and Real Estate. I’m probably most proud of my ability to multi-task and learn quickly. It has proven to be one of the most useful things in owning a small business.
How can people work with you, collaborate with you or support you?
The best way to collaborate or work with us is just to reach out! Currently, we get a lot of people reaching out to us either through mutual friends or from social media platforms, such as Instagram. As far as support, the most basic way is ordering from us directly. Word of mouth is also a big way of showing support, such as posting on social media or just telling other people about our business.
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: www.eatdomi.com
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/eatdomi
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/eatdomi