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Meet Kristy Choo of Jin Patisserie in Culver City

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kristy Choo.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Kristy. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I was born and raised in Singapore. My family operated a food shop featuring regional Chinese fare, which enabled me early on to start developing my palate.

Getting the chance to work as a flight attendant allowed me the opportunity to travel around the world, which in turn exposed me to the flavors and concepts of haute cuisine.

Fueled with that knowledge – and with a penchant for desserts! – I enrolled in the Pastry and Baking program at the California Culinary Academy (San Francisco) in the hopes of becoming a chef. Upon graduating, I returned to Singapore and landed my first real cooking job doing pastry at the renowned Raffles Hotel.

Raffles is where I honed my skills on all of the various pastry stations, and where I took advantage of working alongside renowned chefs like Joel Robuchon and Alain Ducasse to view their work up close, as well as witness how they managed their respective staff.

In 2002, I was selected to join the Singapore national team to compete in Food & Hotel Asia’s prestigious Culinary Challenge. Under the guidance of Team Manager and Executive Pastry Chef Kenny Kong, I dove headfirst – 14-hour days were the norm – into perfecting the art of working with chocolate in order for us to compete with the vaunted Swiss and German teams. A podium finish instilled a great deal of much-needed confidence and jump started my dream of opening up my own pastry shop.

That dream became a reality when we opened Jin Patisserie the following year in Venice, California. We carved out a little slice of zen – a pastry boutique and an Asian-inspired tea garden – for our customers, and have now been in business for over 15 years!

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It was definitely not an easy path! Especially for an immigrant moving to a city like Los Angeles, with all its inherent challenges. I was quite new to the food industry here at that time, so I had to get up to speed very quickly on how to deal and negotiate with architects, contractors, and suppliers, learning about labor laws, hiring and interviewing staff, and a host of other issues that come with being a small business owner. And that doesn’t even include learning about the city’s culture, tastes and expectations!

More recently, losing the lease in 2013 to our original location on Abbot Kinney was a blow, but we regrouped and found a second home here in Culver City.

But I do know, that if you do everything with your heart and give your absolute best to your customers, they are smart enough to recognize that hard work and commitment.

Please tell us about Jin Patisserie.
I am proud of my company because comparing from where we were 15 years ago producing out from that little kitchen cater to the local and out of states customer till now we are serving international clients across the world.

Jin Patisserie is my dream and vision – fully realized! I started with a passion for baking and wanted to make delicious and beautiful products that I, myself, would like to eat.

We specialize in cakes, chocolates, cookies, and macarons out of our production kitchen in Culver City.

What sets us apart, is our attention to detail. We make high end quality items from scratch with no artificial colors or flavors. Consequently, you can taste the difference in our products.

And we like to get fun and creative for special occasions like Valentine’s Day, Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas! Each time out I like to design something original and treat it as an art piece, so quite fortunately we’ve been able to make those one-of-a-kind, hand-crafted, chocolate sculptures available to our customers.

As such, our regular customers are extremely loyal and still remember us after 15 years. Maintaining our good reputation with them is of utmost importance; without them, we wouldn’t still be here!

Ultimately, we are passionate with what we do and we do not cut corners in order to make money.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
If I had enough capital years ago, I would have fought to purchase our building on Abbot Kinney, where we built our dream sanctuary that customers will enjoyed.

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