'Mompreneur' juggles three F&B businesses and two sons

Ms Tasneem Noor Smidhagen opened Lickety Ice Cream & Waffles in Bussorah Street in June 2017.
Ms Tasneem Noor Smidhagen opened Lickety Ice Cream & Waffles in Bussorah Street in June 2017.PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

(THE NEW PAPER) - Despite having her hands full with two young children and two food-and-beverage (F&B) businesses, Singaporean Tasneem Noor Smidhagen, 36, decided to have a new "baby".

In June, she opened Lickety Ice Cream & Waffles in Bussorah Street, Kampong Glam.

Lickety, which has Scandinavian decor of pastel pink and mint green, boasts an Instagram-worthy pairing of egglet waffles with ice cream.

Ms Tasneem and her Swedish husband Joakim Smidhagen, 45, are also behind Fika Swedish Cafe & Bistro in Beach Road and European artisanal bakery Konditori, located next to Lickety.

Aside from handling the operations of the businesses, the "mompreneur" has to fulfil her duties with her two sons, aged five and six.

She told The New Paper: "I just learnt how to take care of my different priorities at different times."

 

Fika Swedish Cafe & Bistro, which opened in 2009, was her first venture in the F&B industry.

Prior to that, the visual communications graduate from Temasek Polytechnic spent eight years in publication design.

The inspiration for Fika came about when the couple felt the need for such a Swedish restaurant here, while the idea for Konditori grew from wanting the desserts served at Fika to be made in their own bakery.

The offerings at Konditori are done in small batches and handmade daily. Bestsellers include the red velvet croissant, fresh cream semla buns and pain aux chocolat.

The birth of Lickety, however, was spontaneous.

Ms Tasneem said: "I thought Lickety should look more alive (than its sister stores) and embrace all things young and fun to attract the younger crowd."

Out of the 30 flavours available, the standouts are Lingonberry Swirl, Red Velvet and Dark Angel, which boasts chunks of chocolate bread from Konditori.

Ms Tasneem, who in 2015 won the Spirit of Enterprise Award which honours local entrepreneurs operating small and medium-size businesses, admitted that her F&B journey has not always been smooth-sailing. One of the main challenges she faced was staffing.

Her advice for budding F&B entrepreneurs? Stick to your branding.

Referring to Fika, she said: "Do not follow trends all the time. There are other ways to improve while staying true to your branding. For example, salted egg yolk is 'in' right now, but I cannot have that on my menu because I cater to people who want an authentic Swedish experience."