Business Insights: The Impact of COVID-19 – Fatcaron
By BSOC Partnerships
Who is Fatcaron?
We are one of the first businesses to sell beautifully decorated Korean-inspired macarons here in Sydney. From custom-decorated merry-go-round macaron cakes to adorable Pikachu macarons, our desserts are some of the best you can find across multiple locations including World Square, Market City and Macquarie Centre. Founded less than two years ago, we have seen huge growth in our business and continue to serve our customers with amazing flavours and visuals.
What have the impacts of COVID-19 been on the business?
When COVID happened, we had the choice to either continue to operate or change our strategy. After doing some careful calculations, we found that we couldn’t sustain operating our stores because everyone was staying home, and our main concern was that our locations were in the city, which was severely affected. After some heavy-hearted consideration, we decided to temporarily close our stores and wait for COVID to pass. Fortunately, the shopping centres were understanding and were able to work with us. They allowed us to keep our carts on premises whilst not being able to trade. As for our staff, we tried to keep them around for as long as possible to continue to employ them, but at the end of the day we did have to close our stores.
How have you utilised the time in lockdown to strategize and adapt the business?
Fatcaron decided that there were two ways to go about this situation: either do nothing during lockdown and take it as a holiday or use this time to get a few things ticked off the list. It was an easy decision for us as it was the perfect time to explore and experiment with new things and learn some new techniques to create new products. Fatcaron needed to efficiently utilise this valuable time to better our skills and complete things that we were unable to do before. During the rise of our business, we changed from a sole trader to a company, and established core team members who will look after certain tasks. We also had the chance to explore the market of custom orders and deliveries.
At the beginning of the lockdown, we didn’t have high hopes that we would make many sales or receive many enquiries. But after a week into posting a few things on our social media, specifically Instagram, we were getting some attention. We had a goal for Fatcaron to receive a certain amount of orders in the first week, which we managed to accomplish. We kept at it, worked on our Instagram posts and made sure there was engagement. A member of our team also took up photography. He took out his Canon EOS camera which he had never used before, learned the basic functions, played around with some lenses and ended up picking up a new skill. He also took up a modern calligraphy class. Interestingly, the period in lockdown allowed us to do what we didn’t have the luxury of doing before COVID.
People were attracted to our creations and within a few weeks we were receiving orders for boxes of custom macarons – personalised custom boxes and variety boxes. We were really, really humbled by the support of our community who were following us from our locations in the city, and those who ordered at least once, and some more than once.
How has the artistry behind Fatcaron developed since opening in Sydney?
Initially, we were only doing small macarons, custom macarons with custom shapes and characters. However, not long afterwards, we started branching out to different things like themed cake-sized macarons. One of the very first ones we did was a “cakecaron” – a round-style cake with a few characters on top. After a few orders, we decided to do a themed one, which was a macaron cake shaped like a Pikachu, and that went really well. We got a lot of positive feedback and enquiries and we are now known for making custom macarons and cakes! Now that we are reopening our stores and establishing new locations, we have built a solid reputation. The custom macarons and cakecarons are something that we are really proud of and they symbolise what we have achieved over a few months during COVID.
We are pleased with the progress we have made and are super excited to watch Fatcaron grow and thrive.
You can find Fatcaron’s socials here:
Additionally, BSOC members are eligible for 10% off their purchase (with no minimum spending required) at any of Fatcaron’s stores or with online orders. Redeemers MUST present their BSOC sticker on their UNSW ID upon redemption.