3-stories commercial building in B-Avenue Chiang Mai project which is located on Suthep road, next to Chiang Mai University. The first floor has been renovated to be a fully-furnished bread shop with wooden table and chairs and a product showcase. Moreover, there is a small bar which has been decorated as a white window room to peek for some sunlight. Inside the shop, not only minimal-friendly style and staff smile but also bread smell from the back kitchen are welcoming every guest.
‘Flour Flour’, a repeated and easy-to-remember word, was invented and became this bread shop name by K.Namfon Udomlertlak, 31 years old, a former art student who turned into the owner of the bread shop.
K.Namfon was born in Thai-Chinese family. She loves baking and cooking since she was young. Although, she started learning in the Faculty of Painting, Sculpture and Graphic Arts, Silpakorn University she has never changed her passion from cooking. After graduation, she did follow her study path for a while until she had a chance to go study abroad in master’s degree of Film studies at Amsterdam University of Arts, Netherland where she found that most people there love to eat bread and have a great taste for bread selection. She had not noticed that this would be a big change to her attitude with bread.
“There was a friend that loved to bake bread for me. It was super delicious, and it could not be found at any supermarket.” She said that this made her obsess with bread and tried hard to find what are the factors of this deliciousness and found that it was from the quality of flour which include yeast fermentation.
So, how to make good and delicious flour...?
From interest becomes more study and research, she started reading about making bread and try to do it. She spent a lot of time for bread production especially yeast fermentation.
Although the world has been changed and many instant materials have taken place from most of the manual work. Therefore, instant yeast has been introduced to bread production because of its ease and convenience to use. However, this could not change K.Namfon mind, she chooses to ferment yeast in a natural way because of only one reason, it is fun
“To ferment yeast since the beginning is like we are taking care of animals. We have to monitor their growth every fermented bottle. When can we make bread? Is it possible to do so if it is overdue? Can we control them?”
When experiment became enjoyment, K.Namfon told us that we can control yeast fermentation in every step and there are many things that need to be concerned whether outside temperature, food, and many more which cannot be found in normal yeast and yeast powder.
However, there are always some mistakes in every experiment... Besides, they are from Art program who started cooking and baking. These took a lot of time before finding the right way.
In the beginning, K.Namfon and her boyfriend started from baking and selling a simple homemade menu which was Toast with peanut butter because of its simple and easy to sell. They did not own a shop and no staff, it was just a small rental selling booth and opened only from 8 - 11 am. Eventually, after saving some money, they have moved to the first “Flour Flour” shop on Nimmanahaeminda Road.
But to open one shop is not that easy.
K.Namfon has no experience of business at all, no staff to help them, and did not know how to manage things whether how to hire staff, store concept, brand marketing, and others. But she has to bake bread for sale and this is only what she knew.
However, only one thing that inspires her is “joyfulness”.
“This shop started from our experiments.”
K.Namfon just wanted to own a stable shop and develop some bread recipes. So, she and her boyfriend decided to open a shop. After they have tried and developed their recipe until it became unique. They started thinking about shop plan and layout. She wanted “Flour Flour” to be a breakfast serving service with all-day serving sweets such as donut. However, the main highlight is that every menu is made from her own yeast.
Half a year has passed, they might find some obstacles during many experiments but these help her became the more in-detailed person at each bread since dish selection, food presentation, shop decoration and picture selection for marketing communication. This made “Flour Flour” more famous, have good online feedback, well-known and more followers.
However, K.Namfon still has something on her mind since the beginning which is bread is not the main culture food for Thai people but she hopes for one day after the world has changed, Thai tasting and bread attitude may change.
“In the next 10 - 20 years, Thai people may change to eat more bread. Also, a combination of local product with a little-sour-and-sticky-soft Sourdough bread may make them more interesting in bread as same as our signature menu “YU CHAN”
This menu highlight is its ingredient which is the sweet “Yu Chan” cherry tomato from organic Japanese farm in Chiang Mai. “Yu Chan” is a small size tomato but great taste. Its taste will make you feel ‘delicious and fresh’. These sweet and succulent tomatoes are served on crispy bread with sticky-soft texture and a little sour taste. This is a great combination which you could not find anywhere else.
For the next step, K.Namfon wants this result to become the best and she just wants this “Flour Flour” brand stay on everybody minds.
Because of her true love in bread, this makes her the most happiness out of it. She has her eagerness to learn for the next step and that is because of bread taught her that “There is no shortcut toward success”.
Flour Flour 200/13 B – Avenue, inside D-Conda, Suthep Road
Tel. 09 2916 4166
Open 8.30am - 4.30pm
Storied: Rochaneekorn Srifahwattana
Picture: Kowit Pothisarn