Movies Screening Evening: 燈火闌珊 & 1人婚禮
Invited by Mimi, a core member of the CHIME Canada, I had the fantastic opportunity to host a booth showcasing my innovative cake creations that perfectly complemented the Hong Kong theme of the evening.
It was a special double-feature movie night organized by CHIME Canada, featuring the premiere of two new Cantonese movies from Hong Kong: "A Light Never Goes Out" (Chinese: 燈火闌珊) and "Say I Do To Me" (1人婚禮) at the Peoples Theatre for the Performing Arts. To embrace the theme, I decided to recreate one of my favorite Hong Kong-style cakes, the "Coconut Milk Red Bean Fleecy Cake" (椰汁紅豆冰蛋糕). This delectable treat consisted of six layers:
- Homemade Red Bean 自家製紅豆粒
- Agar Agar Ice 大菜冰
- Vanilla Cream 雪糕口感的雲呢拿忌廉
- Evaporated Milk Layer 花奶層
- Coconut Red Bean Mousse 椰汁紅豆慕絲
- Fluffy Chiffon Cake 原味雪芳蛋糕
After experiencing the challenges of outdoor markets last year, where my display cakes often succumbed to the sun's relentless heat, I was truly grateful for the chance to set up indoors this time. What's more, the organizers kindly offered the use of one of their mini fridges to store my cakes—like a dream come true! With over 100 expected attendees for the movie night, which included not one but two free movies, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to gain some exposure.
However, as I delved deeper into the details, I realized the evening presented its own set of challenges. The event was a marathon, starting with doors opening at 6:00 PM, the first movie screening at 6:45 PM, followed by a 15-20 minute intermission around 9-ish, and the second movie screening concluding at 11:55 PM. Additionally, no food or drink were allowed inside the theatre, and another F&B booth was selling savory snacks and beverages. Most attendees were likely to arrive just before the first movie, craving savory snack as it's dinner hour, leaving a short window during the intermission for me to make sales. Considering it takes 5-10 minutes to finish eating cake, I essentially had only 10 minutes to sell. It was a gamble, but my gut feeling told me this was an opportunity I couldn't pass up. I don't have a physical store, so every event like this is a precious chance to gain exposure. Ultimately, I decided to prepare 50 cupcakes—the maximum my mini car could handle. As you can see from the picture, fully assembled cakes couldn't fit under a lid, so I semi-assembled them for easy stacking and transportation. The rest would be assembled on-site for a more engaging booth setup.
With experience from making and selling the same cake last year, I could calculate portions more accurately, and the production process was relatively smooth. I spent one day gathering all the ingredients and two whole days in the kitchen crafting the 50 cakes. I was also allowed to load in and store my products the night before—an added bonus. It turned out to be my best market experience to date.
On the screening date, I arrived at 5 PM to greet Mimi and other staff, took my time to set up, and stood ready to serve my creations. As expected, only a few attendees arrived early, but this gave me the chance to engage with others and introduce myself. I even had the pleasure of meeting some old friends. I managed to sell around 10-12 cakes before the first movie began, and the enthusiastic reactions of my customers were heartwarming. During the 10-minute intermission, I gave it my all—it was my golden opportunity. I decided to forgo watching the first movie to finish assembling the rest of my cakes. Some audience members left the theatre, purchased my cake, enjoyed it, and returned to the screening. Then intermission started, and people started coming out. They paid and grabbed cakes without pause. My mom and husband joined in to help speed up the selling process. In just 20 minutes, all the cakes were gone! It was an incredible relief—zero food waste and all my hard work paid off.
I was too exhausted to watch the movie this time, but at least I knew I had earned my $2 per hour! Haha...
Special thanks to:
*My mom and Louis on setup/packup/sales help.