Companies: Gor Deluxe
Why it stands out: A suburban bakery’s conversion to an online gift business skyrocketed from $98,000 in 2020 to over $1.5 million in 12 months..
Phillip Kuoch’s parents were Khmer Rouge refugees from Cambodia who always dreamed of starting their own business. “From a young age, I remember talking about opening a fish and chip shop, a bakery, a coin he’s laundromat, basically anything,” he recalls Phillip.
When the opportunity presented itself to take over a bakery in the Melbourne suburb of Croydon, they put together the entire family’s savings and went for it. “But as luck would have it, his father’s health deteriorated and his mother became his full-time caregiver, which meant they could no longer devote themselves to it,” laments Philippe. Instead of seeing their dreams dashed, Philippe made the “naive” decision to walk into and run a bakery with zero business or bakery experience.
After 12 months of sleep deprivation and constant practice, Goldelucks won a bronze medal in a national confectionery competition and Philip opened pop-up stores around Melbourne.
“I think we are successful with TikTok.
Phillip is a small business that can’t afford to expand quickly and realizes that going online is the fastest way to reach more customers outside of Croydon. “So I started an online gift delivery service in Melbourne and drove into the city to deliver the order to a communal space I rented so that the courier could pick it up.” he says Phillip. “If he was lucky he would get five orders, but in his first year he averaged two a day.”
But when COVID-19 hit, Phillip already had the infrastructure to scale up. “While we were stressed at the prospect of his three retail stores being forced to close, we intuitively saw this as a great opportunity for Goldelucks,” explains Phillip. “People needed to celebrate and stay connected. In the 12 months before COVID-19, sales from our online channel surged from just $98,000 to over $1.5 million in 2020. During peak lockdowns, brick-and-mortar bakeries had to close their doors, and Goldelucks was making deliveries every 51 seconds.
“Since the pandemic started, since the lockdown ended, year after year we have been growing all the time,” enthuses Phillip. “We value feedback and our customers always tell us how much they love our service and products. I am amazed that we have customers all over Australia and even internationally.”
Throughout 2021, Goldelucks continued to focus on growing its e-commerce channel. When he launched the best-selling Cake Explosion Box, the team ordered stock he expected to last three months, but it sold out within ten days.
Goldelucks continues to attract more and more customers thanks to TikTok. “Honestly, my only strategy on TikTok was to face the brand for the first time and share my journey and story,” admits Phillip. Little did he know until he launched his campaign that his videos would reach hundreds of millions of people and help put Goldelucks on the map on a national level. “I think we’re successful on TikTok because we’ve cut through all the marketing scrutiny by being authentic,” he explains. “For the first time, our customers felt like they knew who they were buying from, especially at a time when Australians want to support local businesses.”
This success has allowed Philip to push forward with the expansion of the brand. Goldelucks recently purchased its own warehouse in Melbourne. “We have plans to grow even more nationally and in the next few years we hope to have local distribution warehouses in every major city to offer on-demand gifts nationwide,” said Phillip. says.
This article first appeared in Issue 37 of the Inside Small Business Quarterly
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