Owner Spotlight: Lydia Lai

Crème De La Crumb |

Owner Spotlight: Lydia Lai

Hi my name is Lydia Lai, one of the proud owners of Creme de la Crumb. 

Born and raised in Vancouver, I grew up with a love and passion for baking, cooking and creating. My husband and I both started out in the financial industry, but it never felt quite right. So in 2009, we traded in our spreadsheets for aprons, and started Creme de laCrumb! We started Creme, because besides the actual act of baking and cooking, I love seeing the look on peoples faces when they first try one of our scones, or just seeing people coming together over food. It's the ultimate universal language!
 
Here at Creme, our main goal was to really create something like a regular coffee shop. But we always noticed in the places that we frequented, that the baked goods where never all that impressive. So we set out on a mission! To create delicious baked goods, scratch made, in small batches, using natural ingredients. To this day, we still use small mixers, regular sized pans, and truly think this has helped us maintain the home baked feel to our baked goods. 
 
I do strongly believe that it's not just all about the food. We have also built this company based on relationships. Whether it's with our employees, our suppliers, or most importantly our loyal customers. Building those relationships are what make any business successful. They are truly an extension of our Creme family! The most important decisions I face are related to prioritizing relationships over transactions and checklists. I believe that it's not just about rushing through each day checking off our to-do lists but also about taking the time to slow down to check in on people's lives. For me, it's about how they are doing, what support they need, and how we can better their experience. I take the time to be intentional in building relationships with our staff and customers. Getting to know them is the most enjoyable parts of my job. It also gives me great joy whenever I see the happy look on people's faces when they are satisfied with our end product.
 
When I sit down and take a look at our humble beginnings, there have been a few moments, where I was just like..this is why I do this everyday! One moment recently sticks out to me. I was up volunteering at the Daybreak Point Bible camp, running their kitchen, when this woman comes chasing me down the dock as I got on the boat to leave. She said she used to work at one of the cafes that we wholesale to, and told me she used to be a manager there. She then told me how amazing our products are, and that they used to order wholesale from these larger distributors, but once they started bringing in our products, business really picked up. It felt really special to know that we were able to make an impact partnering with another local business.
 
As a Creative Chef, my responsibilities include menu development, market research, and quality control. On average, I work for ten hours a day and on a typical work day, I oversee operations and work together with our kitchen and catering managers to make sure everything's running smoothly. I also test new recipes and always speak to managers and customers for their feedback.
 
While I have my own ideals and principles in regard to building Crème de la Crumb, I always feel it's important to look out of what you know, and look towards other leaders that inspire you, a mentor so to speak. Mine would be an amazing woman named Michelle Ng. She is the owner and founder of Vancouver Foodie Tours. In all my years of working, I have never run into someone like her. Her love and care for her staff and company exude through her day to day actions. The way she builds up the company and all the people within it, is truly inspirational. Every move is intentional and well thought out, she is approachable and is always there to support her staff. And the delicious perks! She is huge on employee loyalty, and really puts weight on to how all the little things make a huge difference. 
 

When I'm not working, I love reading different cooking books, watching food and travel shows, and catching some snuggles with our dog, Sophie!

In my bid to give back to the community, I serve annually at Daybreak Point Bible Camp on Anvil Island. My husband and I have been serving there for the last three years. Me in the kitchen and he is on the work crew (basically doing all our dishes!). We serve with other people from our church community, and there are about eighty five of us. 

Aside from Creme, I also work a bit with Michelle at Vancouver Foodie Tours, giving tours of our city and all the yummy food it has to offer! 

I've really enjoyed sharing a bit about our story, and what we are all about. Hopefully it's given you some insight as to why we do what we do!

If you guys have any questions, or inquires, my email box is always open, feel free to get in touch. You can email me directly at lydialai@cremedelacrumb.com or you can visit our website  www.cremedelacrumb.com 

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Bluebird Cakery is our sister company that specializes in creating custom cakes and cupcakes for all occasions. From birthdays and weddings to corporate events, Bluebird can create something special for any celebration.

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