After You - Still Buzzworthy After a Decade
It's been 10 years since the first After You opened in Thonglor but the buzz hasn't died down, particularly when it comes to honey toast.
July 07, 2017
In Thailand, you know you’re successful when your business name has become your last name, like Top TaoKaeNoi (Aitthipat “Top” Kulapongvanich of the TaoKaeNoi seaweed empire) or Moo Asava (Polpat Asavaprapha of clothing brand Asava). The success of “May After You” or Kulapat Kanokwatanawan is undeniable. Just look at the long queue forming in front of any After You café.
It was 10 years ago – in October 2007 to be exact – when the first piece of After You’s Shibuya Honey Toast made its debut in Thailand’s dessert scene. Who could resist tempting, buttery smelling, soft, melt-in-your-mouth chunky bread, smooth and creamy vanilla ice cream, fluffy whipped cream, and heavenly sweet honey all in the same bite!?
Kulapat Kanokwatanawan, who also made it to 2Magazine
’s The New Establishment 2017 list
, said her establishment has come a long way and, while it’s not an easy journey, it’s all been well worth the effort.
“I’d attempted to make the right Shibuya Honey Toast for years but failed. I’d given up several times. It just didn’t taste and smell right to me. One day, my mother brought home this butter, and it was just the missing piece I’d been searching for. That’s how the Shibuya Honey Toast was born,” said Kulapat of her famous dessert.
Over the course of 10 years, while many desserts have been added, both seasonal and permanent, the hero dish of After You has always been this Instagram-worthy toast. What’s the success recipe? Kulapat said it’s consistency and honesty.
“We don’t cut corners or compromise the quality of our ingredients. We pay attention to every small detail: how hot the toast is, how cold the ice cream is, how we serve it. Our secret recipe is not any single ingredient but our constant attention to detail.
Kulapat always comes up with new delights to excite her fans, using seasonal local ingredients. Mayongchid Frappe is a prime example of fusing local flavor with a modern touch.
Japanese-style kakigori is given a Thai twist with mango and sticky rice - a perfect summer treat.
Ten years and 18 branches later, she estimates that around three million pieces of Shibuya Honey Toast have been sold. That’s around 800 pieces a day, which is quite an achievement for a dessert café. But to Kulapat the bigger success has been seeing repeat customers bring their loved ones to enjoy her desserts again and again. “If they want someone they love to come and eat my desserts, then I must be doing something right!”