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Thursday, Sep 29, 2022

Hoping Bakery Pans Out

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated from the print version to correct the spelling of Yolanda Santosa’s name.

Yolanda Santosa for the past five years has designed product packaging, brand logos and other material for the likes of Pinkberry and the TBS TV channel through her downtown L.A. design and brand firm, Ferroconcrete.

Now, she’s using her graphics and marketing talent to build her own brand with Früute, a bakery she opened earlier this month in West Hollywood that serves bite-size artisanal tarts at $3 a pop.

It’s the first time she gets to move beyond the role of hired gun, and she’s looking forward to making a name as a retailer. Santosa wants to turn her tarts into the next big thing in baked goods, comparable to the cupcake craze epitomized by the Sprinkles Cupcakes chain.

“You can help define what people want next,” she said.

Santosa, 33, launched Früute with the help of her pastry chef mother and fashion designer sister. She used her personal savings for the launch.

Früute’s tarts are square instead of round, they’re made with organic high-quality ingredients, and come in unconventional flavors such as sea salt caramel, wasabi and black pepper. For the less adventurous, there’s a berry tart with vanilla custard filling.

She created a sleek, modern design for Früute’s packaging, logos and store that’s reminiscent of what she did for her first client, Pinkberry. She also has started developing items such as designer boxes of four or eight tarts that customers can purchase as gifts.

Santosa is keeping her day job at Ferroconcrete, and has been applying lessons she’s learning as an entrepreneur to her work as a design consultant.

“It’s a great learning process for me to be able to see it from the clients’ perspective,” she said.

She acknowledged that a few customers have complained about the relatively high $3 price, but most haven’t objected after she explains tarts are labor intensive.

“Making tarts is not the same as making cupcakes,” she said.


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