Sweet jobs with Ms B
Managers, receptionists, bar and bakery staff, waiters
Ms B's Cakery, C'est la B, and Sevva
Bonnie Gokson already employs about 200 people in her three business ventures - Sevva, Ms B's Cakery and C'est la B - but is planning further expansion. Her second C'est la B cafe is opening in early autumn in Pacific Place, while another is in the pipeline for Tsim Sha Tsui. Hence, the businesses are scrambling for staff.
'For Sevva, we are recruiting receptionists and bar staff to waiters. On the cakery and cafe-bar side, [we need] good bakers and cake decorators and frontliners to serve, who know the culture and philosophy of our business well,' Gokson says.
There are also assistant manager and team leader positions available.
When the Pacific Place outlet opens, more staff will be needed, but Gokson is planning to transfer experienced employees to provide training.
Regardless of the position, good interpersonal and communication skills are highly valued, as is being clean and neat. Applicants to the cakery should be highly skilled and artistic, in order to be able to produce the high-quality unique items the cake shop is known for. They also need an eye for detail.
'It is a bonus if one is warm and cheerful as well. I always preach that good energy channels the same energy into the food we serve,' Gokson says.
Applicants are expected to be fluent in Cantonese, and at least to manage English well, as the businesses have speakers of both languages.
'We have a lot of pride in what we do,' Gokson says. 'We are committed to serve only the best quality ingredients and provide the best and most honest products to our clients. I style and design all our cakes, from each layer to the final look of the cake.'
Applicants are first screened by human resources and then have interviews with the chief pastry chef and the general manager. The final interview is with Gokson herself.
The company uses overseas consultants to develop training for staff, depending on their background, area of knowledge and development level. Employees can also transfer for on-the-job training in different sections. Gokson offers question-and-answer sessions and training in manners and product knowledge for frontline staff. She has also sponsored staff to take a course in the US to further their studies in cake-making and sugar-art crafts.
There are creativity project sessions, where staff show off their own skills, and 'cake-out' sessions for tasting each other's cakes. Gokson also has a cookbook library where staff are welcome to browse and be inspired.
'We are very innovative and have lots of fun, sharing and laughter. We often get together for dinner outings; I treat them to the best desserts, cakes or chocolates from Paris, New York, Tokyo, anywhere I go... a little souvenir. It's very much like a happy family,' Gokson says.