Skye Chang remembers grabbing pastries from local bakeries on his way to school in Taiwan when he was a kid. Now, he’s the owner of Chew Chew Bun, an Asian bakery in State College.
Chang always dreamed of working in the food industry, but the timing was never right. After his family moved to the United States, Chang began studying mathematics at Penn State in 2006 but left before his senior year to pursue other opportunities.
From working as a business consultant at an internet marketing company to joining a smartwatch startup in California to launching his own film and photography business, Chang had a wide array of jobs in the years following his departure from Penn State.
It wasn’t until 2018 when Chang moved back to State College that he noticed there was a demand for an Asian bakery.
“There are a lot of Asian international students in this town,” Chang said. “For the majority of us, we grew up eating these types of pastries.”
After years of entrepreneurial endeavors, Chang’s original dream came to fruition, and Chew Chew Bun was born.
Chew Chew Bun specializes in authentic Taiwanese-inspired
pastries. Its most popular item is the melon bun series, but Chang’s personal favorite is the garlic cheese pull bun. He said he has one almost every morning.
“I personally think that starting a business is very easy,” Chang said. “Maintaining and improving it are the hard parts.”
The biggest challenge for Chew Chew Bun, according to Chang, is producing all of its goods out of a small kitchen. Due to a recent increase in demand, the bakery is planning to open a brick-and-mortar location in the near future. With a bigger kitchen and more equipment, it’ll be able to supply a greater variety and quantity of baked goods.
Chang attributes Chew Chew Bun’s success to four things: the memories, the taste, the convenience, and his mom. Chang’s mother, Jenny Tsai, is Chew Chew Bun’s head baker. She’s been in the food industry for over 20 years and has worked in various Chinese and Japanese restaurants. She was also Chang’s earliest inspiration.
“I actually enjoy working alongside my mom,” Chang said. “We like to bounce ideas back and forth. I feel like we’re more like teammates now.”
As for those who want to follow in his footsteps and start a business of their own, Chang has some advice: Have a business plan and the courage to start as soon as possible.
Orders can be placed on Chew Chew Bun’s website from Saturday to Thursday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. for delivery the following morning.