"Sinocism is the Presidential Daily Brief for China hands"- Evan Osnos, New Yorker Correspondent and National Book Award Winner
Black Swan Luxury (黑天鹅尊贵至美) is the the luxury brand of Holiland (好利来), a mass market bakery with stores across China.
Black Swan recently opened its first shop in Beijing and has plans for several more. The shop is very swanky and the brand may be best known for its sky-high pricing, though it also sells some more modestly priced deserts and breads. When I visited last weekend it was reasonably busy.
The most expensive item on the menu is a 1,999,999 RMB (approximately $315,000 USD) wedding cake.
Black Swan appears to have cracked China’s uber-spender market by appealing to buyers at state-owned enterprises, official gift-givers and the not insignificant number of people with crazy money to burn and a desire to flaunt their bonfires.
The Chinese economy may be struggling a bit but the demand for good cakes is growing. However, I do not believe that demand is a result of any official policy to “let them eat cake”. (You knew it was coming.)
Here are some photos from a visit to the first Beijing shop on a recent Sunday.
Inside the shop:
The 2M RMB wedding cake:
The cover of one of their catalogs:
Full disclosure, my spouse runs CCSweets, a custom cake and cupcake shop in Beijing that targets well-heeled customers but does not consider itself a competitor to Black Swan.
Follow me on Twitter @niubi or Sina Weibo @billbishop.