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Yannan Li

Case Study: Yannan Li, Misu Desserts

We hear from Warwick graduate, Yannan Li, who set up her own business in 2016.

Yannan Li

What is Misu Desserts?

We bring more innovative and exciting desserts to the UK market, for example, our current best-selling products include Matcha tiramisu, Salted Caramel and Cacao nibs tiramisu and Rose bud latte.

Innovation is the core of the business, so there will be
many more products to come.

How did the idea come about?

A combination of frustration and passion brought this idea to life. I’m
always a dessert-enthusiast, I was trained at Le Corden Bleu in 2014
and I love how desserts can bring happiness to people and social
occasions. However, have travelled and tried desserts in many
countries, I felt frustrated that the flavour combinations of British
desserts are not exciting enough. It is improving but many people still
seek for more novelty flavour combinations. I want to be one of the
few that leads the change.

What has been your proudest moment since starting Misu?

I have just completed my first year on the Tier 1 Graduate
Entrepreneur Scheme, and I’m still amazed with the journey we have
experienced so far! I’m proud that we were able to carry out the
plan, even though sometimes it was very demanding physically and
mentally. The greatest achievements include securing investors and
mentors from some top food companies, the 2-week pop up inside
the Bullring Birmingham and launching with Deliveroo Birmingham in
early 2018.

What challenges have you faced?

The biggest challenge I have faced so far was to find the right
distribution channel for our product. It took us a year of trial and
error to understand our product and market fit.

And how did you overcome these?

Our team tried various ways to sell, including online orders, catering
events, wholesale to coffee shops, food markets and retail shopping
malls. All distribution channels have their own pros and cons. It was
not easy to try many channels in such a short period of time. But I
believe it was necessary, to use the least resources and get as much
customer feedback as possible from different channels, this provides
very useful insights to which distribution channel we should invest
the most in the future.

What advice would you offer to other entrepreneurs who are
starting out?

Be resilient, keep up with the momentum. Be flexible with change. Compete with yourself and learn from others.