Former reporter’s passion for baking pays off

Photo used for illustration purposes only

SEREMBAN – Since young, Rozlinda Yahya and her two sisters have had an interest in baking cakes and their dream of having their own bakery came true last month when they opened a boutique cake house in Senawang here.

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Rozlinda, 42, who served as a reporter for the Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama) for three years from 2010 to 2013, said she used to bake for friends even while she was working but had to put her dream of starting her own cake business on hold when she left Bernama to join her husband who was working overseas.

After she returned from abroad in 2018, Rozlinda wasted no time in pursuing her dream.

“I started my cake business with my sisters (Yusnida, 46, and Ismaliza, 34) on a small-scale at home and also (promoted my business) online and I’m proud that we now own a boutique cake house which we opened in October.

“We’re so happy we realised our dream of expanding our business,” the mother of one told Bernama.

Challenges

Admitting that her life now as an entrepreneur was very different from her life as a reporter, Rozlinda said as a business owner, she has to think of strategies to make her venture more profitable and also learn to deal with all kinds of customers who walk into her shop.

“The work is challenging but satisfying,” she said, adding that ensuring their products were well accepted by their customers was one of the biggest challenges she and her sisters faced.

To the siblings’ delight, their cake outlet has been getting encouraging response from the public.

“We came up with the idea of opening a cake shop based on the boutique concept as we wanted to be unique and wanted our customers to feel comfortable,” she said.

Ismaliza, meanwhile, said although they faced competition from other cake entrepreneurs, they believed that the high-quality premium ingredients they use set their products apart from the others.

Their outlet offers more than 20 varieties of cakes and among its bestselling ones are the five-inch (12.7-cm) basque burnt cheesecake, red velvet cake and carrot cake that are priced at RM25 each.

Another popular item is the Box of Surprises that contains a variety of five-inch cakes and is affordably priced.

“We are always trying to innovate and diversify our cake choices to satisfy our customers,” said Ismaliza, adding that they are also planning to open a branch in Kuala Lumpur.

Lucrative

Rozlinda said their income has doubled since they opened the cake shop. Previously when the sisters operated from their home, their gross income per day was about RM1,500 a day but now their daily takings have reached up to RM3,000.

Yusnida, meanwhile, said initially she was nervous about giving up her full-time job to go into the cake business on a full-time basis.

“At that time, I didn’t have the confidence to accept large orders (for cakes) but after seeing the potential to develop it into a big venture, I quit my job and went into the cake business full-time,” she said.

She said during the initial phase of the Movement Control Order, they had difficulty buying the cake ingredients as most of them were imported.

“At that time, the shipping industry was stuck and it was hard for us to get supplies even in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor but we managed to keep our business going,” she added.

— BERNAMA