Mun Keng was someone who was pretty content with her work life.
Her career path started in 2009 at Media Prima Berhad where she was the senior account executive at Big Tree Outdoor. 4 years later saw her move to Burger King Malaysia where she was able to hone her skills even more as a senior marketing manager.
Then came September 2016 when she and fellow colleagues from her days in Burger King formed Breakaway Concepts. By 2 months time, she took a new path which was the opening of her new business named Cookie Nation that has been quite a sweet hit with the local crowd.
Taking That Big Step
Mun Keng shared that prior to Cookie Nation, she had never really thought about managing her own business.
“However, things changed when I started my family. I became eager to learn and try something new so I ventured into the unknown when the opportunity presented itself,” said Mun Keng.
Aside from the opportunity presenting itself, she said this decision was also a matter of starting with the right partners. Her colleagues happened to be from the same team during her days in Burger King so despite being in a new environment, she knew that it would be fine since she was working with familiar people on familiar territory.
The CEO of Cookie Nation and her partner, Keith Loh, has additional experience as the co-founder of Snowflake in Malaysia. He was also the former Director of Marketing of Burger King Malaysia & Singapore.
Mun Keng agreed that her past career experience definitely helped shape her into the business woman she is now but she knows she still has a lot to learn.
“One of the biggest lessons that I learnt quickly was that speed is everything in business and flexibility is the next. So I applied this with Cookie Nation. It’s best to be quick to respond to opportunities and crisis while being flexible enough to decide on something fast and standing by your decision,” said Mun Keng on what she applies to her new venture.
Of course, having your own business compared to helping run one is completely different.
“Owning a business is very much a one-leg kick. There’re so many scopes to manage instead of specialising or focusing on just one field. It’s definitely challenging but interesting,” said Mun Keng.
She went on to say that starting a business means you have to build from scratch as opposed to handling marketing for a big brand that already has recognition, where people constantly knock on your doors to approach you.
But she does credit her past career in the F&B business for giving her an additional boost. “Without first being in the F&B business and without the experience and contacts, I may not have gotten into this. F&B is not as easy as many perceive it to be,” said Mun Keng.
Building Up A Sweet Emporium
The new venture was actually inspired by their own love for cookies. They also realised that there is yet to be a proper local chain that caters to this dessert need so they decided to fill that gap.
“Cookies are common but soft baked cookies are often priced at a premium value and aren’t as easy to find. Besides, everybody loves cookies. It’s something that is easy and acceptable in our local culture,” said Mun Keng.
The cookies have a pulling factor for the Malaysian crowd due to their price point. Priced at RM10 for 5 of their soft baked cookies, their ice-cream cookie sandwiches are also proving popular.
Since opening the business late November last year, Mun Keng shared that business has been picking up.
Their launch was close to the festive season such as Christmas, Chinese New Year and Valentine’s, they were able to cater to the large requests and customised orders from those events.
“We initially planned to launch Cookie Nation properly in the 2nd quarter but the requests came in one after another and we simply had to deliver. So far we’ve had orders for weddings, corporate gift favours, office events, store launches and events, and the list goes on,” said Mun Keng.
As for their future goals, Mun Keng shared that Cookie Nation hopes to set up two more stores this year. The stores will be on a smaller scale, more of a kiosk concept within malls and busy office buildings.
They also plan to continue working on product innovation by offering limited edition flavours every festive season and occasion while also adding offering health-focused cookies & savoury cookies into their menu.
To see some of what they have to offer, check out this one minute video:
Feature Image Credit: Cookie Nation