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Remember when we were kids who wanted to be astronauts, teachers, or scientists? For Siti Nordiana, or better known as Kak D, her dream was to open a dessert cafe.

Having enjoyed the challenge that comes with cooking and baking since young, she would commonly be found taking baking lessons, either through classes or through the people and resources around her.

But as with most of us, reality crashes down and you grow up. Adulting meant that dreams had to be put aside to ensure food is on the table. Until one day, she figured it was time to sweep the dust off this dream and make it her reality. 

Image Credit: Mimpicakes

And in the process, she built up a successful online baking class that has seen about 50,000 students from Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Australia, and Indonesia. This is the story of Mimpicakes.

She wasn’t afraid to take a whisk

For those that aren’t familiar with Malay, Mimpicakes basically means dream cakes. A fitting name considering the founder’s personal background and interest in the field.

Back then, she graduated with an education in accountancy from Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) before going to work at an insurance company. 

She stayed there for 11 years and made a decent living for herself and her family, who at that point had grown to include a husband and her only daughter.

Image Credit: Mimpicakes

It was all going well until one day, she had an upsetting realisation—she wasn’t spending enough time with her daughter.

“My working hours and my husband’s working hours meant we always came back late. Sometimes we’d even pick up our daughter late from the babysitter’s,” Kak D confided. “This made me feel like I needed a business of my own to have more time with my daughter.”

So she went back to her roots and got into the baking industry on the side. 

Bake it till you make it

She initially started off by selling cakes to friends and colleagues as a part-time venture in 2018. But after about a year, with the guidance of her business guru, she began conducting online baking classes on Facebook.

Image Credit: Mimpicakes

“I would do livestreams sharing recipes on Facebook and from there, many people began to know the brand Mimpicakes and Kak D,” she shared.

This was how she slowly built up Mimpicakes, one baking lesson at a time. 

Until eventually, due to the encouraging reception the brand received, Kak D quit her job at the insurance company to run Mimpicakes on a full-time basis. Not alone though, as her husband Zahari also joined the business.

Not long after, Kak D realised that many of her students were either working day jobs, still studying in university, or housewives occupied with childcare.

Image Credit: Mimpicakes

So she shifted her livestreams to create pre-recorded baking lessons that she shares in a private Facebook group.

Making it a piece of cake for students

In the group, Kak D shared that students have lifetime access to learn these beginner-friendly recipes at their own pace. 

As the baking lessons are pre-recorded, it’s easier for students to master the recipes as they can rewatch the videos to better understand the techniques.

Alongside the full video tutorials, Mimpicakes shares written recipes that include the whole baking process from start to finish. Students can also find photos of the specific ingredients and appliances being used for easier replication. 

Image Credit: Mimpicakes

More than that, though, perhaps what makes Mimpicakes more valuable to students is the sense of community it brings. 

Kak D encourages students who are facing any problems to share them in the Facebook group, where her team will attend to the enquiries. 

But aside from that, the other students in the group also act as a support system for fellow new bakers.

Baking the world a better place

Image Credit: Mimpicakes

Most baking courses available in the market aim to teach people the skills to bake their own cookies. And usually, that’s the extent of it.

However, that’s not the case with Kak D and Mimpicakes. 

Speaking candidly, the founder explained that her goal since the start was to birth as many self-sustaining bakers as possible. So it’s actually about equipping women (or men) with the skills to generate their own income.

“Alhamdulillah, many of our students who had zero experience in baking now sell their own baked goods and have their own incomes,” she shared. 

Image Credit: D’Manice Cafe

An example of this is D’Manice Cafe in Melaka that started off as a brand selling cakes using recipes from Mimpicakes.

Other than cakes, Mimpicakes also comes up with recipes for kuih raya, where many of her students have sold thousands of containers of their own attempts. “Their stories are our strengths and encourage us to come up with more recipes to help our students generate income,” she expressed.

Riding on a sugar high

Image Credit: Mimpicakes

Fast forward to December 2022, Kak D finally managed to realise her childhood dream of opening a cafe. Located in Eco Majestic, Semenyih, Sedap Eatery Cafe is a spot serving Malay dishes.

It only opens for breakfast and brunch, between 8AM to 1PM.

“There are many cafes in Eco Majestic that serve western food and lunch offerings,” she explained the choice in brand positioning. 

This turned out to be a good strategic move, as Kak D shared that the reception has been “very encouraging”. Many customers bring along their elderly parents and children, thereby giving it a reputation as a family-oriented cafe.

Image Credit: Mimpicakes

On the menu, you’ll find popular items like nasi lemak bunjut, bihun siam, and cucur udang. And of course, desserts using Mimpicakes’ recipes, where an average of 40 cakes are supplied by her baking team in a week.

“For every new recipe that we release at Mimpicakes, we’ll first sell the desserts at our cafe to let the students taste them,” Kak D elaborated. This way, Sedap Eatery complements Mimpicakes and provides another form of marketing for the baking class.

Despite having achieved her cafe dreams, Kak D has no plans of resting on her laurels. She believes that there are still more people to teach and help equip with baking skills for a better life. 

Image Credit: Mimpicakes
  • Learn more about Mimpicakes here.
  • Read other articles we’ve written about Malaysian startups here.

Featured Image Credit: Mimpicakes

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Vulcan Post aims to be the knowledge hub of Singapore and Malaysia.

© 2021 GRVTY Media Pte. Ltd.
(UEN 201431998C.)