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When I lived in Setia Alam, one question I was usually asked was, “What is a must-try restaurant or cafe there?”

And my answer over the past few years has always been The Ordinary Baker.

I’ve been to many eateries in the area but none have left as deep of an impression as that bakery. It sells one thing, and one thing only—choux au craquelin, or better known locally as cream puffs.

Shaped like a dome, topped with a cookie-like dough, and generously filled with cream, these flaky sweet treats haunted my nights. I’m ashamed to say I’ve dreamt of eating them in my sleep a few times.

But beyond its taste, the brand is proof that focusing on your niche is the secret ingredient to growing a business.

Image Credit: The Ordinary Baker

After all, Putri Sharizad and her three siblings started The Ordinary Baker in an apartment. Who knew it would expand to two physical stores within four years?

From banking to baking

As the driving force behind the venture, Putri surprisingly doesn’t come from a culinary background. Her foray into the baking business happened after she left her banking career to focus on raising her daughter.

To help generate income, Putri began making cookies and crafting gift baskets to sell. It was a small business that gave her a taste of what the industry was like.

After relocating to Saudi Arabia following her husband’s new career, Putri continued her quest for entrepreneurial opportunities. She honed her skills online through platforms like YouTube and practised the craft whenever she could. 

Image Credit: The Ordinary Baker

Once confident, she started selling pastries like cakes, macarons, and cream puffs to the expat community there. 

The consistent orders and positive feedback she received finally pushed Putri to further upskill. She attended a few baking workshops and courses, including the Peggy Porschen Academy from the UK where she received a Grand Diploma in Professional Cake Design.

Together, these experiences prepared Putri to pursue The Ordinary Baker a few years later.

Finding a solution as a family

As you may remember, the pandemic negatively affected citizens in numerous ways, most importantly their finances. This included Putri and her three siblings, Zainol, Nadira, and Najiha.

While finding ways to get through this hardship, the siblings turned to baking as a means of survival. Hence, the four of them launched The Ordinary Baker in 2020.

Putri and her siblings back at the apartment where the brand first launched / Image Credit: The Ordinary Baker

The business started in Putri’s home, a 800 sq ft apartment in Setia Alam, with choux au craquelin.

At the time, Putri shared that there was a growing appreciation for cream puffs in the local community. But most sellers in Malaysia sell another kind called profiteroles that’s filled with whipped cream.

That’s why they decided to focus on choux au craquelin to offer the market something different. It also helped that Putri herself had spent years perfecting the dessert before this. For context, it isn’t hard to bake but you have to follow certain steps to a tee in order to succeed.

One key tip she shared is to take the time to master the choux dough. It’s the foundation of any good cream puff and requires the correct batter consistency and baking techniques to get right.

Image Credit: The Ordinary Baker

Never a dull flavour at the bakery

Initially, The Ordinary Baker offered a limited variety of cream puffs and stuck with classics like vanilla and chocolate. 

But as their reputation grew, so too did the brand’s menu and customer base.

You can find a diverse range of flavours available for walk-in orders or pre-order deliveries. Some of its bestsellers are the Tiramisu and Hazelnut Rocher flavours, though they also have monthly specials like Matcha Hazelnut Crunchy and Chocolate Banoffee.

Image Credit: The Ordinary Baker

Generally, the cream puffs are sold in box sets:

  • Box of six from RM21 to RM30
  • Box of 16 (which has all its permanent flavours) for RM47
  • Box of 36 from RM93 to RM147
  • Box of 54 (also known as Choux Fiesta Combo) for RM169

The prices differ depending on which flavours you choose, with its exclusive and premium flavours being slightly higher.

Overall, it’s more affordable than other choux au craquelin brands in the market who charge between RM6 to RM19, based on what we observe.

Image Credit: Nur Sabrina / Nadia Illyanie

The Ordinary Baker now serves communities in faraway states like Seremban, Melaka, Johor, and even Penang too. The brand sets dates for these out-of-state deliveries, so orders are sent in bulk. Their clientele has also grown to include corporations and government agencies. 

To meet these demands, the siblings moved into a commercial shop lot in Setia Alam’s Seria 88 Business Centre. And right next door is their recently opened Ordinary Baker Cafe.

Keeping to their roots

Speaking to us, Putri explained that opening this cafe felt like a natural next step for the siblings. 

Image Credit: The Ordinary Baker

“Our loyal customers have been so supportive over the years. We wanted to deepen and broaden our connection with the community and give them a cosy, family-friendly place to hang out and enjoy treats.”

Along with that comes the expansion of its menu. You can find cakes, macarons, roti jala, and beverages like coffee at its new cafe. Each new addition was carefully chosen to complement its existing offerings.

“We’re excited about it (the new food options), but we’re also being careful. We want to make sure that we don’t lose what makes us special while we try out new things,” Putri confided.

Image Credit: The Ordinary Baker

The brand curates limited time offerings in the cafe based on the monthly cream puff specials. This ensures that the menu remains fresh while still highlighting its unique selling point.

Onwards and upwards from here

So far, the siblings’ entrepreneurial journey seems to be on an upward trajectory.

Part of this comes down to their commitment to building strong relationships with customers. 

The brand frequently conducts informal surveys to get feedback and opinions so they can better align their offerings with the evolving market. 

The Ordinary Baker’s team / Image Credit: The Ordinary Baker

The siblings hope this will help them with expanding their food offerings and outlets. Ultimately, though, the goal is for The Ordinary Baker to become a household name for cream puffs someday. 

“We’re confident that by staying true to our values and focused on our customers, we will continue to thrive and make a positive impact in the years to come.”

  • Learn more about The Ordinary Baker here.
  • Read other articles we’ve written about Malaysian startups here.

Featured Image Credit: The Ordinary Baker

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

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