Malaysian Banker Turned Baker Selling Cookies Online
Lately I have seen many small cookie companies on my Instagram feed. Some even aroused my curiosity enough to buy and try, like The Alcoholic Baker and Chew My Booze, the latter of which we’ve already covered.
The saturation of online cookie brands is forcing these companies to find a niche in order to meet specific customer demands. And as you can probably see, my request is for alcoholic cookies.
Catherine, who founded The Cookies Bar, is not pushed too hard by her competitors.
“The whole cookie mania situation only started towards the end of last year, probably when people saw that the existing vendors were doing really good business and they wanted a piece of the pie as well,” she observed.
She considers herself lucky, being one of the first brands to join a market that was not too competitive at the time. With enough loyal customers supporting her and keeping her business alive, it solidified her choice to quit a job at the bank that earned her a 5-figure salary.
Take out the ‘N’ In Banker
The 35-year-old told Vulcan Post that although she was a sales banker for 9 years, she always wanted to be a baker. “The money was good and it helped me pay for my house, my car, etc. but I never really had much happiness, ”admitted Catherine.
So she quit her banking job in December 2019 after getting engaged to her 6-year-old boyfriend and started The Cookies Bar in May 2020. This was mainly because the pandemic had ended their travel plans in Japan. .
Of course, business didn’t flourish from day one. It started slowly, with orders gradually coming from Malaysians who came across his page. The fear of failure would always creep into the baker’s mind, especially as a former employee.
But Catherine is thankful that having an online business means avoiding the costs of hiring and hiring staff. With a capital expenditure of RM 5,000, she bought additional cooking tools and stocked up on premium ingredients to cook and sell her first 2 flavors.
“At the beginning, it was totally a one-woman show. Cooking, packaging, delivery, purchase of ingredients, response to all MDs, [prepping] cookie dough in the evening, to wash… ”she listed.
Catherine also shared that it was actually the deliveries part of the business that was her biggest challenge. Packing the orders not only took a long time, but she realized how expensive courier services can be. Plus, she didn’t want to charge customers an exorbitant price for deliveries alone, just to indulge in her desserts.
For example, Catherine sometimes absorbed part of the delivery costs or even went to customers’ homes to deliver the cookies herself, especially when she was just starting out.
Since then, she has been roped up to her brother’s house to help with childbirth and her mother for cleaning. However, the passionate baker insists on being the only baker, meticulous about the consistency of the products.
“I’m willing to sacrifice quantity (more money) for quality. I don’t know the others, but for me, starting my own business was taking action, ”said the solo-preneur. She even attributed this quality control to the stability of her business today, with 70% of orders coming from regulars.
A cookie is born
Starting with 2 humble chocolate flavors as a first step, Catherine has since expanded her product line to now offer 12 variations. Each cookie has a price between RM7 and RM9, depending on the flavor.
From dark chocolate chunks to Matcha Mania and S’mores to brown butter, each chunky cookie is indulgent and chewy. You can read more about our review through our sister brand, Discover KL, where we gave one of them a 9/10 rating. “The only reason we left a point is simply because we believe there is always room for improvement,” my colleague wrote.
To create a new cookie flavor, Catherine would repeatedly bake and taste the products, batch by batch. Sometimes family and friends take on the role of Masterchef judges trying to judge their confectionery while giving honest feedback. Ultimately, before a new cookie is released, it must be “approved by Catherine,” the baker said.
“Ultimately, after many rounds of tweaks and improvements, a new cookie flavor from The Cookies Bar was born,” she added.
So far, the cheerful baker has carefully explained that she was unable to give us exact figures on her company’s profit and income. She said instead, “I just know I’m making money, for sure. It’s probably less than what I made in banking last time as one of the top sellers, but that’s okay because I love what I’m doing now.
Plus, she admitted that the Cookies Bar wasn’t so much a business for her, but more of a hobby. That being said, she hopes to open her own bakery where she can also sell her cookies and other baked goods.
Maybe treat [The Cookies Bar] that way wasnt a good business model, but thank goodness it still works somehow for me. I don’t have a business plan. There are no business meetings… I just focus on creating and baking the best cookies possible. If my cookies taste great and my customers love them, everything else will fall into place somehow.
Catherine, baker and founder of The Cookies Bar.
- You can read more about The Cookies Bar here.
- You can read more catering related content here.
Featured Image Credit: Catherine, Baker and Founder of The Cookies Bar
Our sincere thanks to