M’sian Startup Making Meringue Cookies To Put In Drinks

Recently I learned that today there is an alternative to the traditional art of foam latte that is even more colorful and more customizable. They come in the form of meringue cookies, a concept that’s popular in South Korea and Japan, but not quite yet in Malaysia.

“I noticed a lot of South Korean and Japanese Instagram pages, like videos of home cafes making cute cakes and desserts, which I also wanted to try making myself. One day, I came across a YouTube video and started learning how to make cute meringue cookies, ”Denise Teh, founder of Sweet Hato, shared with Vulcan Post.

After finding joy in the process and realizing that she wanted to take it further, she launched Sweet Hato in June 2020. In a way, it also gave her the luxury of getting away from the “real world” afterwards. the start of the pandemic.

It wasn’t meant to be a full time thing

She was a recent law graduate who had already been admitted to the Malaysian bar in 2020 and was looking for a job after completing her legal education in February 2020. However, the pandemic and the aftermath of MCO put a damper on her plans. , so she went to the pastry shop.

When she started baking meringue cookies, her friends suggested that she sell her cookies. However, she was hesitant because it had taken her a long time to sing a character.

She does everything herself, from the piping and packing / Image credit: Sweet Hato

“For me, Sweet Hato was perhaps just a page where I could express my creativity and share my pastry creations. But since I started, orders kept coming in, ”she explained.

Due to the good reception of her meringues, Denise started doing it full time, with the help of other people during the holidays. Business picked up quickly, and this CNY, she was severely shorthanded.

She ended up working all day from morning until past midnight, even the night before CNY and the first day. After this experience, she is determined to expand her team.

Your favorite cartoons in your drinks

On his Instagram page, you’ll notice that most of his meringue creations are animals and cartoon characters familiar to most of us, like Shin Chan, Stitch, Winnie the Pooh, Doraemon, etc.

Each week, Denise releases a new “Character of the Week” with a fixed design and price, which will be slightly cheaper than the other characters. “For example, if this week’s character of the week is Dumbo, it’s RM39. Whereas if you order Dumbo the other days it will cost you RM42. ”

Each bottle has around 21 meringues on crackers, but customers can also request that they come without the crackers, which would add 7 more meringues per bottle at no additional cost.

Up close and personal with her meringues / Image credit: Sweet Hato

You can also customize your meringue and it will quote you depending on the complexity of the design. “Sometimes it’s a photo of their beloved pets and sometimes it’s a screenshot from Google. From there, I’ll try to channel the given characters as faithfully as possible, ”she explained.

At the moment there is only one size of bottles. If this is an event you are ordering for, she can customize your packaging to suit your budget with additional gift tags or sleeves. So far, she has hosted baby showers, birthdays, house warming parties, and door gifts.

A tedious manufacturing process

“Piping meringues takes up most of my time, and meringues have a very long cooking time. It takes an average of about 4 hours to cook a single batch, ”she explained.

The time it takes to make a meringue depends on the complexity of the design; it takes him about 2 to 3 minutes to blow one of these princesses.

Disney princesses meringues / Image credit: Sweet Hato

While it is tedious to create these meringues and design them, the good news is that their hard work doesn’t go away too quickly. “Even after I finish my drink, the meringues are usually still intact, but they get soft after a while. It doesn’t disintegrate unless I use a force like my teaspoon to break them, ”Denise said.

However, meringues are very sensitive to moisture, which is why Sweet Hato containers are airtight and customers are recommended to consume them within 3 weeks.

Making meringues familiar to Malaysians

For now, the majority of Denise’s clients are B2C, but she has supplied big name clients like Maxis for a team-building event and Isetan for a Christmas gift box.

She still has many questions about what her meringues are, but understands that’s because it’s not yet as popular as a dessert here, compared to something like macaroons.

I have to admit that while I wasn’t too sure about meringues in drinks until I ran into Sweet Hato, so I learned from Denise that aesthetics aside, meringues don’t serve the purpose. main objective of sweetening your drinks. She compares them to marshmallows, whereby they add a bit of sweetness to the drink but can’t replace sweeteners.

What her meringues look like in the drink for a while (left) and some fresh corgis meringues and their butt (right) / Image credit: Sweet Hato

In the future, Denise wants to do more than just meringue cookies in drinks, as she would like to incorporate meringues into cakes and other desserts. Whatever she does with Sweet Hato, she has claimed that meringues will remain the main focus of her business. Right now, she is also exploring the idea of ​​opening a physical cafe or boutique for Sweet Hato.

“Sweet Hato has been here for barely a year, but I’ve had a lot of inquiries, even from Singapore, about whether I’m running classes to teach baking meringues,” Denise told Vulcan Post.

“I hope I can be well equipped and gain more experience over the years so that I can teach classes on how to bake meringue cookies in the near future.”

As Sweet Hato now takes up a large chunk of her time, Denise doesn’t see herself going back to right anytime soon. Plus, she got her parents’ support to continue the business after seeing how it grew.

  • You can read more about Sweet Hato here.
  • You can read more about other startups we’ve covered here.

Featured Image Credit: Denise Teh, founder of Sweet Hato

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Jothi Venkat

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