Harper's Bazaar (Singapore)
What is one lesson you’ve learnt through failure?
We opened a Fluff Bakery branch in Kuala Lumpur in 2017 and we closed it in 2019 when the lease was up for renewal. The business was doing okay but the stress of handling two outlets in two countries was too much for me. At that time, it was very crushing but in hindsight, it was a blessing in disguise because if we had to get through Covid-19 in that situation, it would have been very tough. The lesson is that there’s always a silver lining; things happen for a reason. Sometimes, you just need to take a step back to be able to see it. Because of that, I was able to focus more on the business here and grow it. We’ve expanded to a bigger store with a savoury range, and offer cooking and baking classes.
What excites you about the industry today?
That there are a lot more options for Muslims. Growing up, our best options for cakes were the fast food or supermarket kinds—which were good, don’t get me wrong—but we didn’t have the kind of flavours we now have in the bakery. It excites me that today, there are more young and entrepreneurial Muslim bakers—who went to culinary and pastry schools, who know the right techniques— with exciting visions and who are doing new things. They may be my competitors but I welcome them for [the sake of] the industry.
What is a look that makes you feel powerful?
I’m in a fitness phase right now so I work out about three or four times a week, and when I put on my Lululemons or my Sweaty Bettys, I really feel like: Yes, I’m ready—let’s crush this workout and take on the world.