Home Baker Diversifies Into Serving Healthy Economical Rice

by | Nov 18, 2020

Ms Nor Ribyana, owner of MyBakes, started off her entrepreneurial journey as a home baker in 2015. Her journey into entrepreneurship stemmed from her involvement with her family F&B business back when she was still in school. Since then, Ms Ribyana has always had a keen interest in cooking and baking. 

Her journey into professional baking started when she was scouring the internet for her son’s birthday cake. The mother of two eventually chanced upon baking classes offered at Siti’s Delights, a local baking studio helmed by a celebrity baker. She saw the baking classes as a good investment and thought that with the knowledge and skills gained, she would be able to bake her own cakes. 

One event led to another, and within months, she was already completing all the modules offered at the baking studio. Ms Ribyana graduated from pastry-making, cake-making and bread-making and started baking at home for her friends and relatives to sample. Upon receiving positive feedback, it spurred her on to take her business further and subsequently sold her bakes online. 

In February 2018, she was given the opportunity to join the Association of Muslim Professional (AMP) Micro Business Programme. The Micro Business Programme is a collaboration between AMP and SME Centre @SMCCI, aimed to equip individuals with trade, business and IT skills to start a home-based business. 

Through this initiative, Ms Ribyana was formally introduced to business management modules such as Business Strategy, Financial Management and Marketing. She was paired with one of our Business Advisor, Shura Ishak, who mentored her over the course of 8 months. During this period, Shura assisted her to develop a structured business plan to chart the company’s growth. 

“A business plan is vital even for home-based businesses to chart their growth and direction. A business plan usually comprises of market research, business goals, financial forecasting and marketing strategies. These are important parameters to identify throughout the business lifecycle,” explained Shura. 

In recent months, Ms Ribyana was offered to rent a canteen stall in Pei Tong Primary School, where her son attends. Inspired to diversify her food business further, Legasi by MyBakes was established, specialising in traditional Malay cuisine. 

Ms Ribyana was inspired to apply her knowledge in nutrition into the R&D of her food menu as she was a healthcare practitioner for 12 years. She developed a healthier version of traditional Malay cuisine by introducing alternatives such as brown rice, fresh milk in replacement of coconut milk, and using less oil in her cooking. Ms Ribyana also believes that healthy eating is a habit that should be inculcated early and that kids should learn of the benefits from young. 

“Prior to meeting Shura, I didn’t have a proper vision for my brand and it was also cumbersome for me to track the financials of my business with no proper system in place. Under Shura’s guidance, I was also able to learn new marketing strategies to reach out to prospective customers and enhance my brand awareness. I believe it is important for small SMEs to establish a business plan as it acts as a guiding principle and serves as a motivation for us to work towards out goals,” shared Ms Ribyana. 

Today, Ms Ribyana is 1 of the 4 Capital Grant Winners under the AMP Micro Business Programme. Grant recipients receive up to $1,000 in funding to assist with their business expansion plans. When asked about her plans moving forward, Ms Ribyana hopes to one day establish her own café and work with her family to serve up their individual culinary specialties.