Online portal simplifies business for home bakers
Her mother ran a bakery when she was a child.
Today, she runs her own bakery - in the comfort of her own kitchen.
Ms Ng Jia Jia, 24, sells her homemade baked goods via HomeBakee, an online platform for home bakers to sell their creations.
Launched in December last year, HomeBakee simplifies the home-baking business by handling the taking of orders, pick-up and delivery of the baked goods and payment for the bakers.
Ms Ng had never thought of starting a business to sell her baked goods until she was approached by HomeBakee co-founder Denis Edward, 28, who invited Ms Ng to join his team of home bakers.
Now, Ms Ng is part of the community of 55 bakers who have fulfilled about 250 orders since the launch of HomeBakee.
Ms Ng, a full-time nutritionist, chuckled as she told The New Paper the contrasting nature of her two jobs - by day, she advises patients on their dietary and lifestyle habits; by night, she fulfils orders for sugary treats.
"Enjoy (the treats) in moderation," she said.
It was not always easy juggling her full-time job with her baking passion.
"If there are orders, I may work up to midnight and wake up at 6am because I have to work," she said.
During non-festive periods, Ms Ng receives about five orders a month from HomeBakee.
Because she used to run around her mother's bakery, she was able to see that mass production in a bakery results in the baked goods losing "the touch of love".
"When more batches are created (at home), the amount of effort needed is more," she said.
As such, love is imbued in each homemade item.
For Ms Monice Cheung, 23, who runs online web store Monice Bakes, HomeBakee was another way to expand her business.
Since the inception of her web store in May 2015, Ms Cheung has received about 150 orders.
Orders from HomeBakee give her an additional source of income.
She has received six orders since she joined the team of bakers in March 2016.
"Since I was young, I liked drawing. Since I started baking, I realised that my bakes can be my canvas and the piping bags my colouring pens," she said.
If there are orders, I may work up to midnight and wake up at 6am because I have to work.
- Ms Ng Jia Jia on balancing her home baking with her day job
Portal started to help home bakers
ENTREPRENEUR: Mr Denis Edward, co-founder of HomeBakee. PHOTO: THE STRAITS TIMES
For Mr Denis Edward, 28, co-founder of HomeBakee, investing in his start-up takes priority over buying a car and other luxuries.
Although he can dip into the funds that were raised for the start-up for income, he has decided not to for the sake of HomeBakee.
"I've always been a very simple fellow," he told The New Paper.
"I'm ready to live very lean so that I can keep (HomeBakee) running as long as possible."
HomeBakee did not stem from Mr Edward's passion in baking, but rather his "desire to innovate in a way that improves people's lives".
When Mr Edward saw the problems faced by home bakers keen to sell their baked goods, particularly the delivery aspect, he came up with HomeBakee.
On why he wants to keep the online portal running, he said: "The home baker creates unique items, customisable items, and they're doing it with a great passion and love."
Under the Housing Board's Home Based Small Scale Business Scheme, home owners are allowed to sell their home-baked goods.
A licence is not required, but they are recommended to follow guidelines listed on the National Environment Agency's website.