Siblings Siti Nurhafizah Md Abu Soffian and Siti Fairuz Md Abu Soffian have always dreamt of opening their own business since they were little kids.
The two sisters began their journey as entrepreneurs during the pandemic in 2020 by selling a variety of food from homemade fluffy doughnuts to freshly-made bombolonis through their Instagram business, Twinkle Doughnuts.
Siti Nurhafizah, a digital media student at Politeknik Brunei, always loved baking and trying out new recipes. Her dream is to open her own bakery and Twinkle Doughnuts has put her one step closer to achieving her dreams
“I remember that time, there were a lot of people who started small baking businesses since all of us were staying at home. Biscoff cheesecake and Brownies were the trends at that time and I started to think that we should start with something that is less common in Brunei, so I told my sister about making doughnuts and she agreed,” said Siti Nurhafizah, adding that it is her childhood dream to start a baking business.
Twinkle Doughnuts first introduced fluffy doughnuts to their menu with flavours of Nutella, Peanut Butter, Ovomaltine, Biscoff and Classic Sugar Coated.
After a few months, the sisters started experimenting with different types of donuts which also inspired the name of their business. Their doughnut menu expanded from mini caramel doughnuts to doughnuts with filling.
Years later, as the business grew and so did the menu. Another one of their signature menu items is the Brownies Pod, a chewy texture with choices of Nutella or Biscoff filling.
“We started to make Brownies Pod when one of our relatives requested it. It was in 2020 when my sister was about to make brownie cups with Nutella topping but sadly all the cupcake brownies failed and it was shaped like a pod when it came out of the oven but turns out it tasted really good,” said the 20-year-old.
Not only do they sell sweet treats, but their father also inspired one of their signature savoury menu items, the chicken wrap, a recipe he handed down to the siblings.
“When we first came up with the menu to sell, we tried to find the less common ones in Brunei, but I was wrong because if people love a business or a product, they will go for it no matter how many common businesses out there selling the same. For ours, it would be our Brownies Pod and Bomboloni,” said the part-time baker.
Twinkle Doughnuts mainly sells through their Instagram @twinkledoughnuts where they open up slots for the week and customers can get their orders freshly baked. If they make any extras, they would simply put a post up and that usually helps for the extra items to be sold out fast.
“Our next step for this business, for now, is to open our own bakery and add more products into the menu such as Towers, and Gift Boxes,” she contined.
She added: “Currently we just started our second account for new sets of products @twinkleeats, selling Soto Special made by our parents, Md Abu Soffian and Dk Maszidah. We plan to make more homemade dishes such as pasta and local dishes so we can cater to more people.
According to Siti Nurhafizah, the COVID-19 pandemic has helped the business grow as more people are staying at home and orders keep coming in for the small home-bakery.
Not only has the Instagram business helped the two youth entrepreneurs gain some extra income on the side but it has also allowed them to grow as individuals, as they never gave in to the challenges they face.
Siti Nurhafizah and sister Siti Fairuz shared that they have gone through some ups and downs with this business, constantly learning from trials and errors.
From serving failed doughnuts to becoming a go-to doughnut place, the two sisters never gave up on their dreams and kept on trying and learning throughout their two-year business journey.
The entrepreneurs were also able to pursue their business with the support received from friends and family as they continuously encouraged them to keep going.
Find out more about the variety of food that this small business has to offer and show some support by ordering some products to share with loved ones through their Instagram @twinkledoughnuts.
This article was first published on 19 March 2022 in our Weekly Epaper issue 185 | More stories here
THE BRUNEIAN | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN