The pandemic has sparked an idea for local entrepreneur Noor Amalina Mohd Daud to start her own business, making mini cinnamon buns from the comfort of her home.
Prior to the business, she was pursuing her Masters in International Law at the University of Melbourne and found her passion for tourism instead.
“After I graduated, I continued studying and completed my Diploma in Tourism in 2017 at Australian Pacific College. I then started my tour guide business and it was doing well until the pandemic happened. I then returned to Brunei,” said the tour guide.
Her humble business ‘Dapur Kak Wan’ started due to the COVID-19 outbreak and it was a life-changing experience for Noor Amalina, forcing her to reevaluate her business plans.
The 35-year-old brainstormed with her sister who suggested selling cinnamon buns. Not long after, she rebranded and shifted her small business to ‘Dapur Kak Wan’ in 2020.
“She taught me how to bake which I enjoyed and we started small by selling cinnamon buns on Instagram,” she said.
Dapur Kak Wan focuses mainly on mini cinnamon buns which are perfectly bite-sized and customers have the option to choose from over 12 topping flavours.
The name ‘Wan’ on the brand stands for the entrepreneur’s mother’s name who is affectionately known to her friends as Kak Wan.
So ‘Dapur Kak Wan’ basically means Kak Wan’s Kitchen.
The entrepreneur manages the business full-time with occasional assistance from her sister.
The baker believes that Bruneians love desserts and since the business debut, they received positive feedback from customers, further encouraging them to make more.
“Initially we started with only three flavours – butterscotch, cream cheese and chocolate. Now we have expanded and customers can choose from over 12 topping flavours,” continued the entrepreneur, adding that there are Original, Premium Cream Cheese and Nutty Premium toppings.
Some of them biscoff, nutella, chocolate mint, chocolate caramel, almond butterscotch and pistachio baklava, among others.
However, according to the business owner, the bestseller is the classic cream cheese and butterscotch combo.
“What makes us different is that we believe we are the first to sell mini bite-sized cinnamon buns. Customers can even mix up to six flavours for our large tray which allows for more choices for our customers,” said Noor Amalina.
The cinnamon buns are baked fresh to order so that customers can enjoy them at their best.
The small tray of 16 cinnamon buns is priced from $8 to $12. Whereas, the large tray containing 30 pieces is priced from $15 to $18.
The home-based business started selling via its Instagram account @dapurkakwan and has garnered over 11.1k followers.
Catering to the increasing orders, they opened a website last year dapurkakwan.com for easier purchases.
Even though Dapur Kak Wan has been in business for over two years now, having a small business is always challenging due to competition.
Sales can be slow at times, added Noor Amalina.
“The main challenge is always to think out of the box and try to appeal to new customers by introducing new products or promoting the products via discounts,” she continued.
For the 35-year-old, she learned to bake from scratch, and by taking constructive comments from customers, she knew she could improve her services to boost the business.
Noor Amalina is constantly working in the kitchen to give the best for her customers and recently, she just introduced the Butterscotch Jar.
Since butterscotch has always been their customer’s favourite topping, they plan to sell their Butterscotch Jar at the nearest supermarkets at just $5.
Dapur Kak Wan has successfully strived in the past two years since its introduction and the entrepreneur is grateful to embark on the journey.
“In business, we have to have faith in the products and take in all feedback positively. Always be open to improve and that way, we can always strive,” said Noor Amalina.
For all dessert lovers out there, give Dapur Kak Wan’s mini cinnamon buns a try and place your orders via their website dapurkakwan.com
THE BRUNEIAN | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN