JOHOR BARU: A bout of high fever when she was nine years old left Nur Azureen Hussin with hearing and speech impairment but she is not letting the disabilities stop her from pursuing her passion in baking.
The 28-year-old Sabah native said that it was her dream to open a bakery as she liked looking at the beautiful cakes and desserts.
After completing the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examination, she started working at a law firm to help her family pay for their expenses back home in Kota Kinabalu.
However, she never once forgot about her love for baking although had reservations about her baked goods as she did not receive any formal training.
“I still decided to resign after working at the law firm for six years to start my own business by selling fried chicken at different night markets.
“With the help of Yayasan Pembangunan Keluarga Darul Ta’zim, I moved into a shoplot at the Larkin Sentral bus terminal in 2017.
“The fried chicken was my mother’s recipe. She also sells
the same thing in our hometown in Kota Kinabalu, ” she said using sign language when interviewed.
Nur Azureen said that while running her business, she jumped at an opportunity to work at a franchise bakery café and learnt baking from its pastry chef.
“Initially it was difficult for me to learn the proper baking techniques due to my hearing and speech impairment.
“It was a bigger challenge for me to grasp the instructions.
“I persevered and learned to make different types of desserts after six months of practice.
“I then decided to turn my fried chicken shop into a bakery offering a variety of sweet treats such as cakes, brownies, tarts, cookies and breads, ” she said, adding that an assistant who was also hearing-impaired assisted her at the shop.
She said she also received an oven and mixer from YPKDT to help her cater to her growing orders.
Nur Azureen said they sometimes start baking at 5am when there were big orders to meet as the small shop limited their movements and production time.
She added that before the Covid-19 pandemic, she could make up to 12 cakes a day but her business took a dip since the movement control order was enforced in March, as foot traffic at the bus terminal dropped drastically.
“I mostly depend on online orders now and on good days, I receive four orders and there are days where there are no orders at all.
“My assistant and I do everything ourselves, from taking orders to baking and also delivery, ” she said.
She mostly promotes her products on her social media page called Kak Ngah 20.
As she did not want her mother’s fried chicken recipe to go to waste, she then opened a food stall at a popular eatery in Kampung Melayu Majidee here in June, with disabled folk assisting in the business.
Nur Azureen said her dream was to one day have a bigger bakery and provide more job opportunities to the disabled.
“Hopefully, they can learn the required skills and start their own business and become more independent and give back to society, ” she said.