Cafe owners switching to baking festive cookies

Qiao Hua (centre) packing the Chinese New Year cookies with her mother Tan Ean Ean, 54, (left) and brother Cheah Yong Yeow, 15, at their cafe in Lebuh Queen, Penang. — Photo: LIM BENG TATT/The Star

INSTEAD of lamenting about slow business at their cafe in Lebuh Queen, Penang, during the movement control order (MCO), a family of three generations has decided to focus on baking cookies this Chinese New Year.

Cafe operator Cheah Qiao Hua, 25, who is a third generation member of the family, said with dine-in restricted during the MCO and significant drop in number of customers, the family decided to venture into full-time baking.

“My grandmother started this cafe serving lunch since 1978 and we have also been baking kuih kapit (love letters) and kuih bangkit (tapioca cookies) on the side for customers.

“However, the MCO made us consider going full-time in baking the traditional cookies, ” she said recently.

Cheah said last year, they sold about 700 containers of kuih bangkit and about 100 containers of kuih kapit to mostly regular customers.

“This year, however, demand has dropped significantly with only half the number of customers placing their orders.

“This is probably because many of our customers are from other states including some from Sabah, who cannot come over to Penang this year.

“This year, with fewer gatherings and many opting for a low-key celebration, people are not ordering as much as they used to, ” she added.

But instead of worrying about the slow business, Cheah and her family members still gathered around to fulfil orders.

“So far, we have made about 40 containers daily since we started baking early December last year.

“Hopefully the situation will recover and we will celebrate this festival with good health, ” she said.

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