THE economic downturn due to the Covid-19 pandemic forced many businesses to close shop and lay off workers but a woman entrepreneur in Terengganu took a bold step by opening another bakery branch.
Ziq Bakery & Cake Sdn Bhd managing director Suzana Salleh said she opened the latest branch in Gong Badak, Kuala Nerus in October last year and has managed to provide jobs for 16 local youths.
“Opening a new branch with a capital of RM500,000 is no piece of cake but I am confident that the cake, bread and pastry industry will flourish in the near future.
“Moreover, the public’s need for halal and thoyyiban (safe to consume) products is increasing.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has forced entrepreneurs to be more creative and daring to change business models and willing to try new strategies to survive, ” she said.
The new premium cafe bakery branch has a spacious dining and drinking area displaying a variety of cakes, breads and pastries, thanks to Suzana’s baking experience.
She has attended courses organised by several chefs abroad including Russia, Japan, Korea, Italy, the United States of America and the United Kingdom.
Despite being severely affected by a drop in sales by more than 80% during the recent movement control orders (MCO) 1.0 and 2.0, Suzana decided to diversify her products in various ways.
“We produce more affordable cakes, bread and pastry products now as well as provide home delivery.
“We also introduced an employee rotation system to save company management costs.
“Social media platforms were fully utilised to make live broadcasts of cake and bread making in order to increase customer confidence.
“This also helps us to advertise the advantages of our premises in terms of food hygiene and halal status from the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia.
“I am thankful that sales have begun to soar, allowing us to recover the losses suffered, ” said Suzana who currently has 60 employees.
She hoped that the Covid-19 pandemic would stabilise so that Ziq Bakery & Cake’s plans could be carried out according to a targeted schedule.
There are plans for nationwide promotions, various cake-making courses for poor people and orphans as well as skills upgrading among the company’s staff. — Bernama