Honing home baking skills in lockdown

A customer buying disposable food containers from a shop in Presgrave Street. — CHAN BOON KAI/The Star

NOW that you have to stay home nearly all the time, what can you do? You might want to try baking something special.

A check with local baking supply shops in Penang showed that many people are all set to make full use of their kitchens.

Spotted buying healthy baking supplies for his family was team building and corporate training coach Chad Corman, 43.

“We are going to make good use of the movement control order by baking healthy snacks at home.

“I bought ingredients to make granola with my four children aged between seven and 14 years old.

“They enjoy eating fruits and cereals, so homemade granola will be the perfect snack for them.

“We will be staying at home and I hope baking will be a great family bonding session for us,” he said when met at a baking supply shop in George Town.

International business undergraduate Daryann Ang, 21, was seen getting a large supply of baking ingredients too.

“My passion for baking was ignited after the first MCO was implemented in March last year.

“I sold burnt cheesecakes online.

“Business was good and I managed to sell around 50 cheesecakes in the first month.

“I might try baking new cakes during this lockdown and I hope my customers will enjoy them.

“I stopped baking when my classes resumed after the first MCO last year.

“Now that I’m on a semester break and have to stay home, I will have more time to bake again for some income,” she said.

Baking supply shop manager Jerry Tan, 42, said business increased slightly over the weekend after the announcement of the total lockdown.

“Last year, cream cheese was the most sought-after item due to the burnt cheesecake craze,” said Tan.

He gave assurance that there was sufficient stock in the market and his shop catered to both commercial and home bakers.

“Since everyone will be spending a lot of time at home, many are trying their hand at baking.

“There are some older customers who go for seeds, nuts and oats,” he said at his shop in Carnarvon Street, George Town.

Tan added that business was at its peak during the first MCO in March last year.

“However, the response slowed by more than half this time round.

“Since the number of cases is getting higher nowadays, maybe many of my customers prefer to stay at home.

“We also do door-to-door delivery to boost business,” he said.

The sale of food packaging materials is also reported to be up, with more home-based food sellers buying small quantities of food containers.

Disposable product and packaging supplier Loh Boon Huat, 63, said he noticed more walk-in customers at his shop.

“Before the MCO, our customers would usually buy in bulk.

“Now we have many customers who buy food containers in small amounts.

“We have quite a few new customers.

““Many home-based food entrepreneurs have bloomed during the MCO.

“They need durable disposable bowls, containers, lunch boxes and cutlery to pack food for their home delivery business,” he said.

Loh added that he also started selling his products online after the first MCO.

“We either courier the products to our customers or they can pick them up here.

“We even deliver goods to our customers with our own vans,” he said.

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