With many IG companies popping up these days, fresh, locally made cookies from various recipes are one of the things Malaysians have no shortage of. We previously featured some like Chew My Booze and The Cookies Bar.
With this in mind, Amanda and her fiancé (known as Mr.) did their research and, to their delight, realized that the cookie recipe they had been impressing their friends with was nowhere to be found in the accounts of other home bakers.
With a little extra R&D and moral support from friends, the couple launched Mr. Bakes at the end of January this year with a special ingredient: tahini. Tahini is a sesame seed paste that is a popular Middle Eastern seasoning and is not as common in Malaysia.
Good tahini it can be slightly nutty, creamy, and flavorful, while bad tahini can be bitter, slightly astringent, dry, and leaves a chalky mouthfeel.
A recipe found while studying abroad.
When Amanda’s fiancé was studying abroad, his friend’s Middle Eastern mother made some tahini cookies. Immediately, he fell in love with the recipe.
“She would put Tahini on everything as it is an important component of her cooking,” she shared with the Vulcan Post. When he returned to Malaysia, his friend’s mother gave him his recipe, and that’s when he embarked on his R&D journey with tahini cookies.
Today, this recipe is the sixth or seventh version of your original recipe. Over the years, he had experimented with different butters, sugars, etc., until he finally came up with this current version.
Influenced by his entrepreneurial friends
“If you had told us a year ago that we would have a home baking business, we would never have believed you. Neither of us thought we had an entrepreneurial spirit, ”Amanda admitted.
But the two have always loved the hospitality and food of others in their homes, whether it be hosting a meal with game nights, giving away baked goods, etc.
Her friends were regular recipients of her culinary products, one of them being her sea salt tahini chocolate chip cookies, which were always a staple in her kitchen.
“Finally, our friends, Aisyah and Puteri, said they wanted to pay for our cookies. Puteri, owner and founder of Oh sebenar, a local fashion brand that includes sizes, wanted our cookies to be part of their Valentine’s Day gift set, ”Amanda explained, and that was the catalyst for this home baking business.
The fiance who bakes and the fiance who eats
All the baking and R&D is handled by The Mr., while Amanda handles everything else: social media, vendor and order management, packaging, logistics, and finding partnership opportunities.
“I’m not good at cooking, no one wants to eat buns or cookies with me,” Amanda joked. But his entrepreneurial talent lies in trying to help the company stand out in the saturated cookie market.
“While many are familiar with the combination of cookies and milk, I wanted to do something different. So I partnered with Pour Decisions and what resulted was a pairing of our cookies and their wine. “
Amanda works in public relations while The Mr. runs a media and entertainment platform, so managing partnerships comes naturally to her.
2 flavors for now
For their cookies, they have The OG (their signature sea salt tahini with milk chocolate chip cookies) and The Darker Grittier Sequel, which is a similar version that uses black tahini and dark chocolate chips instead.
The OG is priced at RM7.50 while The Darker Grittier Sequel is RM8.50, and Mr. Bakes requires a minimum order of 4 cookies. There is also an option to get a mix of the 2 flavors for RM48 with 3 of each flavor in a box.
Before this, they sold miso peanut butter and watermelon, another of their unconventional flavors. However, it was a Raya special, so its production has been halted for now. “Given the flavor profiles of peanut butter and miso, it really was a no-brainer to put them together in one cookie,” Mr. said about it.
Be a part of family tea time
Although now known for his unconventional recipes, The Mr. prides himself on his skills with traditional ones as well. They make scones that are priced at RM27 for a box of six and come with a set of traditional jam and clotted cream.
“Our customers have shared with us that our scones were brought to their time at UK tea houses or family trips to Cameron Highlands, which has been incredibly gratifying to hear as feedback,” shared Amanda with delight.
Currently, they see average sales of around 100 cookies and 40 boxes of scones every weekend (which is when they usually take orders). “Our orders tend to recover every time there is a closure. People are eager to reconnect with their family and friends. So they turn to us and see that our cookies and scones are delivered as surprise ‘care packages’. “
“We once had a client who got scones for her and her mother so they could have tea time at Zoom. It’s one of the best parts of being at The Mr. Bakes, being a part of family tea time, “recalled Amanda.
Playing the long game
While they are always working to create unconventional cookie flavors, they don’t consider themselves the unconventional cookie hub. They explained that it is because they do not see themselves as experimental just for the sake of doing it.
“The idea of The Mr. Bakes it’s always been about baking cookies and treats that are homely and healthy, but with a twist so people experience something new, “shared Amanda and The Mr. with Vulcan Post.
While sales are doing well, the couple is concerned about how they can keep their customers interested and coming back for more.
“Malaysians love to try anything new before quickly moving on to the next novelty. We realized early on that we had to keep our menu fresh and introduce new items seasonally. ”Fortunately, they have been fortunate to have many very supportive regulars.
“I guess we must be doing something right,” they concluded gratefully.
- You can learn more about The Mr. Bakes here.
- You can read about other cookie companies that we have covered here.
Featured Image Credit: Amanda Khoo and The Mr., Founders of The Mr. Bakes