Faces Behind the Business: With Cheekibakes, Beauty is No Longer a Pain (Cheekibakes)

Faces Behind the Business: With Cheekibakes, Beauty is No Longer a Pain (Cheekibakes)

With Cheekibakes, Beauty is No Longer a Pain 

“Beauty is pain”

This quote connotes that beauty comes at a high cost and to a certain extent, it is true. How many times have you had to restrain yourself from enjoying a slice of sweet banana bread or chocolate, simply because you are on a diet? In line with this quote, many people resentfully place strict eating restrictions on themselves, and suffer in silence. 

What if we told you that there is a healthier version of delicious banana bread that will not jeopardise your health and diet, and you can enjoy as many slices as your heart desires? What if beauty no longer has to be painful and cruel? Sounds like a dream, doesn’t it? Well, it's not! 

One evening, amidst the MCO lockdown, Swen Ng Suan Ying, a 23-year-old law graduate, was faced with a sweet tooth dilemma. She was desperately craving some yummy banana bread, specifically the sugar filled ones that you can get from the local pasar malam. However, like many Malaysians who had decided to pursue a healthier lifestyle during the lockdown, Swen was on a diet and decided that she couldn’t just let loose and devour the sugary bread. Impelled by her cravings, Swen then came up with the brilliant idea to make her own version of banana bread: guilt-free and healthy! After about 2 months of trial and error, Cheekibakes was up and running, serving an assortment of freshly baked banana bread that is gluten, dairy, oil and sugar free. 

At the beginning, Swen and her sister sold their banana bread using their personal social media accounts as marketing platforms. Expectedly, their first few customers were their friends and family. Fortunately, through word of mouth, more orders started coming in and their business quickly grew. Hence, around October 2020, Swen and her sister decided to sell their products under the business name Cheekibakes. Swen shared that the business name was inspired by her nickname ‘cheeky’, which her close friends started calling her during her A-levels. Thus, Cheekibakes was born.  

What distinguishes her banana bread from other retailers is; Swen only uses coconut and almond flour, resulting in gluten free bread. To ensure that her loafs are healthy, Swen doesn’t add sugar or butter in them. How do they still taste so good?! 

Besides original banana bread, Swen has also come up with other interesting flavours, such as Cheesynana, and Double Rum Choconana Bread. With regards to her ingenious idea of adding cheese to banana bread, Swen explained that she got the idea after trying fried banana (pisang goreng) coated with cheese and chocolate, during a trip to Indonesia. Her Cheesynana is so good, that even Jovane Phang, the winner of Miss Astro Chinese International Pageant 2018, approves!  

Cheekibakes is actually Swen’s side hustle. She is currently working as a private tutor, whilst waiting to sit for her CLP law paper in December this year. On some days, Swen wakes up at 5am to bake, before going to work from 8am to 6pm. To ensure that she meets all the orders in time, she tirelessly spends her weekends baking.

Although it is very tough having to juggle her full-time job and side business, Swen is determined to work hard and save money, in order to achieve her dream of one day opening her very own cafe that offers healthy food options. As a young girl, Swen dreamed of having her own cafe, it looks like she is nearly there! She also loves to go cafe-hopping with her friends; so she can enjoy the ambiance of different cafes and try the different types of food they offer. 

A quote that Swen lives by is: what differentiates you from the rest, depends on how you use your time before and after working hours. Therefore, if you are thinking of starting your own business venture, Swen’s advice is to just go for it. If you don’t take the first step, you will never know what the future holds. Try, and you will be giving yourself a chance to succeed, as opposed to having zero possibility of success, in fear of failure. 

“There is no failure except in no longer trying.” 
-Elbert Hubbard 


Check out Cheekibakes here: 
MCO Mart


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