Nor Hamimi Binti Darus, 41 years old is the backbone of her family. Her husband suffered a spinal cord injury and has since been unable to hold a job. With mouths to feed and family to care for, Nor Hamimi dabbled with dough and turned her bread making interest into a pizza business.
She transformed her home kitchen into a mini bakery, rolling out dough for hours and experimenting on different flavours. It wasn’t long before she knew she had a knack for making pizzas which soon became the talk of the town.
“I started making about RM750 per month from pizza sales,” Nor Hamimi said. Her steady income stream was a relief, but it quickly dried up before month-end. There were days she had to scrimp and save to get a meal on the table for her family.
Desperate to increase her income to pay for her family’s expenses, she sought help. Her resourcefulness led her to the Program empowerNCER’s pastry making and entrepreneurship course in Yan (district) which is funded by Yayasan PETRONAS under its Program MEKAR (Memampankan Eknoomi Asas Rakyat) initiative.
Doubling The Dough
Nor Hamimi was a fervent learner. She spent hours improving and learning different baking techniques, steps to start a business and ways to promote her pizzas.
With assistance from Program MEKAR, Nur Hamimi secured some kitchen equipment to improve productivity in the kitchen – making more pizzas in a shorter time. She also plucked up the courage to venture out from her kitchen to the public arena where she secured a spot at the night market to sell her pizzas.
Nur Hamimi’s confidence grew as a baker and became better at promoting her products. As a result, her customer base expanded and she experienced an instant increase in her income, literally doubling from RM750 to RM1600 a month!
Diversifying The Dough
“I continued experimenting in the kitchen and have since added garlic cheese bread, hot dog buns and black pepper cheese bread to my menu. Many customers have remarked the pizzas are delicious and these compliments are morale boosters,” Nur Hamimi said.
Her menu expansion allowed for more opportunities as she started getting orders for functions and events. As her business grew, she required a larger kitchen to work at. She took over a rented space and converted it into a kitchen. In the same space, she also sold a variety of breads.
Nur Hamimi is not done expanding her business. She has her hopes set on purchasing a food truck so that she can take her delicious pizzas to where her customers are.
When opportunities meet people like Hamimi, multiplication happens. The impact is far reaching and it goes beyond her family.
Hamimi is now able to support her family comfortably. More than that, she is also a role model to many women who may be in similar situations.
Program MEKAR gives women and families a new lease of life.
It changes their socio-economic trajectory.
Do you know anyone who may be in a similar situation who can benefit from a hand up instead of a hand out?
Let us know, we would love to get in touch.