Food safety is one of the major concerns for urbanites, especially for mothers like Michelle, whose daughter had major allergies to eggs and nuts. To ease her mind and satisfy her little girl’s cravings at the same time, Michelle began baking homemade, allergen-free cookies and snacks at home.
While baking for her daughter, Michelle also baked extra portions to share with friends and families. Many of them love the snacks and began ordering from her. Soon, they started to encourage her to start selling her backed delights.
In August 2017, Michelle started Kintry – derived from ‘kindred pantry’, a name chosen by her daughter – and making small batches to order. Kintry offers a variety of healthy artisanal treats such as salted egg potato crisps, oatmeal cookies, and granola.
The orders received are increasing from time to time, to a level where the domestic oven alone is not enough to fulfil the orders anymore. “At first, I was unsure whether or not to go into full time. You have to invest in machinery and a lot of other underlying costs for certifications, equipment, staffing, day-to-day operations, etc. Eventually, I met my current business partner, who persuaded me to commit to Kintry fully,” shared Michelle.
In April 2018, they found a small shop-lot, the new home for Kintry to operate full force. Currently, Kintry sells Salted-Egg-Yolk Potato Crisps, Oat Cookies with Chocolate Chips, Salted Butter Caramel Granola and Pandan Gula Melaka Granola. Recently, Michelle has added three more products to Kintry’s offerings, namely Macadamia White Chocolate Cookies, Honey Granola and Chocolate Granola.
Besides selling them online, Michelle actively joins in pop-up markets around the Klang Valley and engages with customers to gauge reception and gain insights about their tastes and preferences.
The brand has also hit a significant milestone to have its products appeared on supermarket shelves. Now, consumers can access to Kintry’s tasty offerings in retail outlets such as Ruyi & Lyn, Atlas Gourmet Market, and selected BIG Supermarket and Village Grocer locations. Michelle also disclosed during our interview that Kintry would soon appear in Watsons outlets!
Although the brand is gaining more recognition from the market, Michelle always upholds her brand promise to maintain the authenticity and quality of the snacks. “Basically, it’s all handmade. I didn’t get the recipes from outside or outsource it to anyone else to do. I know the product from the beginning to the end, where I get my supplies from, and what eggs or oats I put into the product,” Michelle asserts.
With the help of her two kitchen staff, production at her shop lot runs at full swing to keep up with the online orders and to stock the shelves at the partnering retail outlets.
At the heart of Michelle’s business is her aim to show her daughter that she can achieve anything she sets her mind to do. “I want her to grow up strong and gracious, and to realise that she can do anything with the strength inside of her.” With this strong mission, Kintry is going to conquer the more prominent and broader market. The team is working hard to prepare for Halal and Mesti certification and seeking opportunities to export their products out.
“I hope to bring our locally handmade artisanal Malaysian snacks out there into the world, and I hope to make us proud. That’s why I’ve made the packaging so Malaysian.” Nonetheless, the design of Kintry’s packaging is created by a local artist, Szetoo Weiwen from Stickeriffic.
Kintry is also taking a more proactive approach when it comes to social issues. “I have this part of my company, which I call Kintry Kindness. It’s basically just a way for us to reach out to help others. We’ve conducted baking classes for Mon refugee children and donated to various food banks.”
Kintry has joined ZOM-IN to collaborate in efforts to empower aspiring youths. Join us now at www.zom-in.com to participate in exciting events coming soon!