Kaya is one of the most nostalgic breads for me. There was always a jar of it in the fridge and when I went to college having a plate of kaya and toast with my friends to start the day was always a pleasure to get up early.
Corryn was hurt by a good Kaya Hainanese that wasn’t too sweet and stayed true to its rich coconut and caramel flavor. During her hiatus, while the pandemic paused her career, her kaya experiments led her to launch her own business, Quack Kaya.
When planes cannot fly
Corryn was an independent tour guide, which meant her salary depended solely on whether or not she had a reservation. Needless to say, no jobs were available when the pandemic stopped travel and failed to generate revenue.
“Initially, I wasn’t too worried, as we’ve already gone through SARS and I assumed it would be similar, so I also took a break to spend some time with the family,” Corryn told Vulcan Post.
Remaining optimistic, Corryn took advantage of this period as an opportunity to enjoy some new hobbies: cycling and photography are the most impactful.
However, as the pandemic spread, it was realized that COVID-19 was much more serious than SARS and the concern began to resolve. “Now, I’m just trying to keep hope and find a way out that can come out.” added.
She began to come up with business ideas like selling luxury items, but none of them felt right for her.
Finally, he decided to try kayaking, seeing that he always had a connection to cooking and cooking, and that he especially loved sweet foods, a kayak business clicked Corryn. Thus, Quack Kaya was born in June 2021.
Stop planning and start doing
Although the great infusion of kaya pandan on the market is desired by many today and is a feature of Nyonya kaya, Corryn wanted a different option. He considered that there was a noticeable gap in the market for good Hainanese kaya.
“That was one of the main reasons we decided to make them our own,” Corryn said.
Before selling the kaya, R&D had to be done. Hayley, who is in charge of marketing and design as the daughter of the family and “the smartest in the house,” shared that her fridge it was full of drops of unimaginable flavors. Hence the creation of the matcha kaya variant of Quack Kaya.
Quack Kaya also differentiates itself by using duck eggs in its products, which is less common (in KL), but far from a new idea, according to the team. “Duck eggs are considered a bit of a luxury and adding them to our kaya provides that added value,” Corryn explained.
Duck eggs have a richer flavor thanks to their yolk / white ratio which helps make a kaya more creamy and full.
Friends and neighbors made up the majority of laboratory rats; the mother-daughter duo took all their opinions very seriously. Until the time of the previous launch, anxiety filled them and they wondered if they should have done more research before looking for paying customers.
“But looking back, many of our improvements could not have been made had it not been for the fact that we actually started selling. It’s just impossible to think about all the scenarios that can happen until you decide to stop planning and start doing it, ”Hayley shared.
Set prices correctly
Priced at RM 12.80 per jar (no promotions), Quack Kaya products can come out quite expensive, as those in convenience stores cost at least half.
“We have a high price for our products for the time we need, the packaging, the more expensive ingredients, as well as the new concept,” the team shared.
Unlike the factory kaya, Corryn manufactures its products by hand and in small batches. This means that its production rate usually produces up to 20 cans of kaya every 2 hours.
The use of glass jars as main packaging is another factor that increases the cost, along with duck eggs, which are also more expensive than chicken eggs.
“Apart from that, our target market is also teenagers and young adults who don’t exactly see local food as special or fun. By mixing different flavors, we can generate interest from younger people, but it also generates costs, ”they shared.
All of the factors mentioned are the business costs that add up, which doesn’t give Quack Kaya a high profit margin in the end. Despite this, the family has managed to sell about 140 kayak boats that came from a combination of both online and offline sales.
Corryn aims to open her own cafe with a unique concept she is working on right now.
When the tourism industry finally recovers from the pandemic, Corryn is looking at the maintenance and growth of Quack Kaya, which goes from being a hobby to a real career. This is especially important as she has a family to take care of, where Hayley will be going to college soon.
“But if, touching the wood, the company doesn’t produce enough revenue, I’ll have to go back to a day job,” Corryn shared.
- You can find more information about Quack Kaya here.
- You can read about more startups we’ve covered here.
Featured Image Credit: Corryn Kum, founder of Quack Kaya