Facebook a boon for croissant maker

Iaz’s Croissanterie can be found on Facebook, selling various types of pastries from plain croissants to plaited pastries. -Brunei Times/ANN…

By Hana Roslan
The Brunei Times/Asia News Network
Saturday, Jun 02, 2012

What started out as a simple, innocent craving for croissants became a business venture for 33-year-old Izza’wade Hj Zaine, who has been running a home-based pastry business since 2010.

“It began during Ramadhan, a time when you’re craving all sorts of food.

“I wanted to eat croissants and have loved eating them since I was little, so I told myself I wanted to give baking croissants a go,” he said.

“I’m not saying that the croissants in Brunei aren’t really good, it’s just that when you’ve tasted food that’s really good, it sort of lingers in your memory.”

He said that he started making homemade croissants he made from scratch, and started selling them after Raya celebrations, through the suggestions of his lady friend.

“They said my croissants was good and suggested that I start selling. So I began selling them to offices and had a really good response,”he said.

Iaz’s Croissanterie can be found on Facebook, selling various types of pastries from plain croissants to plaited pastries, and croissant sandwiches to egg tarts.

The pastries are 100 per cent halal and come in different sizes that can go up to six inches in length, ranging from the cost of US80 cents to US$8.50 (S$10.60).

One of the more unique croissant fillings he uses consist of red bean and honey garlic, which he said has been a hit with his customers.

“I’ve always loved eating red bean buns, so I decided to fill my croissants with red bean, and people loved it and honey-garlic the most popular croissant, and I have had quite a number of reviews,”he said.

He also said that the idea of making croissant sandwiches came from Brunei’s attraction to “subway” style sandwiches.

As for pastries, he is currently in the process of perfecting his egg tarts, but sells other pastries such as pain au chocolat and maple pecan plaited pastries.

When asked about whether he had any competition, he said that he has never heard of any Bruneian making croissants as a home-based business, aside from restaurants.

“To be honest, I don’t mind the competition because it is a challenge in itself making a pastry. It’s not just about mixing flour and if someone is up to the challenge, then go ahead,”he said.

The most number of pastries he has made in a day was over 200 pieces.

“I began at 9pm at night and delivered the pastries at 8am in the morning and didn’t sleep,” he said.

However, he also said there were challenges that he faces as a baker such as buying baking equipment.

“It is a little bit difficult to purchase equipment sometimes, because in Brunei, what most of the shops are selling is more tailored for cakes.

However, not much is required, but maybe one important thing was a dough sheeter, but it’s quite expensive but you don’t get it in Brunei,”he said.

A dough sheeter is used to make the process of rolling the dough much more easier.

“Maybe one day when I do have a shop of my own, I would like to invest in it,”he said.

He said that his future plans consist of opening a small cafe restaurant or bakery, something he said needed a lot of thought.

“There is a lot of planning to do and you can’t just jump into it. You have to do your research and development. So in a way, this baking career is like that for me, a time for me to try our different recipes and in time, perfect it,”he said.

Since putting his business into Facebook, he said that it has increased his number of clients by 50 per cent.

“Facebook is a good medium for advertising because you are well-connected to people who you have never met and when you post up a picture of your product, people make comments on it, and their friends seem them, and word actually spreads.”

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