Making Your Own Healthy Sandwiches At Home

A friend tagged me a photo (on Facebook) of his homemade healthy sandwiches made from our Low GI bread recently bought at our Batu Bersurat branch. A “simple yet delightful sandwich” indeed. Our Low GI bread now comes in loafs which is available at both Batu Bersurat as well as JPMC branch.

1618303_10152701561579816_989442798_o

Healthy Restaurant Program Officially Launched

Brunei’s Health Promotion Centre, under the Ministry of Health, has officially launched the “Healthy Restaurant” program last weekend with the aim of encouraging restaurants and eateries around Brunei to come up with more healthy options in their menu. The launch was officiated by the Deputy Permanent Secretary of MoH, Dr Hjh Rahmah Hj Md Said, and attended by several Heads of Department including Dr Awang Zainal Ariffin bin Haji Awang Yahya, General Director, Ministry of Health.

20140222_110501_1_resized

All participated restaurants will be given a certificate, marketing materials such as posters and table stand. For more information, please contact @HPCBrunei or visit them at Commonwealth Dr.

So far, 3 restaurants have been selected to participate on this pilot program and it is an honor that Mr Baker’s Cafeteria is one of the chosen ones. To be eligible, certain criteria must be fulfilled including the screening of food recipes and ingredients used in our products. When asked by Dr Hjh Rahmah what are the popular dishes in our menu, I explained that we only serve healthy sandwiches, muffins and salads. Our sandwiches are so easy to prepare that our customers can actually make them at home, saving the hassle of eating out. Dr Hjh Rahmah, a bread lover, asked for my recommendation and without any doubt, I recommended Jan Shim‘s most favorite bread, the Muesli bread. Both Dr Hjh Rahmah and Dr Awg Zainal Ariffin sampled the muesli bread and they are impressed.

1415301_10151629953021364_1829982402_o

Jan’s favorite muesli bread with smoked salmon sandwich for morning breakfast or lunch.

 

Climbing Mount Kinabalu – The Greatest Achievement in 2013!!!

Every beginning of the year, I would look back and ask myself what I had achieved in the past 12 months. Year 2013 had been a great year for Mr Baker as a whole. We developed specialty muffins under Muffins&Co., collaborating with Brunei’s Health Promotion Centre on their healthy restaurant program and months of products development with an international franchise establishment landed us a deal which is going to keep our production line busy for a good period of time. However, my greatest moment in 2013 is none other than reaching the summit of Mount Kinabalu on 18th December 2013.

I started training for #MountKK2013 in August last year after the month of Ramadhan. Most of my training was at Bukit Shahbandar. The first attempt was a nightmare as I could barely catch my breath right after the first concrete steps. If you are a regular of Shahbandar, you would know exactly which concrete steps I am referring to. It was then I realized that I had to work harder in order to reach the summit as I know there isn’t going to be any easy way. I was pretty much determined (and disciplined) that I literally set a 90-day #MountKK Challenge on my personal Facebook account and monitored the progress on daily basis.

image001

Day 1 of 90-Day #MountKK Challenge. This is the day that I finally realized the prerequisite for a healthy lifestyle is not only the diet we need to watch out for but fitness through regular physical exercise as well.

1264802_10151560026721364_615408503_o

Training with my other Mount Kinabalu teammates. From Left to Right ~ Brunei’s famous food blogger Thanis, Jan, myself and our group leader Cyril. The four of us (together with another 3) made it to the summit.

Great

Jan has been a big part of my training without whom I wouldn’t be who I am today (referring to my love for hiking).

20130925_082839_1

What’s more meaningful than celebrating Mr Baker’s 5th Anniversary the healthy way ~ a group hike at Bukit Shahbandar with the management, staffs and family members  .

Day  60

Day 60 of 90-Day #MountKK Challenge.

14 hills

I personally feel that “Shahbandar 14 Hills” is a very good training ground for Mount Kinabalu as the entire route covers approximately 7KM with a duration of 4hours hike (my speed). The total distance from Kinabalu Park to the peak of Mount Kinabalu is 8.5KM.

The big day has finally come. I only had one thought in my mind before the climb i.e. to make it to the peak.

The big day has finally come. There was only one thought in my mind at that very moment i.e. to make it to the peak.

IMG_0237-9

This is the first part of the climb i.e. from Kinabalu Park to Laban Rata which was challenging in terms of long distance (about 6.5hours my speed) and slopes.

After few hours of hike, I had to rely on the stick as my legs started to feel soreness

A few hours later, I had to rely on the stick as my legs started to feel sore (You can tell from my facial expression).

Finally reached Laban Rata 6.5hours later.

Finally reached Laban Rata 6.5hours later at around 3:30PM. We had our dinner early, slept for few hours before the alarm sets off at 1AM.

We started the 2nd part of the climb at around 2:30AM. We were in total darkness and the cheap but reliable headlight I bought (from Supersave) was the only source of light.

We started the 2nd part of the climb at around 2:30AM after taking our super early breakfast. The rope climbing is definitely not my favorite.

I was the last one in our group to reach the summit but I am very proud of myself nonetheless.

I was the last one in our group to reach the summit but I am very proud of myself nonetheless.

My dream of becoming the "top baker" in So

My dream of becoming one of the “top baker” in South East Asia finally came true LOL.

To read more about our Mount Kinabalu unforgettable experience, do visit Cyril’s blog HERE.

First Starbucks Coffee In Brunei Darussalam Officially Launched

The long waited first ever Starbucks Coffee in Brunei finally opened yesterday at Mabohai Shopping Complex. As a long time fan of this franchise, I feel privileged to be asked to make the celebration cake bearing Starbucks logo and I must credit our cake stylist, Chef Rommel, with another job well done.

20140216_175550_1_resized

Commonwealth Asia Alliance Of Young Entrepreneurs (CAAYE) Summit 2013 – Part III

The venue for CAAYE Summit 2013 was held at the glamorous Stein Studios, Ratmalana which is about 30 minutes from Colombo. It was a whole day event started from around 10AM until 7PM. We (the Brunei delegates) left before the gala dinner as we needed to rush back to hotel, pack our luggages and catch the midnight flight back home (via KL). It was a wonderful learning experience as I had the opportunity to meet and talk to some of the remarkable business owners / entrepreneurs and the successful stories shared by the speakers were truly inspirational. To read more about CAAYE, click Here or you may visit their Facebook Page Here.

20131111_092428

Here I am at the main entrance of Stein Studio.

Brunei delegates for CAAYE Summit 2013, Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Brunei delegates for CAAYE Summit 2013, Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Jeremy Liddle, President of the Australia's G20 Young Entrepreneurs Alliance, started his first business (Australia's number one Juice Station Outlet) by the age of 20.

Jeremy Liddle, President of the Australia’s G20 Young Entrepreneurs Alliance, said he started his first business (Australia’s number one Juice Station Outlet) at the age of 20.

Shiraz Gidwani - Chief Executive of Iktara World and Chief Nandoca of Nando's, sharing his successful business journey, how he managed to close difficult business deals and his 5 basic principles of doing business. He is an excellent story teller.

Shiraz Gidwani, Chief Executive of Iktara World and Chief Nandoca of Nando’s, sharing his successful business journey, how he managed to close difficult business deals and his 5 basic principles of doing business. He is an excellent story teller. If you are interested to follow him on twitter, here is his account name @shirazgidwani

A quick photo opportunity with @shiraz Gidwani during a short break.

A quick chat and photo opportunity with @shirazgidwani during a short break.

CAAYE Challenge Award winner, Marwan Bin Ma’som, CEO of Thinking Green having a discussion session with Fatin Arifin from YEAB (Brunei).

CAAYE Challenge Award winner, Marwan Bin Ma’som, CEO of Thinking Green having a panel discussion with Fatin Arifin from YEAB (Brunei).

Hiro Tien, Founder & CEO of SocialBuzz Advertising (Brunei) sharing his entrepreneurship journey and was thankful to BEBD for the support given.

Hiro Tien, Founder & CEO of SocialBuzz Advertising (Brunei) sharing with the audiences his entrepreneurship journey in Brunei. He also expressed his appreciation to BEBD for rendering their support to his company during his start-up.

A surprise fashion show arranged by Stein Studio during the break interval.

A surprise fashion show arranged by Stein Studio during the break interval.

In my own view, Fatin has done an amazing job and set as a role model for young people of Brunei we are capable of doing more than what we thought we could.

In my own view, Fatin has done an amazing job for CAAYE and set as a role model for young people of Brunei that we can do more than what we thought we are capable of.

The handing over of presidency from the Founder President Dr. Rahul Mirchandi to the incoming President from Malaysia, Nurul-Huda Mohamed Afandi.

The handing over of presidency from the Founder President Dr. Rahul Mirchandi to the incoming President from Malaysia, Nurul-Huda Mohamed Afandi.

IMG_1686

This is the first time that I got invited to represent Brunei for an international event and I must thank YEAB and Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports for this unforgettable experience. This Summit allows me to see a bigger picture of the business world out there, the challenges and how we, the younger generation, could build sustainable businesses and contribute to the economy as a whole.

If I am asked to share my 12 years of entrepreneurship experiences and to give some words of advice to the young entrepreneurs in Brunei, here are my words.

Business is about endurance, passion and dedication and bear in mind that result does not show overnight. Think out of the box and dare to be different. Always embrace challenges and failures. Know your strengths as these are your best weapons.

Commonwealth Asia Alliance Of Young Entrepreneurs (CAAYE) Summit 2013 – Part II

The itinerary for 2nd day in Colombo was business to business (B2B) meeting starting from morning until noon where entrepreneurs of the same industry across the nations were brought together for networking, sharing of ideas or perhaps exploring the possibility of any business collaborations. I did not attend the meeting but went for city visits instead as I have always wanted to see the differences between urban and rural areas of Colombo.

IMG_1528

Our first stop was the Independence Memorial Hall which was built in commemoration of the independence of Sri Lanka. Standing in front of the hall is the statue of the first prime minister of the country, the Rt. Hon. Don Stephen Senanayake who was also known as “The Father of the Nation”.

IMG_1512

Do you know that this memorial hall was featured on the 4th season of the reality show The Amazing Race Asia.

IMG_1530

A closer look of the statue.

IMG_1536

We didn’t manage to go inside the gallery due to time constraints.

IMG_1557

IMG_1567

IMG_1577

Ice Tea Milk Shakes anyone?

IMG_1590

IMG_1603

Gangaramaya Temple which has been in existence for more than a century.

IMG_1623

IMG_1588

They called this the White House, Colombo.

IMG_1649

According to Mr Naleen ( the chauffeur), this is the largest shopping mall in Colombo which is no bigger than half of The Mall, Gadong.

After a few hours well spent in the city, we then head back to the hotel to get ready for the inauguration ceremony hosted at the auditorium of The Central Bank of Sri Lanka. The Governor of the Central Bank was invited to officiate the ceremony. The theme for this year is “Profit with Purpose” and below is an abstract from CAAYE website of what the summit is all about.

The CAAYE Young Entrepreneur Summit is an annual event where 200 young entrepreneurs from all the Commonwealth-Asia region countries (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei) will collectively meet for 3 days to network, build business linkages, conduct field studies, attend learning sessions and jointly prepare a set of recommendations to improve the ecosystem of youth entrepreneurship in the form of an official communiqué that will be submitted to member Governments through the Commonwealth secretariat. Also the official communiqué will be presented to the CHOGM held in Colombo in November, 2013 The focus of the 2013 edition of the Summit is to share best practices and prepare recommendations to inculcate the philosophy of “Profit with Purpose” among young entrepreneurs.

Front view of the auditorium where we had our dinner at after the ceremony.

Front view of the auditorium where we had our dinner after the ceremony.

20131110_175738

20131110_181112

Fatin Arifin of Young Entrepreneurs Association Brunei holding Brunei’s national flag.

The Founder President Dr. Rahul Mirchandani addressed the key functions of CAAYE and highlighting the theme for this year's summit "Profit with Purpose"

The Founder President Dr. Rahul Mirchandani addressed the key functions of CAAYE and highlighting the theme for this year’s summit “Profit with Purpose”.

One of the two cultural dance performances for the night.

One of the two cultural dance performances for the night.

Commonwealth Asia Alliance Of Young Entrepreneurs (CAAYE) Summit 2013 – Part I

Finally back in Brunei after 3 eventful days in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Not only have I seen a bigger picture of the business world out there and got the chance to meet and talk to some of the remarkable entrepreneurs of international brands in the world, I have also realized and learn to appreciate the value of life more. As there are so much to share on the experiences encountered throughout the whole trip, I am going to break it down into 3 parts i.e. Part I, Part II and Part III. I truly enjoyed the entire trip and the fantastic camaraderie with all the other 6 Brunei delegates namely Fatin, Hiro, Nani, Khairi, Ryan and ofcourse my wife Yii Ven.

First and foremost, I would like to express my gratitude to the Young Entrepreneurs Association Brunei (Fatin Arifin in particular) for the invitation, The Ministry of Culture, Youth & Sports for the support and the High Commission of Brunei in New Delhi for arranging the accommodation and logistics without whom our stays in Colombo would not be as smooth.

We arrived at Colombo International Airport at around 1AM (Sri Lanka time) and by the time we reached the hotel and checked in to our room, it was almost 3AM. The wake up call buzzed at 6AM sharp and by 7:30AM, the chauffeur came and picked us up and off we go to an assembly point about 10 minutes drive from the hotel. The itinerary for the first day was field visits to various industries (Tea, Ceramics, ICT and Service) where I chose to visit a tea factory located at southern part of Sri Lanka. We took approximately 3 hours bus ride to reach the factory and spent 1.5 hours there to witness the entire process of how tea is processed – plucking, withering, rolling, oxidation and drying. After the tea factory, we were then brought to a small wood crafting factory after we had our lunch at Kurunduwatta Holiday Resort. Most of the crafting works are handmade which are labour intensive. I was told the finished products will then be sold to towns and other urban areas.

I find the people living in rural areas very friendly and are able to communicate in English well. The common mode of transport is tuk-tuk (see image below) and fresh bananas seem to be popular here.

Arrival hall of Colombo International Airport

Arrival hall of Colombo International Airport

Our friendly and extremely helpful chauffeur

Our friendly and extremely helpful chauffeur, Mr. Naleen.

They called this Tuk-Tuk in Bangkok too.

They called this Tuk-Tuk in Bangkok too. The fare is negotiable but I’d advise you to take one with meter reading.

Assembly point where we were divided into group by countries and activities participated on the day.

Assembly point where we were divided into groups based on the type of industry we chose to visit.

The 3 hours ride begins. You need to be a skillful driver to drive around Colombo. You gotta make sure the brake and horn are working too.

The 3 hours ride begins. You need to be a skillful driver to drive around Colombo. You gotta make sure the brake and horn are working too.

This is the tea factory we visited. Took us 3 hours bus ride from hotel to reach here

This is the tea factory we visited. Took us 3 hours bus ride from hotel to reach here.

Plucking of tea leaves before sending to factory for withering.

Plucking of tea leaves before sending to factory for withering. This is a small tea plantation next to the factory.

Yii Ven and Nani sharing some moments under the hot sun.

Yii Ven and Nani sharing some moments together while walking under the hot sun.

IMG_1291

Withering of leaves.IMG_1281

IMG_1336

IMG_1351

IMG_1253

20131109_125920

Group photo of delegates from Brunei, Malaysia, Nepal, India, Sri Lanka etc who visited the tea factory.

Had a quick lunch before heading to the wood crafting factory.

Had a quick lunch before riding another 1.5hours bus ride to the wood crafting factory. I find people here have strong taste bud and they like their tea with sugar.

IMG_1417

IMG_1420

IMG_1428

20131109_160457

IMG_1446

Nice neighbourhood and everyone seems to know each other.

Nice neighbourhood where everyone seems to know each other.

Day 1 ended with a dinner by the beach just behind Berjaya Hotel. Stay tuned for Part II where I visited some of the city area attractions, monument of the first Prime Minister of Ceylon and inaugural night of CAAYE Summit 2013.