Brisk sales for home bakery at Kampong Glam event celebrating female entrepreneurship

ShopwithCanries' co-owner Zuraina Saealudin (left) and her husband Mr Mohamed Ismail Rahman at Dewi Fiesta 2022. ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

SINGAPORE - Home bakery co-owner Zuraina Saealudin did not expect her cakes to sell out within a few hours of opening a pop-up store at a Kampong Glam bazaar on Saturday (March 26).

The 60 pieces sold were almost equal to a month's worth of online sales for her business, ShopwithCanries, she told The Straits Times on Sunday.

"I didn't expect this for my first time (having a physical store)," added the 32-year-old, who runs the business with her husband, Mr Mohamed Ismail Rahman, 37.

With physical sales doing so well, she is considering participating in one of the two upcoming Ramadan bazaars in Kampong Glam and Geylang Serai.

ShopwithCanries was among 23 small and medium-sized enterprises as well as home-based businesses featured in Dewi Fiesta 2022, an event aimed at celebrating female entrepreneurship.

Organised by the women's wing of the Singapore Malay Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SMCCI), known as Dewi@SMCCI, the event included a two-day bazaar at retail marketplace Curbside Crafters, where 17 of the featured businesses had booths.

This was the second iteration of the event, with the previous edition, which also featured a bazaar, held in 2018 at Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre.

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While a different event was organised in 2019, Dewi@SMCCI had plans for Dewi Fiesta to return in 2020 and last year, but they were hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The event organisers said the turnout at the bazaar was better than expected, and there are plans to make Dewi Fiesta an annual occurrence.

Dewi Fiesta 2022 comes just before Singapore's easing of Covid-19 measures on Tuesday.

Major changes include doubling the maximum group size to 10 people, allowing up to 10 visitors for households at any one time, and making wearing of masks outdoors optional.

The relaxation of measures means that Muslims here will be able to celebrate Hari Raya Aidilfitri on a larger scale for the first time in three years.

Celebrations in the past two years had been muted, with the festival in 2020 falling seven weeks into Singapore's circuit breaker, during which home visits were forbidden.

During last year's Hari Raya, people could gather only in groups of five while households could receive only five distinct visitors a day.

While the group size limit of 10 still falls short of the large gatherings before the pandemic, Muslim visitors to Sunday's bazaar said they are satisfied with the move.

"We should be grateful," said human resource adviser Zin Zuraidah, 47, with a laugh.

Most of the visitors also said they were looking forward to shopping at the upcoming Ramadan bazaars, noting that their return will add to the festive atmosphere.

The bazaars were cancelled in the past two years due to the pandemic.

The month of Ramadan - when Muslims fast from dawn to sunset - is set to begin on April 2 this year, while Hari Raya is set to fall on May 3.

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