The Pre Launch: Li Yen Of Hawkr
By Li Yen
My name is Li Yen and I am the founder and CEO of Hawkr, a micro cloud kitchen. The first question you probably have is, what on earth is a micro cloud kitchen? Most know what cloud kitchens are.
Cloud kitchens are commercial kitchens optimised for cost and delivery and have been gaining popularity because of this pandemic.
Hawkr’s micro cloud kitchens take the cloud kitchen concept a step further, where we recruit home cooks who run their businesses from their home kitchen instead of commercial kitchens.
Our goal is to reduce the cost and barriers for anyone wanting to operate their very own F&B business, all from the comfort of their home kitchens.
This business idea was mooted during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Upon graduating from the University of California, San Diego, I knew entrepreneurship was something I had always aspired to do.
So, I left sunny San Diego for every entrepreneur’s promised land, the Silicon Valley.
That was where Hawkr was born and got its initial start.
However, if you’ve been keeping up with the US news, things have been pretty tumultuous over there.
That was when I decided to move this startup back to my home country, Malaysia late last year.
But that was only half the reason, the other half was because Malaysia is a food paradise.
It is undeniable that the pioneers of our food landscape are the hawkers and street vendors themselves.
With very little capital, the earliest form of foodpreneurs has paved the way for our rich food landscape today.
We started Hawkr because we believe the best cooks and foodpreneurs are not those with the fanciest kitchens or fanciest culinary degrees, but those that cook with passion.
And what better way to find people who cook with passion than in Malaysia?
As of today, we have about 50 micro cloud kitchens scattered all over the Klang Valley region and we are currently developing our mobile app to make it easier for customers to place orders.
About 20 of our micro cloud kitchens are run completely by new business owners who have never done anything like this in their lives.
The remaining 30 are either former restaurant owners or have obtained a culinary degree and are looking for a platform to test their skills with as little cost and risk as possible.
We are looking to expand our services to other parts of Malaysia including my home state Penang by the of this year.
Moving back home to connect with fellow Malaysians in these challenging times has been a humbling experience thus far.
I hope everyone can join us in building the largest network of home cooks by supporting our venture Hawkr.
About the Author: Li Yen is the CEO and Founder of Hawkr which started trading in Malaysia this January. She operates the venture alongside co-founder Edward Tan.
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