As the co-founder of The Accidental Bakers and Brownies Bar By The Accidental Bakers, Hazwan Yazit thrives in delivering sweet desserts to Malaysians.
“I love my job not just because I love baking but everyone in my team shares the same vision and is dedicated to the mission. This truly creates a family environment where everybody is there for each other especially in these trying times,” enthuses Hazwan.
In the following Q&A, the affable baker shares more about his business and lifestyle, including his grooming and fitness routine.
What is a typical day like for you during MCO?
I still go to work in my central kitchen every single day (sometimes on weekends too) as it is still operating as usual, producing and delivering happiness to Malaysians. But we reduced the manpower and operation hours during this MCO to abide by the rules.
I only work from home perhaps four to five times a month where mostly it’s about admin and virtual meetings with clients. I turned my guest room into my home-office and I treat it just like another working day, where I work in the room during the day.
What’s the biggest lesson learnt during the pandemic?
The biggest lesson is managing mental health not just on myself but my team and family members too. It’s very easy to go and be in the dark zones where it absorbs all the positive energy in you; which makes you feel down so easily. I’m sure it is happening to everyone in these trying times and it’s never easy. As for my work, we just have to be much stronger in coping with it, otherwise it will be unproductive.
Therefore, we will always talk and check on our mental wellness at least once a week. Share our feelings too so we can help to look out for one another.
What do you love most about your chosen career? What gives you the greatest job satisfaction?
I love my job not just because I love baking but everyone in my team shares the same vision and is dedicated to the mission. This truly creates a family environment where everybody is there for each other especially in these trying times.
The greatest job satisfaction is where I can see the results after all the hard work that my team and I put in. It’s very rewarding working closely with my team members who share the same common goal.
When you have free time, what forms of wellness do you indulge in?
One of the main things that I miss the most now is working out in the gymnasium as that’s one thing/place where I could de-stress myself so efficiently, it gives me joy and happiness every single time after I work out; which helps a lot in managing my physical and mental health.
But because of this pandemic, I decided to buy free weights from the online store and build my own gym at home; it’s good enough to get my adrenaline pumping. My go-to wellness indulgence is free weights training and high-intensity interval training (HIIT). Before the pandemic, besides working out in the gymnasium, I do enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking and jungle trekking.
You managed to lose weight in the recent past. What is your fitness routine like?
I normally combine weights training and HIIT; 5-6 times a week and that’s my typical fitness routine.
It’s not easy to maintain for sure as I LOVE food but I just have to keep reminding myself to not overindulge and if I did, I just have to work out twice as hard on the following day. My rule of thumb is to eat in moderation and keep doing whatever makes you happy and healthy.
What is your grooming routine like?
For my beard, I trim it and other hair too at least once a week in order to keep it nice and tidy. And I apply beard oil to nourish the hair. For my hair, I use hair oil to moisturize and heal breakage and hair wax to style it when I go out.
For my face, I maintain it by applying the necessary steps: cleanser, toner, eye-cream, moisturizer, sunblock during the day and sheet mask and night cream at night.
What are your must-have grooming products?
For hair and beard: beard oil (Rebel Huile À Barbe by La Maison Du Savon De Marseille), hair oil (Hair Serum by Temple Tree), hair wax (Gatsby Styling Pomade), a pair of tweezers, a shaver and a beard trimmer.
For face: facial cleanser (Garnier Men Oil Control), toner (Simple Soothing Toner), eye-cream (Garnier Eye Roll-On), moisturizer (Olay Regenerist Whip), sunblock (Kiehls), night cream (Olay Total Effects) and sheet masks (Nutox).
Proudest accomplishments over the years?
My proudest accomplishments over the years are building and running my two businesses: The Accidental Bakers and Brownies Bar By The Accidental Bakers.
The Accidental Bakers was established in 2011 (exactly a decade ago) and it started purely as an online desserts supply platform. From there, my team and I managed to grow it till we opened our first retail store under the brand of Brownies Bar By The Accidental Bakers back in 2016 and it’s running till now albeit the pandemic, we persevere! There are many ups and downs but we’re grateful regardless.
We are delivering happiness within the Klang Valley and in the midst of expanding our delivery coverage to the whole of Malaysia and even our neighboring countries such as Singapore, Indonesia and Brunei; stay tuned!
What makes you who you are today?
I’m not afraid of failure in the least. In fact, I think it is an essential part of the experimental process. That it gets you to succeed at what it is that you do. Running my own business definitely teaches me not to give up and it’s ok to fail as long as you acknowledge the failure, learn from it and move on.
Furthermore, having a great business partner and team members are very important to work as a team in building the business. And trust me, I am still learning as I go along. Plus, having a strong emotional support system from my family and friends are important too to be who I am today.
So, in short and as cliché as it sounds, what doesn’t kill me makes me stronger.
What’s your advice to younger people who want to follow in your footsteps?
It’s always nice to start and run your own business where you can be in charge of it, make your own decisions and rules but think twice before starting it (unless money is not an issue), as it will be a tough journey to ride on, specially to sustain it.
Always believe and have confidence in your products. If you believe it, you will make sure that you want to see it flourish. At the end of the day, if you don’t have confidence that your products are the best choice for your customers, you will continually be in danger of losing sales. Which means, you keep losing money without even seeing any great results.
In addition to that, try not to run the business on your own but to find a great business partner(s) so you can build the business together. This won’t be easy because it requires a lot of trust to ensure fairness in carrying the responsibilities among the partners. You need to build a strong foundation from the core team itself before hiring other team members to grow the business as a whole.
Lastly, never give up! Always continue to keep trying after an initial failure or setback, since success does not usually occur immediately. Keep talking and sharing experiences with the people in the industry that you’re in to learn from each other. This self-explanatory saying relates to me in every part of my life including my businesses: “Fall down seven times, stand up eight”.
Myeppo Talks To… is a weekly series in which we profile dynamic personalities. It is out every Monday. For more on Hazwan, follow him @hazwanyazit on Instagram.