Host Spotlight – Turning Passion to a Part-time Business

"Grit is passion and perseverance for very long-term goals. Not just for a week, not just for a month, but for years."

Shartini, Owner of Shartini's Food Journal

Shartini, Owner of Shartini's Food Journal

1.Can you introduce yourself and tell us more about the experiences that you offer through Verlocal?

Hi, I am Shartini and I have a great passion in bakes and desserts. As I have a full-time job, I am currently only doing it only during the weekends. With Verlocal, I would like to offer my baking classes to those sharing the same interest as me and be able to connect with other like-minded individuals who simply love cooking and baking!

My classes are suitable for beginners because I was once someone who doesn’t have an interest in baking but loves to eat them! My personal belief is that everyone has the potential to do what they love, so long as they put in the sweat and tears to get better at their craft. At the start, I didn’t even know how to bake a cupcake but now I’m able to make a 3-layered cake. In my opinion, life is all about giving yourself an opportunity to try something different and taking the chances when it comes.

2.Tell us about your background: When did you first become inspired to do what you love?

Fully Decorated Strawberry Cake

Fully Decorated Strawberry Cake

I first started off as a home cook before I decided to go into baking. In fact, about 2 years ago, I had the opportunity to participate in a cook off challenge on Suria – a Malay television channel. The challenge was to create a dish that centered around chicken, a common ingredient but I knew that in order to win, I had to innovate and elevate the dish. In the end, I simply combined my love for Oranges together with the theme of Chicken to have my very own dish – Orange Chicken!

I presented my original creation and hold and behold, I won! Winning this competition has not only made my family proud but has also greatly boost my confidence to pursue my passion in the culinary field. Never would I have ever thought that a simple girl like me, who loves cooking in my small humble kitchen for my mother and my husband, could do this much and perhaps so much more. After the competition, my passion grew from culinary to baking and my curiosity to try a lot of bakes grew wider.

3.What does your passion mean to you?

Passion means to me is by waking up all night during weekend and sacrificing my time to complete my orders. Grit is passion and perseverance for very long-term goals. It’s like sticking with your future, day-in, day-out. Not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years. And working really hard to make that future a reality.

4. How has Shartini's Food Journal impacted your community and the people who support it?

We wanted the community to know us as a 100% Muslim-Owned business who bakes are sweetness controlled. Ultimately, I would like to contribute back to my community, especially the Muslim community and serve them delicious treats bearing in mind the amount of sugar inside.

Snapshot of one of our cupcake making lessons!

Snapshot of one of our cupcake making lessons!

5.What made you want to pursue your passion and become a host?

We believe that through Verlocal, we can engage to more audiences and able to create awareness of our classes. We want to reach out to a vast audience who will be interested in learning how to bake cakes using localised ingredients such as my Ondeh Ondeh and Bobo Cha Cha Cupcakes Workshop which I think is really special as it’s not very common to find it online.

6.Tell us about your biggest achievement since you started Shartini's Food Journal?

Chendol and Bobo Cha Cha Cupcakes

Chendol and Bobo Cha Cha Cupcakes

Every one of our orders are our biggest achievement, we take it very seriously and professional because we are the chosen one by the client among all other home-based baker in Singapore. As such, we treat every one of our orders with the upmost respect and do our best to make the desserts as pristine as possible


7.What was your biggest challenge when you first started your business?

I have no proper background in baking, and wasn’t sure if I could meet their expectations. 


8.What inspires you to continue building and improving your business?

Customised Liverpool Birthday Cake

Customised Liverpool Birthday Cake

It took multiple rounds of trial and error but eventually I saw improvements and this was what kept me going. There have been, and still are, many instances where I’ve doubted my capabilities, and there are many times where I’ve failed – but with time and lots of practice, it will all get better. 





9.What advice can you give to people who want create a business from doing what they love?

I think that we are all pretty hard on ourselves when we are passionate towards the things that we genuinely love and want to be proud of, and sometimes we get lost in the stress of it all. But as much as we want things to be perfect all the time, we have to also remember to savour and enjoy the process.

Love what you read? Stay tuned every week as we interview more hosts from different walks of life to learn about how they started doing what they do. 

Do you have an inspiring story that you would like to share? Drop us an email at and we'll be in touch with you shortly :).