In this interview, Sara Nazari, founder of Pink Indulgence, shares how adversity was an opportunity and the birth of a new business.
What do you do?
I’m a beautician artist. I recently started Pink Indulgence – a vegan-based treats range, producing mainly high-quality nut truffles and cakes.
How did you get into the industry?
Since moving to Malaysia eight years ago, I found it hard to find delicious sweet treats without having the guilt of consuming too much sugar. I loved staying fit doing outdoor activities. It pained me to know the waste of my movement when I devoured unhealthy sweet foods. This need ventured stronger after I was diagnosed with breast cancer.
Share with us a story from behind the scenes.
The pivotal moment for me to really start was when I was under cancer treatment in 2019. I was prohibited by my physician to consume products that included too much sugar and preservatives. It was highly demoralising for me. I believed anyone going through an excruciating repetitive cancer or any kind of treatment should at least enjoy a treat. Toward the end of my treatment, I joined the Breast Cancer Welfare Association Malaysia ( BCWA ), led by its President, Madam Ranjit Singh, for moral and guidance and, of course, more reading material on coping with post-cancer treatment. I have met many members turned friends who face more unfortunate situations physically and financially. Calling Malaysia home, I was determined to do something for those around me by paying forward through my skills in healthy food preparation. Hence the birth of my Pink Indulgence range, providing super healthy snacks with a desire to aid others in need. We donate 10% of our profits to BCWA, our small way to support fellow cancer sufferers in Malaysia. We also balance the pricing to ensure our healthy confectionery are affordable yet never compromise quality and health benefits to all our customers.
What’s a food memory from your childhood or travels that stands out?
A bite of fresh peach during summer
Istanbul. It’s a bustling mixed cultured location with a myriad of historical history and civilisation.
What’s the best/ worst part of your work?
Knowing that each artisanal product of mine can be enjoyed without guilt by all my beloved customers. Who says great taste has to be sinful?
The worst part is I can’t expand sooner!
What’s your favourite food and beverage pairing?
Spicy Thai food with coconut water!
What’s one of the craziest things you’ve seen behind the scenes?
The funniest and craziest thing was a few days ago when my sister took off her expensive diamond engagement ring to help me. (We need to take off all accessories, wash hands, sanitise and use disposable sanitised gloves in the kitchen). She accidentally placed her ring on the disposable table cloth. At the end of our work, I threw the plastic tablecloth in the rubbish. But, thank goodness, she remembered at the end of the day before we disposed of the trash!
The perfect day would be…
… to spend a whole day with my son.
A day in the life of a baker is…
… full-on – experimenting with ingredients is like being a chemist without a Dr.
What does Sara Nazari do for fun?
I love running and tennis. Travelling must be on the back burner for now.
What’s something you’d like guests to know about Pink Indulgence?
Pink Indulgence is an establishment that strives to balance memorable vegan tasty bites without any guilt of ruining your diet or well being.
How has the pandemic changed you, your perspective, or the way you operate?
Being a former critical illness patient, I am very grateful for every small detail, even the imperfections of my life. Covid has claimed many lives of our loved ones. But I do believe for every storm, the sun will shine eventually. This is the moment to embrace togetherness by caring and sharing for the human race. I have other business that is badly affected with this pandemic. Still, without it, I’ll never have focused and pursued Pink Indulgence.
What’s something you’d like people to know about being an artisanal food producer as a profession?
We must put all our heart to give the best experience with a sense of responsibility for all my customers.
What’s your view on the food scene in KL?
KL is such a melting pot of cultures that celebrates life for centuries. The folks here are very well cultured to embrace diversity and never feel awkward with foreign tastes. They have the courage for new cuisine experiences. Health awareness is rising rapidly too. Hence there is a vacuum to fill with products such as ours.
How has the pandemic changed you as a person?
My monthly treatment was done during the entrance of the deadly virus to our shores. Early-stage, honestly, I was petrified. But constantly, I read positive news of fellow Malaysian folks always taking care of each other during these trying times. I am much grateful for life now and strive to add more elements of giving back to others as I see in Malaysians.
How has the pandemic changed you as a small business operator?
When one door closes, another will open if you calm down, you can strategise better. There is always an opportunity, amidst any situation, and that opportunity does not mean you must take advantage of others.
What’s in store for you in the upcoming months?
I am constantly developing new flavours to satisfy the cravings of our growing customer base. We never stop taking their advice to improve Pink Indulgence. I am also planning to establish a distributions point centre to create more opportunities for like-minded others, especially my fellow cancer survivors throughout Malaysia. Creating an enterprise with the foundation to share is the core of Pink Indulgence.