Bagels from Jiababa
Photo: @jiababa88Bagels from Jiababa
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Time Out says

You might have come across the popular home-based bakery on Instagram. Run by two teenage sisters, Jiababa is known for its photogenic Taiwanese-style bagels, which have a fluffier and softer texture compared to regular bagels. We spoke to the sisters, Kay Cheng, 18, and Kat Cheng, 16, to find out more about their business. 

Originally from Taiwan, Kay and Kat moved to Singapore five years ago. When they noticed that Taiwanese food and desserts in Singapore lacked variety, they started the home-run business in 2021 in hopes of showcasing more unique Taiwanese flavours to Singapore audiences. Their bagels and bakes are inspired by their Taiwanese heritage and their favourite Taiwanese foods – the roselle flavour, for instance, is particularly nostalgic for them because their grandparents always made roselle tea for them whenever they went  to visit them. 

Other unique bagel flavours include longan, pistachio, brown sugar, and crowd-favourite black sesame, while fillings include mochi, taro, and peanut butter. The sisters’ favourite are the pistachio bagels, which feature a mixture of finely ground and roughly chopped roasted pistachios that give the bagels additional texture. Bagel flavours and combinations change weekly. Orders can be placed on Instagram or via this link. If you want to try their bagels you’ll have to be fast; bagels usually sell out quickly after pre-orders open because there are limited slots. 

Despite their success, the sisters are sometimes met with scepticism from customers who can’t quite wrap their heads around the fact that they’re capable of running a home-based bakery..  “A challenge we still face is having our abilities to run Jiababa  doubted because of our age,” says Kay. Nevertheless, they constantly seek to prove naysayers wrong. To date, Jiababa has garnered a loyal following and boasts over 6,000 followers on Instagram, which is testament to their capabilities as young bakers.

What the sisters lack in age, they certainly make up for in ambition and ability. Kay and Kat hope to open a Jiababa cafe in the future, which is something they’ve dreamt about for a while. For now, however, completing their education remains the priority, and they’re content with focusing on running their home-based bakery. 


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