Ipoh’s autistic baker makes ‘jolly boxes’ with festive cookies to sell for Christmas (VIDEO)

Autistic baker Looi Wan Keen sells her products via social media.  —  Picture by Sylvia Looi
Autistic baker Looi Wan Keen sells her products via social media. — Picture by Sylvia Looi

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IPOH, Dec 16 — Many are turning to online businesses, especially food, following the Covid-19 pandemic that rendered them to be jobless.

And this Christmas, home baker Looi Wan Keen is offering a “jolly box” to be different from other bakeries.

The making for the items in the box, however, takes extra effort as Looi is autistic.

According to Looi’s older sister Wan Wai, each jolly box contains an alcohol-free fruit cake, gingerbread man biscuits, chocolate chip cookies and chocolates. 

It retails for RM25.

The jolly box by autistic baker Looi Wan Keen is ready to give you joy.  —  Picture via Facebook/ Keen’s Cookies Ipoh
The jolly box by autistic baker Looi Wan Keen is ready to give you joy. — Picture via Facebook/ Keen’s Cookies Ipoh

Wan Wai said her 23-year-old sister started baking four years ago upon completion of her formal education.

“My family members suggested that she be sent to Kuala Lumpur to work but I was worried about her safety.”

To prepare Wan Keen for the future, Wan Wai proposed that she take up baking.

“She enjoyed it,” said the 37-year-old Wan Wai, who used to work with children with special needs.

Looi Wan Wai (left) supervises her sister Wan Keen (sister) and Kenny Loke in their kitchen.  —  Picture by Sylvia Looi
Looi Wan Wai (left) supervises her sister Wan Keen (sister) and Kenny Loke in their kitchen. — Picture by Sylvia Looi

Since then, Wan Keen had been selling her products ranging from cakes to cookies, fruit tarts and macaroons via social media.

Beginning this year, Wan Keen also sells lunch boxes.

“She will start preparing for lunch boxes as early as 7am before the boxes are delivered at 11am.”

“From 2pm, she will start preparing orders for her bakery.”

Wan Wai said through baking and cooking, Wan Keen acquired a lot of living skills that she might not get if she worked for others.

“Her awareness towards her surroundings has improved so much and she is now learning how to care for others especially the elderly and the younger ones.”

“She also has better control over her emotions and can accept changes and uncertainties better.”

Wan Wai also took in her former student Kenny Loke to join Wan Keen last year.

“We see that our approach with Wan Keen works so we want to help others in the spectrum to venture into entrepreneurship while improving their skills in various areas,” said Wan Wai, adding that Loke now learns to bake and sell muffins.

Those interested to purchase Wan Keen’s jolly box or lunch boxes can visit her Facebook page or Instagram.

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