Inn Chantheara, founder of Neal: One sandwich for 3,000 Riel, we are able to afford without complaints but a Khmer cake costing 1,000 Riel people complain that it is expensive!
Neal, a Khmer traditional backery, which imports cakes from Kompong Cham province, with standards and assuring quality for customers has become the first diverse Khmer traditional cakes in Phnom Penh today. The founder of Neal, Inn Chantheara, said he wants Cambodian people to support Cambodian products. He also mentioned that some people buy a sandwich for 3,000 riel Or $ 1 to $ 2 (depending on the restaurant) without complaining, but a Khmer cake for 1,000 riel, some complain that it is expensive.
Nom Ansorm, cylindrical rice cake wrapped in banana leaves and stuffed with a pork and mung bean paste.
Mr. Theara told BizKh Asia that the bakery was created with the goal of showing Khmer identity internationally as well as making Cambodians remember and be proud of their national products. Supporting Khmer cakes not only supports our cake identity but also provides additional income to some people in the countryside because all the Khmer cakes he sells are made by people in the countryside.
The first step was to bring these cakes from Kampong Cham province because his parents live there. The reasons why Mr. Theara decided to set up the bakery due to two factors as followings:
1) His family, who lives in Kompong Cham province, supplied these Khmer traditional cakes in the area; they produced them every single day.
2) He was puzzled when he went out to eat at different restaurants. He saw that people are very supportive of foreign desserts, while foreigners visiting Cambodia want to eat Khmer cakes, but we could not find a restaurant which supplies them.
Mr. Theara said the production was done in an air-conditioned room using some automatic and sanitary machines - no dust in it. In particular, for the packaging of the cakes as well as the packaging for customers, he considers the standard. He created the right packaging, instead of putting those products in beer boxes. This is one of the principles of this Khmer brand to ensure quality and hygiene standards for customers.
So far, Neal Khmer Traditional Cake has produced 15 kinds of Khmer traditional cakes for sale, the store plans to produce 34 kinds of cakes in the near future.
According to Mr. Theara, one day the store sells about 500 cakes and he plans to expand into more provinces maybe exported to overseas markets in the future.
By: Tann Somphors