KEJU is a grazing company that specializes in curated and corporate cheese platters and grazing tables. These platters and grazing tables are often accompanied with a variety of different accompaniments and decorations. As such, Carmen - founder of KEJU describes that they believe in making their platters and graze table visually enticing and taste delightful.
How did the idea ‘KEJU By Carmen’ first come about?
The concept of grazing and platting has actually been around all the world. I have seen it online but I never really saw this concept in Malaysia. Having picked up the art of grazing and plating from Australia, I decided to do it here in Malaysia.
After putting together a grazing table for the World Friendship Day event at my church with my friend Alison (who now works as my florist), people started to ask me to do grazing tables for their weddings, parties and events. Since then, a lot of more friends were receptive to this business idea. So, I decided to turn my grazing and plating passion into a business and KEJU by Carmen was formed in August of 2018.
How has your brand changed since you first started?
What started as mere fascination has now grown into a fully fetched brand. We are thankful that as a brand, we are growing in visibility and have the privilege to be featured on a few publications and media.
In terms of the business, we also have significantly improved on the designs of our grazing tables and platters as compared to when we first started out. KEJU has also grown from a one “woman” show into a SME, with exciting expansion plans ahead. This growth also allowed us to do more Corporate Orders.
What was an unexpected lesson you have learned from running your brand?
One of the most important lessons was that we had to learn how to pivot fast enough during challenging times. A clear example would be the Movement Control Order (MCO) that was implemented to curb the spread of Covid-19. The challenge was that non-essential businesses were not allowed to open during the MCO period.
Considering that most of our revenue came from doing grazing tables for events, it was worrying for us to postpone or cancel these plans due to the MCO. This was more challenging given the limited time we were given to prepare for the MCO. With that, we shifted our focus to our platter "business unit" and we began to realize the untapped potential that was sitting right beneath our noses.
In light of the MCO, many people started sending gifts to one another and we saw an encouraging growth in this business unit. Hence, we put all our effort in customizing each platter so that we will satisfy our customer’s demand. As for our Corporate Orders, we would incorporate our client’s product in the platter and do a virtual launch for their products.
How do you source the materials for your products?
We source our cheese from the suppliers that are in Malaysia who take in different kinds of cheese and meat from all over the world. For instance, our cheese comes from Denmark, Italy, Spain and other parts of Europe. We prefer foreign cheese as they have longer shelf life than the cheese that is being sourced locally.
we shifted our focus to our platter "business unit" and we began to realize the untapped potential that was sitting right beneath our noses.
What do you hope to achieve with your brand?
I want KEJU to be the name that people think of when it comes to cheese. We also have plans to run our own Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) that will be sold in the local supermarkets. Currently, we are still deciding on which accompaniments to convert into an FMCG.
Eventually, we would also want to take on more full events and do things like Events Planning and Flower Designing on top of our cheese platters and grazing services. By offering more services to our clients, we can provide them with more value and satisfaction.