There’s sourdough bread, wholemeal bread, rye bread, and a lot extra. However have you ever heard of sprouted bread?
To clarify, sprouted bread is a kind of bread created from complete grains which were allowed to sprout earlier than being milled into flour. This sprouting course of includes soaking the grains in water till they germinate.
The health-conscious Malaysians on the market positively would’ve heard of it, however I actually solely not too long ago got here throughout it via Rainbows Sprouted, which is likely one of the prime (if not solely) industrial sprouted bread manufacturers you’ll discover in Malaysia.
However for John Tan, Rainbows Sprouted’s co-founder and director of gross sales and advertising, sprouted bread is one thing he’s recognized about for a really very long time.
“I’m from Penang, and this bread may be very widespread there,” he defined.
From what we will discover on-line, it does appears that sprouted bread in Malaysia was popularised in Penang, particularly by a lady named Mrs Heisler.
The story sprouts right here
Additionally referred to as Essene bread and Ezekial bread relying on the variation, sprouted bread has a protracted historical past, with data of it within the Bible.
However in Malaysia, its popularisation could very effectively be dated again to the Seventies.
In accordance with Adventist Bakery’s web site, Mrs Heisler, who was the spouse of a enterprise supervisor on the Penang Adventist Hospital, had performed some vegetarian cooking lessons for the general public within the 70s.
“It was there, for the primary time, that she revealed her recipe for ‘enriched’ wholemeal bread,” the web site said.
The bread gained reputation, particularly amongst health-conscious people. To deal with the demand, the hospital started manufacturing of the wholemeal bread, finally resulting in the formation of the bakery.
Apparently, a few of the bakers have been even employed by different bakeries with a view to purchase their information on the bread, which can have contributed to the recognition of sprouted bread within the space.
However how did Mrs Heisler’s recipe find yourself being utilized by Rainbows Sprouted?
A blooming enterprise
Round 2015, John and his enterprise associate Low Chin Leong acquired a possibility to take over a hospital bakery’s manufacturing unit in KL.
An previous buddy of his who had been working within the bakery received in contact with John, explaining that they wished to eliminate the operation as a result of the corporate was too short-staffed.
With a diploma in enterprise administration, John had been working within the gentle furnishings and common lodge provides trade. In the meantime, Low is a civil engineer who labored on the structural restore and upkeep of buildings.
At first, they rejected the supply, the reason is they’d zero expertise in baking. However after failing to dump the enterprise, the buddy approached John and Low once more.
“After some dialogue, we determined to make a day journey to Penang to see what supply they’ll make to us,” he shared. “Alongside our journey, we noticed so many rainbows. Rainbows are indicators of blessing and goodness.”
Like a premonition, John and Low got supply for the corporate, together with good help from the principal firm to assist them achieve trade know-how.
The principal firm, after all, was Adventist Bakery.
At first, they operated underneath their branding. However issues modified 4 years in the past, after some settlement modifications with the principal.
“They need us to supply the breads with our personal label as they acquired lot of enquiries to them, and bread provide will not be their core enterprise,” John defined.
And that’s how the Rainbows Sprouted model identify got here to be. Regardless of the change in identify, although, the bread formulations stay the identical. Plus, the change additionally got here with an added benefit.
“With our in-house model, we will develop extra gadgets corresponding to gluten-free breads, butterloaf, sprouted pizza base, sprouted burger bun, and extra,” John shared. “We began supplying custom-made order gadgets to academic establishments too.”
It kneads care and a focus
The sprouting course of will be tedious, although. For one, the sprouting should be finished in a managed atmosphere, thus requiring numerous care.
The entire journey begins with the sprouting technique of grains and seeds. From there, the sprouts are harvested then grounded.
“We used them as our major uncooked supplies,” John mentioned. “No bleached wheat flour is used.”
John additionally clarified that nothing artificial is used, corresponding to added nutritional vitamins or minerals. All of the vitamins within the breads are from the method of sprouting.
The result’s a bread that’s not fairly white, however as an alternative brownish and a bit coarser because of the pure fibre from the seeds and wheat.
As such, Rainbows Sprouted’s major viewers are health-conscious people, particularly those that could have diabetes or hypertension.
With its manufacturing unit in Puncak Alam, Rainbows Sprouted makes round 50,000 loaves each month.
Rising to the event
On the subject of competiton, John proudly shared, “Enterprise competitors is all the time there, however we’re proud to say that for sprouted bread (not simply utilizing sprouted flour) or sprouted cinnamon breads, we’re one of many prime producers in Malaysia.”
Whereas Rainbows Sprouted is a prime identify that pops up when looking for sprouted bread in Malaysia, the model isn’t simply competing in a distinct segment pool of sprouted bread—it’s competing with main manufacturers like Gardenia and Massimo for a share of the market.
The worth for Gardenia’s bread begins at RM3, and even the more healthy choices corresponding to its Breakthru Complete Wheat Bread is RM4 for 400g.
In the meantime, Rainbows Sprouted’s The Authentic Sprouted 7-Grains Bread begins at RM9.50 for 450g.
However that’s the worth that some might be prepared to pay. As John defined, their goal demographic will not be essentially the lots, however health-conscious people who perceive the worth of the bread. The bread can be halal-certified so the model can serve all Malaysians.
Right this moment, Rainbows Sprouted is out there in main retailers like Aeon, Jaya Grocer, Vilage Grocer, Lotus’s, in addition to comfort shops like Bilabila Mart, chosen 7-Elevens, and different natural outlets.
Happening the rainbow highway
Confronted with the COVID-19 pandemic, Rainbows Sprouted didn’t simply survive, however in truth, thrived. Final yr, the crew was capable of transfer into a brand new and improved facility.
With upped capability, John shared that the crew has targets to seize an even bigger market.
To take action, Rainbows Sprouted is wanting so as to add new merchandise to their catalogue to seize a youthful technology.
On prime of that, they’re hoping to develop into neighbouring nations corresponding to Singapore or Thailand.
Regardless of setting their sights on greater and higher issues, although, the core of Rainbows Sprouted to supply wholesome, high quality sprouted bread stays unchanged.
Be taught extra about Rainbows Sprouted right here.
Learn different articles we’ve written about Malaysian startups right here.
Featured Picture Credit score: Rainbows Sprouted