2020 has been a year of change for Joanne Tan. After 20 years in the service industry, the 40-year-old found herself grounded when borders started closing in the wake of COVID-19 (we're keeping her occupation vague 'cos of her company's confidentiality clause). She also closed a chapter in her personal life and finalised her divorce in March. In the midst of all the upheaval, the single mum confesses, “I was, of course, overwhelmed. But thankfully, I enjoy baking and cooking. I'd just spend my time baking for my loved ones.” 

It was in the kitchen of the HDB flat in Pasir Ris she shares with her 10 and 8-year-old sons that Joanne found respite — and encouragement to start her own home business. “I was happy baking for fun but when I shared my bakes with family and friends, they encouraged me to just try it since I had nothing to lose and all the time on my hands.”. On 18 September, she finally established Baker’s Lab, a home bakery offering an unexpected pair of teatime confections: Kueh Salat and scones.

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