She was serving her stay-at-home notice and was locked up in her hotel with nowhere to go. Madelene Eng, 28, then a partnership and collaboration executive with a job in New York City, had just returned and was feeling restless.
This was in March 2020. She had returned because Covid-19 was getting serious and her father had pressured her to return to Singapore.
While idle in her hotel room, Madelene suddenly craved some snacks she could eat, so she went online to search. To his dismay, there were limited options as most stores only sell their individual brands.
Then an idea occurred to her: why not start a business selling boxes of assorted snacks to people who are “stuck” like her?
The founder and CEO of snack box subscription service MUNCHEES has never looked back since. He quit his job in the Big Apple to take the road less traveled.
A profitable business in less than 12 months
Madelene officially launched her business in June of last year. In just 12 months, his business has reached profitability and since then he has served important clients such as DBS, Mediacorp, GovTech and the Ministry of Education.
She sells work-from-home snacks and remote computer snacks in a subscription-based method. The snacks rotate every month, so customers won’t get bored with the same snacks.
A personal snack box starts from S $ 28.50, consisting of 12 different snacks and can include childhood favorites like Pola Snacks, Hello Panda, as well as Bee Bee cookies.
MUNCHEES also sells remote team snacks for companies looking to give them to their teammates to boost work morale, as people mostly work from home in this period.
Offers refreshments at the office checkout to businesses that also need to stock their office pantries, for workers who need to register.
“With the number of hours that people spend working each day, I believe that a positive work environment and company culture are more crucial now than ever. As they say, the greatest asset of a company is its people, ”said Madelene.
“In order for your employees to perform at their best, they need to feel their best, and what better way to do that easily with a few healthy, energizing snacks during the workday. Offering a subscription model makes this possible in the simplest and most hassle-free way, ”he said.
Businesses also recognize this importance, as Madelene said that the majority of MUNCHEES orders are from businesses that ship personal boxes to their teams and staff at home.
Healthy options the natural choice
When she started the company, Madelene decided that she would offer wellness snacks instead of all kinds of snacks so customers feel safe eating them without worrying about health risks.
The snack boxes are “healthier” as they do not contain monosodium glutamate (MSG), flavor enhancers, artificial sweeteners and trans fats, said the CEO of MUNCHEES.
The boxes are also selected to allow for a variety of snack options. There are healthier snacks that are organic, all-natural, and allergen-free.
Customers do not choose the snacks that go into the boxes. “Part of the value and excitement of receiving a MUNCHEES box, whether personal or from the office, is that it is always a surprise and delight, allowing recipients to discover new snacks,” he explained.
MUNCHEES ships to all areas of Singapore and uses third-party courier services to ship your orders. He also sends emails to foreign clients.
While curating her snack boxes, Madelene wanted to support local businesses that are also going through the pandemic, which is why she included local Singaporean snack brands such as Amazin ‘Grace, Tong Garden, and Natureally.
The concept has been well received by Singaporeans, and Madelene said the business is currently profitable and has positive cash flow.
Sharing one of the most exhausting moments while running the business was when a wholesale order suddenly arrived in the third month of the business – a large order for 450 boxes of snacks for Ubisoft Singapore. Madelene had to desperately seek all the help she could get to deliver the order to the customer. On days with super-large orders, turn to partial timers and friends for help.
Although Madelene currently runs the business full time on her own, she is ready to consider running the ship with more hands on deck.
“The growth plans will really depend on the current situation of the pandemic, but the first step will definitely be to start building a team, which I am actively doing now,” he shared.
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Featured Image Credit: MUNCHEES, Vulcan Post
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