The city of Ipoh is about to go grey as the Malaysian chapter of The Depressed Cake Shop – a concept originally created in the United Kingdom to generate awareness and encourage discussion about mental health issues – sets up shop in January next year.
The Ipoh Depressed Cake Shop will roll into town on Sunday January 12, 2014 at Burps & Giggles on Jalan Sultan Yussuf, with grey-coloured cakes, confections and sweet treats going on sale to the general public. This will be the second Depressed Cake Shop to open in Malaysia, following its extremely successful September 2013 debut in Kuala Lumpur, during which a total of RM10,500 was raised over the course of a two-day bake sale, which later rose to RM18,000 with the addition of several cash donations.
The bake sale’s goal is to end discrimination and prejudice against those living with mental health issues, as well as challenging damaging stigmas and labels attached to mental illness. “This quirky grey pop-up cake shop provides an informal, non threatening way to bring to light mental health issues,” said Datin Sabrinah Morad, who first brought the concept of The Depressed Cake Shop to Malaysia. “Depression is more common than people realise, and it’s an illness that can be treated with medical help. I hope those affected by mental illness are able to talk about it without shame or embarrassment.”
The Ipoh Depressed Cake Shop will once again be run by Datin Sabrinah, who organised the Depressed Cake Shop’s Malaysian debut in Kuala Lumpur, in conjunction with new committee members and friends Susan Gill, Maria Lee and Wan Jan Li, dedicated Ipohites seeking to help gather support from keen bakers.
“We’re looking to build on the success of The KL 2 Depressed Cake Shop and to truly raise nationwide awareness,” were Sabrinah’s words. “I thought the concept should travel beyond KL, and Ipoh seemed like an obvious choice, not just due to its proximity to KL, but because of Tanjung Rambutan, a well-known mental institute and perhaps even the first to ever be established in both Ipoh and Malaysia… And with Ipoh being a prominent landmark on the foodie trail, I guessed there would be plenty of enthusiastic bakers and cake lovers!”
Sweet-toothed visitors can even look forward to tasting cakes baked specially for the occasion by Datin Julie Song, the celebrated chef and restaurateur of Indulgence Restaurant & Living and Burps & Giggles. “Datin Julie has been so enthusiastic and supportive of our charity and has generously given us the space to host our bake sale, besides pledging to make some gloriously grey cakes of her own. Rachel Yeoh, her manager at Burps & Giggles, has also been tireless in her support, so we are very grateful to both of them.”
Those who choose to contribute grey cakes of their own have the option of entering a competition for the most creative and original Depressed Cake, at a price of RM10 per entry (Burps & Giggles is already off to a running start, having pledged to donate 50 mini-cakes for the contest). Children at the bake sale can also take part in the ‘Paint a Sad Face’ art skills competition, with great prizes to be won for both contests.
All proceeds from the bake sale and contest entry fees will go to the Perak Palliative Care Society (PPCS) and the Ipoh Befrienders: two organisations that work closely with Malaysians affected by depression and mental health issues on a regular basis.
For more information about The Ipoh Depressed Cake Shop, visit facebook.com/IpohDepressedCakeShop.