Published in The Star, 2015
As young children, sisters Theresa and Stephanie Lim used to watch their mother and grandmother make their special popiah for the family’s consumption.
The family recipe did not go to waste as younger sister Stephanie, 45, decided to start a business with the knowledge passed on to her.
In 2001, she began selling popiah at the Imbi market in Kuala Lumpur with the help of her husband.
Business picked up and soon Theresa, 46, encouraged them to move the business to shopping malls.
With three other siblings, they began a kiosk business called SisterS Crispy Popiah in 2003 in a shopping mall.
Their crunchy and juicy popiah won the hearts of Klang Valley residents as they were voted Best Popiah provider in The Star People’s Food Awards.
“We started this business not thinking that we would be recognised this way. It was merely to share our love of popiah and to ensure that the new generation do not forget this delicacy,” said Theresa.
“We also have franchises overseas in countries like Australia, Hong Kong and will open a franchise in Indonesia in April,”she said.
Apart from the original flavour of egg, crispy wheat flour and turnip, SisterS Crispy Popiah has diversified the filling to include prawn, crabstick, chicken and cheese.
They also offer toppings of a variety of sauteed onion chicken, sauteed mushrooms, sauteed minced beef and sauteed spicy squid to go in either their pandan or egg skin popiah.
The sisters now plan to create healthy popiah skins for consumers.
“Healthy eating is the new trend and we plan to produce healthy skins for our popiah,” said Stephanie.
Of their win, the sisters agreed that teamwork between siblings helped them achieve success.
“We also make it a point to speak to our customers to see how we can improve on our offerings and this enables us to see returning customers,” Stephanie added.
SisterS Crispy Popiah received 336 votes, beating 11 other popiah nominees to win the award via public nomination and voting on Metro Online Broadcast’s (MOB) website (www.mob.com.my).
The Star People’s Food Awards is a monthly contest that recognises the best street food in the Klang Valley.