Photo: Bernama

IPOH: A friendship spanning over 20 years between three people of different races went a notch higher a year ago when they teamed up to start a business selling pastes.

As much as they loved each other, Carolyn Tan Ai Ling, 43, her husband S Govin, 46, and their buddy Romie Akmali Mohd Nor, 44, also loved food and started a company, SF Samudra Venture, to sell pastes under the brand ‘SnugFood’.

According to company director Romie Akmali, their venture started last year with four products — the sambal paste for nasi lemak, the satay sauce, the ‘Penang Hokkien Mee’ paste and the ‘Penang Satay’ paste for marinating beef or chicken.

Romie Akmali who is also a pilot with Malindo Air said the products were the brainchild of Carolyn, the founder of SnugFood who now lives in Penang, as she felt there was a need for the pastes which would not only save time but also had the taste of homecooked food.

“Carolyn had to look after the business while at the same time, care for her family, which are both demanding of any career women, so the three of us came up with ways to prepare the paste which could be used for all sorts of recipes,” he told Bernama here recently.

Romie Akmali said each SnugFood could be used in several dishes. For instance, the nasi lemak sambal could be used to cook squid and asam pedas, while the ‘Penang Hokkien Mee’ could be used to cook fried rice.

He added that SnugFood products have halal certification from the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim) as well as the Health Ministry’s Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points.

On the choice of brand, Romie Akmali said the word ‘Snug’ implies ‘comfort’ while the Malay term ‘senak’ implies satisfaction.

He added that SnugFood will be looking at both local and international markets, and to date, is already being sold in 30 outlets in Singapore, with a company in Bahrain interested to import it into the Middle East.

Romie Akmali said the three friends started the business using their savings, and at one point, almost gave up but they persevered.

He said the SnugFood food pastes can be obtained on e-commerce platforms such as Shopee, Lazada and at prices starting from RM15 or by contacting him at telephone number 012-7749595. – Bernama