The decision to sell lok lok was rather spur-of-the-moment. One night, the childhood friends were commiserating — over lok lok, of course — about not being able to travel to JB for the street snack, so they decided to start their own stall.
It’s a daring move considering they have no prior work or F&B experience. In fact, the girls, who run their own Instagram-based stores hawking stuff from food to beauty products, hardly even cook.
“We knew nothing about starting a business. [We don’t get a lot of foot traffic here but] my dad knows the owner of this kopitiam and we got a good rental rate, so I don’t mind starting out here. And the other vendors have been really helpful,” shares Phyllis.
She continues: “Initially, we thought food prep would be easy because we don’t have to cook or marinate the raw ingredients beforehand. But we have so many things to skewer and, even then, that takes skill. We keep poking ourselves in the fingers.”
Fortunately, she has her boyfriend, former Campus Superstar finalist and Night Owl Cinematics host Rao Zijie, to help out and he also doubles up as their “marketing manager”.
Thanks to their social media reach, they have had quite a good walk-in crowd and business has been better-than-expected. Orders of a few hundred sticks are not uncommon, says Phyllis, and sometimes they can barely cope with the dinner rush: “There are only the two of us running the stall. [Jueying] will cook and I take care of everything else, so sometimes we have no time to replenish the food in chiller. We have to tell customers to give us 30 minutes to prepare and defrost some of the frozen food.”