The right recipe for sweet success

Rokiah Mahmud

“I never show my sadness or cry in front of my children. I want them to see me as a strong person.”

These were the words of Hajah Timidah binti Haji Timbang, a single mother who makes and sells traditional Malay kueh (cakes and pastries) for a living.

“Whenever I feel like giving in, I raise my hands and pray to Allah the Almighty to assist and guide me in leading our daily life,” said the 60-year-old, who has a warm heart and whose face always draws a happy smile.

Juggling her life as an entrepreneur while at the same time looking after her children, she has always believed that kindness, positive thinking, being happy and living a healthy life will ease her path to success.

Being a single mother does not hinder Hajah Timidah from running her business, and she believes that her efforts in making and selling traditional kueh has indeed brought sufficient income to her in raising her children.

Hajah Timidah, affectionately called ‘Babu Penyaram’ by her customers. PHOTO: ROKIAH MAHMUD

She is also admired by most of her customers who compliment her kueh, with many returning and becoming regular buyers.

Sharing her journey of success in life and in business, Hajah Timidah said that what she has achieved today demanded a lot of tears, hard work, persistence as well as perseverance. No one could achieve success just in one day, and her road to the success began almost 20 years ago.

Recalling all her memories from over the years, she said the experience has made her what she is today – a positive person who believes that there is room for success and happiness.

Hajah Timidah has a stall at Pasar Pelbagai Barangan Gadong – a popular night market among the community for those looking for affordable, delicious and various options of food, drinks and other products. Among the traditional kueh that she sells are kelupis, kusoi, celurut, ardam and many more.

However, of all the kueh that she sells, her penyaram is the number one favourite among her customers. It is for this reason that she is called Babu Penyaram by most of her customers.

“In making penyaram, we need to maintain the taste of its originality. The taste has to be not too sweet not too bland, it needs to have a fluffy texture and be crispy on the side, especially when you eat the penyaram while it is still hot.”

“When customers are happy eating the penyaram I feel so blessed and it will surely remain in my memories. The feedback from customers is important for me so that I can keep on track in ensuring and maintaining the quality of what I make.”

Hajah Timidah focusses on the business not only to generate an income, but also to make the business a platform for those who want to find employment.

“This is the very least that I can do to help those who really want to find a job,” she said, adding that she feels satisfied if her local workers give total commitment while working with her.

Aside from selling her kueh at Pasar Pelbagai Barangan Gadong, she also provides an online booking service for her customers.

“Of course when preparing the food, I make sure cleanliness is the main priority, especially the ingredients, fresh products, utensils and surroundings as well as self-hygiene.”

“This is important so that customers will put their trust in you,” she said. “If you are not careful about these aspects, customers will surely not order your products.”

Hajah Timidah noted that challenges are all part of the world of business, but affirmed that she always maintains a positive mindset.

“We need to be patient and do not give up easily. As long as you maintain the quality of your product and hygiene, Insya Allah, there will always be rezeki (sustenance) for you,” she added.