IT STARTED as a hobby between three friends, but to their surprise, Heartland Foods has exceeded their expectations.
Formed in response to Karina Bahrin, Jacky How and Sarah Malik’s love of food, Heartland Foods aims to promote wholesome eating.
They first made a name for themselves by supplying preservative-free sausages from Sailor’s Gourmet Sausages to the Klang Valley.
“Two of us are based in Langkawi and we found the sausages there tasted good but were not available in Kuala Lumpur.
“We brought some home and many asked us for more.
“We decided to get together and see if it was viable to start it in KL,” said co-founder Sarah during the opening of Heartland Foods’ first outlet in Taman Desa.
They started small by selling hotdogs and sausages at a stall during the Big Bad Wolf book sale in The Mines, Seri Kembangan.
“We realised that people were receptive as after the sale, we sold surplus stock to friends and family who kept asking us when new stock would arrive,” she said.
The success of their first event gave them the confidence to venture into distribution.
“We started off with food markets in Great Eastern Mall and Bangsar Shopping Centre.
“The response was really good and we continued to do more markets until we were approached by someone involved in the Malaysia International Gastronomy Festival (MIGF) who asked us to participate.
“In order to take part in MIGF, we had to form a company, hence Heartlands Food was born,” said Sarah.
Currently, Heartland Foods supplies frozen sausages to selected Cold Storage stores, Jasons Food Hall, Village Grocer as well as a number of restaurants such as The Sticky Wicket, Jibby & Co and Yellow Brick Road.
“The sausages provided by Heartland Foods use pure meat which is just right for our specifications,” said The Sticky Wicket’s executive chef S. Izhan Hassan.
He added that initially, they were conservative when ordering the sausages but ran out within days due to high demand.
Heartland Foods is in the midst of growing its portfolio of products from artisanal producers and are always open to forming new partnerships.
“I don’t see us becoming a big supplier because we stand by our products.
“We like to offer personalised attention and that is how we see Heartlands growing,” said Sarah.
Among the cottage industries that can be found at Heartland Foods are Augustine’s Smokery & Fine Foods, Fruah fruitcakes, pesto by Rosana’s Homemade Food and Go-Grill-Lah.