Low in profits, high in gladness

DESPITE the recent increase in sugar and petrol prices, a kuih seller can still afford to sell her delicacies at what has been described as dirt cheap prices — 10 sen per piece.

And Fauziah Ismail has been maintaining that price, probably the lowest in the northern region, for the last 17 years.

The 35-year-old housewife-turned-kuih seller admits her profit margin is extremely low but she could still earn between RM60 and RM80 a day, selling up to 4,500 pieces daily during the Ramadan month.

She also feels it is her social responsibility to sell at the cheapest price possible, especially to those who could not afford to have a decent meal.

“When a little child or an elderly folk comes to my stall with only 10 sen or 20 sen in their pockets, I am glad he or she can have something to eat,” she said at her stall on Jalan Kilang Lama.

Fondly called ‘Kak Gee Kuih 10 sen’ by her customers, she has been selling her kuih under a tree next to the Kulim Mall since 1993.

Among the 10 sen kuih offered are doughnuts, curry puffs, ketayap, samosa, masalodeh, baby burger, onde-onde, lepat liat, tepung bungkus, lopes pulut, cocoa cake, banana cake, buah melaka, bengkang lenga, baby keria and abuk-abuk.

Fauziah said her bite-size kuih was particularly suitable for children to avoid wastage.

On normal days, she sells about 2,000 pieces comprising 15 to 20 types daily.

But during Ramadan, both her sales and varieties shoot up to 30 types and 4,500 a day at her stall at the Ramadan bazaar nearby, which opens from 2pm to 8pm daily.

Fauziah said she ventured into the business to earn extra income after noticing that her neighbour could make additional money selling economy rice.

“So, I’ve been selling kuih since then,” said the mother of three school-going children aged 16, 13, and seven.

Fauziah said she would wake up as early as 5am and start preparations to make the kuih, adding she had turned down bulk orders of up to 6,000 as she could not meet the demand.

She is also looking for someone to sponsor a keropok lekor machine as it is tiring for her to roll the batter manually into long strips before cutting and frying them.

A customer, Tengku Nurul Asyikin Tengku Shamsuddin, 26, said she heard from her office colleagues about the 10 sen kuih and wanted to try them.

“I think it is dirt cheap and I am amazed by the operator’s ability to cover her costs,” she said.

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