Home-made pizzas serve up excitement


Team effort: Goh showing a pizza that he just removed from a wood-fired pizza oven at their house in George Town, Penang. (Bottom) Lee preparing a pizza with toppings. — CHAN BOON KAI/The Star

GEORGE TOWN: An elderly couple operates a home-based pizza business in Jalan Argyll, baking traditional wood-fired pizzas that are so popular that they often sell out days in advance.

Goh Lum Hin, 75, and Lee Peik Hup, 76, happily married for 48 years, transitioned from a decade-long stint operating a stall at a coffee shop in Macalister Road to establishing their wood-fired pizza business at home about five years ago.

Lee, affectionately referred to as Auntie Pizza by her customers, said they embarked on their business journey about 22 years ago after retiring from their careers upon reaching the age of 55.

“I used to work at a multinational electronics factory in Bayan Lepas while my husband was a car mechanic in the inner city.

“Our duties are shared equally. I am in charge of the toppings and rolling the ball of dough into the desired sizes, while he is in charge of cooking the pizzas in the brick oven that he had built himself,” she said in an interview on Wednesday.

Goh said he was taught by a colleague, who had a side business making pizzas, a few years before his retirement.

“I learnt the importance of meticulous fire control and strategic pizza shifting to ensure proper cooking without burning. A good pizza must also have that slightly charred crust.

“The wood used in my oven is sourced from mangrove trees, and I have a supplier who delivers it daily to my house,” he added.

Lee chimes in that they have 10 types of toppings and the bestsellers are the Hawaiian pizza and Cheese Lover’s pizza, where cheddar and mozzarella are freshly grated onto the home-made base and then baked.

“We do not make a lot of pizzas, up to 20 only in a day. We are doing this just to pass our time as my son and daughter are all grown up and they have lives of their own.

“My son works in Penang, but he does not stay with us, while my daughter is in the United States,” she said.

When The Star attempted to purchase two pizzas, the reporter was told that the popular treats had already been sold out.

Instead, the reporter was told to come back the next Monday for a chance to savour the wood-fired delights.

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