KUALA PILAH : Being stranded in hometown with various restrictions following the enforcement of the Movement Control Order (MCO) since March 18 was no reason to be unproductive.
This was certainly the case with the six siblings who found a way to generate a side income by selling unique and delicious homemade pizza baked in a wood-fired oven, now popularly known as the ‘Jemapoh Pizza’.
“The idea of selling homemade pizza came about after some of us had been stranded in our hometown for far too long. Rather than sitting around doing nothing, we thought it would be better if we do something to earn a side income for our family,” said Raudhah Hassan, 35, the eldest of the siblings.
She said they began making the pizza and sell it to customers five days before Ramadan.
Surprisingly, Jemapoh Pizza became a hit not only among the locals but also on social media.
Elaborating on the recipe, Raudhah said it was created by his brother Hamzah, 33, who was an expert in making bread and pastries.
“Hamzah used to study in Jordan and he also learned to make bread with the locals there. So, all of us decided to appoint him as the head chef who is responsible to make the dough.
“Actually, the six of us have our own role. For example, I am responsible to monitor the business flow while the other four have been tasked to prepare the toppings, manage the baking, packaging and the delivery of the pizza to our customers,” she added.
Asked on why they chose to use the traditional method in preparing the pizza, Raudhah said it would make the pizza more unique and aromatic.
“By using the wood-fired oven, the pizza will have a smokey aroma and will not take long to cook. In one minute, the pizza is ready and we can take it out from the oven,” she said, adding that they could sell up to 350 pizza per day.
Raudhah said preparing Jemapoh Pizza was not a complicated job but required a lot of manpower to knead the dough by hand and taking the pizza out from the traditional oven.
In the earlier stage, she said the pizzas were sold only to the people in their village, but after it was featured in a Facebook group and became viral, people from Kuala Pilah and other districts began searching for it.
“I never thought our pizza would receive an overwhelming response from the public and that people would take all the trouble to come here from far just to have a taste of our pizza. Many of our customers said the pizza is super soft and scrumptious.
“At present, we only produce one type of pizza with toppings comprise a mixture of capsicum, tomato, pineapple, onion, chicken sausage and cheese, such as cheddar and mozzarella, which is sold at RM15 each,” she said.
Following the overwhelming response from the customers, Raudhah did not rule out the possibility of continuing the business even after the MCO ends.
By Nurfardlina Izzati Moktar – BERNAMA