No choice but to increase prices these days, says local kompia seller

Wong welcoming customers to her stall.

SIBU, Aug 13: A few food and drink stalls at the Central Market food court here have had no choice but to increase the price of their items, as stall owners say they are affected by the price hike in raw materials.

Kedai Bukit Assek ‘Ah Hua’ which is famous for its ‘kompia’ (Foochow bagel) is no exception.

“Previously, we have been paying RM1 for 4 pieces of empty kompia from the supplier, but now the same item is priced at RM2 for five pieces,” said its proprietor, Wong Jiu Leng when met.

She emphasised that raising up the price by a little bit is still acceptable, but she has to be careful or else she would lose her customers.

Her kompia stuffed with minced meat is now priced at RM1.20 a piece, with a price increase of 20 sen. Those that come with rojak sauce is now priced at 80 sen each while plain kompia is priced at 70 sen a piece.

Though she has revised the price of her beverages, they are however still affordable, she said.

Wong’s ABC Special beverage is now priced at RM4, Bubur Buang Panas at RM2, cendol at RM2, and rojak at RM6.

Wong, 57, explained that her father started the business at the roadside of Jalan Bukit Assek in 1963 when he was just 20-years-old.

“At a very young age of 13-years-old, he was already going round the town on a bicycle, selling cendol and rojak. With enough savings, he soon opened a small stall at the roadside in front of SRK St Rita. This is how people know him to this day,” said Wong.

Business was brisk then, until the patriarch was asked by the council to relocate to the central market. The stall is still keeping to its street-food concept where all items are prepared the old-fashioned way.

“Business here is just as good as the old place as we still have our regular customers. On weekend and public holidays, I even have to turn down those who want to ‘tapau’ (takeaway) as I can’t cope with manning the stall alone,” she said.

Her father, who is 82-years-old now, passed down the business to her six months ago.

“I have been helping him out for the past 12 years and have acquired all the food and drink preparation skills from him. As I am interested in food business, I was more than happy to take over from him,” she continued.

Asked on the future of the stall should she retire one day, she was quick to say that, “I will work for as long as I can. But I am not sure now who will continue with the business as my three adult children are working in Peninsular Malaysia now, and do not seem interested in this line.” — DayakDaily