For sisters Estelle and Hannah Lam, household has at all times come first. “I deliberate numerous issues once I was pregnant, like once I would return to work. However as soon as my child was born, I felt like I wanted to dedicate my time to her, no less than for the primary few years,” says Estelle. After some time, she needed to re-enter the working world however discovering a job that was versatile in her area of examine — meals science and know-how — was virtually not possible.
It was round this time that her sister Hannah started planning her future. Together with her marriage ceremony across the nook and a busy job in medical science, Hannah had a couple of choices to make. “I noticed how [Estelle] taken care of her baby and thought, ‘How do I do that?’ I used to be questioning how I may deal with a child and nonetheless work in my firm. So, I began asking myself, ‘Ought to I’ve my very own enterprise?’ Possibly then I might have extra flexibility in caring for a toddler and dealing on the similar time,” she says.
Together with her wealth of data in diet, Estelle started exploring wholesome snack concepts for her daughter. When she experimented with dehydrated pineapple slices, inspiration struck. “It caught our consideration. I’m probably not a foodie, to be trustworthy, so for one thing to catch my consideration, it have to be very nice,” provides Hannah, and the concept for The Two Pineapples was born.
In 2017, the sisters started their analysis and improvement, perfecting the recipe and methodology for his or her dried pineapples with the overarching intention of encouraging a wholesome life-style. Their first check market was a bazaar at a global faculty and primarily based on the suggestions they obtained at this and subsequent occasions, they fine-tuned their merchandise and finalised their packaging. Final January, they launched their model and launched their merchandise.
The sisters then branched out organically into different fruits. Initially, they needed to search out pineapple farmers, check out the fruits and actively get extra contacts. They actually put themselves on the market and other people started approaching them, recommending farmers who grew different fruits of top quality. “Everyone knows that contemporary remains to be the very best … however our intention is to retain as a lot of the dietary worth as doable,” says Estelle. Their present vary contains dried dragon fruit, star fruit, lemon and guava.
One among their fundamental struggles has been to make sure that their high quality is as much as scratch whereas coping with a number of variables which can be out of their management, together with the climate, harvest high quality, seasonality and. Nonetheless, sourcing contemporary fruits with constant high quality and discovering dependable farmers are solely a small fraction of the sisters’ workload.
The Two Pineapples has fairly an intensive manufacturing course of, with steps that differ barely in accordance with the kind of fruit. Within the case of their pineapples, there was numerous wastage initially. “We felt so dangerous about throwing away the pores and skin and peel, so we gave them to city farms to make use of as compost. Then, as our course of schedule started choosing up, we had no time to ship it. I began studying up and determined to make my very own enzyme, and I went for some lessons,” explains Estelle. By fermenting the skins, they created an enzyme that’s used to scrub the fruits and take away any residue of pesticides and filth. Any additional is given to city farmers.
After the enzyme remedy, they use baking soda or salt rub to additional clear the fruits. “That is significantly for star fruit, lemons and guavas. It’s important to be a bit extra thorough with these since you devour their pores and skin,” says Estelle. Your complete cleansing course of can take up to some days. For pineapples, there may be a further step. “We take away the half that causes numbness in your tongue. We will’t take away it 100% because it’s onerous to see all of it, however we attempt our best,” she provides.
Lastly, they get to dehydrating. Beginning out with a family dehydrator was high-quality when the sisters have been testing out the market, however they wanted one thing extra when demand elevated. “Now, now we have a chrome steel industrial-grade dehydrator. Having it meant that we needed to do our R&D once more as a result of it was on a unique scale. That took us three months,” says Estelle. Whereas some may select to crank up the warmth for a speedy product, Estelle and Hannah opted for an extended heating interval to make sure that the fruits retain as a lot vitamins as doable.
The Two Pineapples’ scrumptious snacks don’t have any preservatives, added sugar or chemical compounds, making them child-friendly. To encourage higher snacking habits and consuming moderately, the dehydrated fruits have a chewy texture to stop one from over-munching, like one would with chips.
The sisters arrange an organization known as RiAi — a mix of their dad and mom’ names as a tribute to their uncompromising help — as an umbrella for his or her ventures, together with The Two Pineapples. As they really feel strongly about supporting different native artisans, RiAi’s portfolio contains handcrafted soaps and physique scrubs.
After showcasing their wares at bazaars final 12 months, the sisters shifted their consideration to occasions, pushing their treats as tasty door items or splendid additions to the meals desk.
“When individuals go to Thailand, others advise them to purchase dried fruits, however what about Malaysia? We have now an abundance of fruits as nicely,” says Hannah. “We hope that someday, individuals will say, ‘I went to Malaysia and I purchased their pineapples’,” Estelle chips in. Sooner or later, they hope to develop their snack vary to incorporate greens — a palatable solution to get extra greens in a single’s food plan.
This text first appeared on Oct 28, 2019 in The Edge Malaysia.
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