Food seller maintains low prices despite rising cost of goods

KUALA TERENGGANU: The hike in goods prices has forced many traders to increase their prices.

But not Sinah Sulaiman, or fondly known by many as Cik Nah.

The woman in her 60s has been selling her “teh o” for 30 sen for almost 30 years.

“When I first started my business, I sold my teh o for 20 sen, but long ago I had no choice but to increase it to 30 sen.

“Drinks with milk were sold for 60 sen then, but I increased it to 80 sen.

“But that’s all. I never increase the prices and so far I have no plans to do so in the future,” she said when met at her shop – Kedai Makan Sinah at Kampung Dato’ Amar, here.

Cik Nah said she used to prepare all the food in her stall but due to her old age, she’s now selling food prepared by others.

Her stall is always packed with locals and tourists.

They would be spoiled by choices from nasi lemak, nasi dagang, nasi kerabu, nasi minyak, nasi kapit (nasi impit) to over 10 various traditional kuih muih.

Manning the cash register on a daily basis at her breakfast stall, Cik Nah is always seen giving discounts to her customers and she is turning a blind eye to inflation and rising cost of goods.

Asked how she managed to keep her prices low, Cik Nah said she would buy raw materials and others in bulk.

“I do my business while giving charity. That is my motto.

“What I have is enough. I can pay my workers and I have some for me. It’s enough,” she said, adding that she has 10 workers on normal days and an additional three on weekends.

Being able to keep her prices low is not the only fascinating thing about Cik Nah, who admitted that she’s a workaholic.

She said her stall is open everyday except during the fasting month, Hari Raya Aidiladha and Aidilfitri.

“I open everyday and don’t follow others because if my customers come by and see my shop closed a few times, they won’t be coming again.

“I’m not tired at all because I am fulfilling my late husband’s mandate; he once told me that ‘if I want to complain, then I should not work’.

“So, I work hard and so far I am healthy and when I get older, I will pass the responsibility to my son,” she said, adding that her children have always helped her in managing the stall.