Famous lemang seller in Melaka living day-to-day as interstate travel ban hits business hard

Tan Mei Zi
·3-min read
The interstate travel ban has cut Dino off from her usual customers and she was forced to close the stall temporarily. — Picture courtesy of Dino
The interstate travel ban has cut Dino off from her usual customers and she was forced to close the stall temporarily. — Picture courtesy of Dino

* This story is brought to you by Maybank Sama-Sama Lokal.

MELAKA, Mar 8 — Dinamarriana Nordin is doing all she can to keep the family business afloat amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.

The 34-year-old, known affectionately as Dino, runs a famous roadside stall selling lemang, rendang, dodol and other local delicacies in Taboh Naning, Melaka.

However, the business has ground to a halt ever since the first movement control order (MCO) came into effect.

Once a popular destination with tourists from all over the country, the stall has grown quiet due to the interstate travel ban.

“We couldn’t open the stall because most of our customers are from out of town, like Kuala Lumpur, Johor and so on.

“Our customers were mostly tourists. When I opened the stall during the MCO, I had to throw away all of our unsold lemang because no one came,” Dino told Malay Mail.

The entrepreneur added that she used to sell around 20 bamboo sticks worth of lemang every week before the MCO kicked in.

Dino took over the business after her father passed away and has been keeping his legacy alive since then. — Picture courtesy of Dino
Dino took over the business after her father passed away and has been keeping his legacy alive since then. — Picture courtesy of Dino

Despite the hardships, Dino, who runs the stall with the help of her mother and siblings, is set on keeping the business going as it was passed down to her from her late father.

She has been helming the stall for the past 11 years and the lemang recipe is a family legacy she inherited from her father as well.

“Before my father passed away, he encouraged me to take on the business so I started learning from him bit by bit.

“He went from cooking lemang for our family to starting a roadside stall.”

“From there, customers heard about us through word of mouth.”

Dino’s lemang recipe sets itself apart from others thanks to a few special ingredients.

Santan kelapa tua gives a rich texture to the glutinous rice which is cooked in banana leaves and bamboo stalks that are freshly harvested by Dino and her family each morning.

Dino’s mother and siblings often pitch in to help with the cooking and preparation of the lemang. — Picture courtesy of Dino
Dino’s mother and siblings often pitch in to help with the cooking and preparation of the lemang. — Picture courtesy of Dino

Dino previously tried to advertise her business on Facebook and WhatsApp but her effort, unfortunately, fell through.

She also faced difficulties accessing delivery services as her business is located in a rural area.

However, Dino is hoping for a lucky break now that she’s joined Maybank’s Sama-Sama Lokal platform.

The platform aims to give a boost to Dino’s business by offering to transport her food from Taboh Naning to Kuala Lumpur and getting riders to dispatch orders in the Klang Valley from there.

Dino said she is thankful to get on board with Sama-Sama Lokal and hopes that this will turn the tide for her humble lemang stall.

“Every time I have to throw away food or ingredients, it causes a great loss for the business.

“With Sama-sama Lokal, I can plan how much I need to make based on the orders that come in.

“I now have income coming in every day and I don’t have to waste my ingredients anymore,” said Dino.

Maybank’s Sama-Sama Lokal has given merchants like Dino a ray of hope during this tough period. — Picture courtesy of Dino
Maybank’s Sama-Sama Lokal has given merchants like Dino a ray of hope during this tough period. — Picture courtesy of Dino

Maybank’s Sama-Sama Lokal aims to help local hawkers, grocers and businesses survive the pandemic by promoting them on this online platform.

By assisting less tech-savvy merchants and equipping them with the tools they need to stay afloat, Maybank hopes to keep local businesses thriving throughout the Covid-19 crisis.

If you’re interested in purchasing from Dino, you can pre-order her food on Sama-Sama Lokal from Monday to Friday and deliveries will be made on the following Monday.

Besides lemang, customers can also get Dino’s chicken rendang, beef rendang, dodol, and wajik delivered to them with a delivery fee of RM5 only.

Prices range from RM15 to RM60 and orders can be placed from now until March 29, 2021.

To view Dino’s full menu and place an order, visit her page on Sama-Sama Lokal here.

For more information on the Sama-Sama Lokal initiative, click here.

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