Judy Wee has always had a passion for cooking. Before immigrating to California, she enjoyed making food for others at home in Singapore.
When she started her career over again in the States, Judy found herself working in healthcare rather than with food.
But even in healthcare, her cooking skills found the spotlight. Jealous of her delicious home-cooked lunches, many of Judy’s coworkers started asking her to cook for them. Judy obliged, happy to return to her passion by making lunches for fellow employees.
And with that small meal prep service, Mama Judy Cooking was born.
Mama Judy & Malaya Tea Room
Of course, when the pandemic hit, cooking others’ lunches was no longer safe or possible.
Fortunately, Judy found the perfect pivot. Her friend, the owner of the Malaya Tea Room in Alameda, was selling Afternoon Tea in a Box and offered to include Judy’s curry puffs in the to-go boxes. Much like Indian samosas, Malaysian curry puffs are savory fried pastries filled with curry chicken or sardines, and potatoes, peas, and spices.
This small business partnership helped Judy connect with the local Malaysian and Singaporean communities. With one taste of her cooking, the Tea Room customers were hooked.
From that traction, Judy built a loyal Whatsapp group following and offered a small catering menu throughout the pandemic. People soon began to recognize the Mama Judy brand on Facebook and Instagram, too.
Mama Judy Cooking on Airmart
Mama Judy Cooking finally got an official platform when Judy discovered Airmart.
Although she’s admittedly “not good with technology,” Judy was able to set up a store with the Airmart team’s expert guidance.
“It’s easy once you get to know the platform,” Judy said. “Everything is nicely organized.”
Airmart saves Judy a lot of time because she no longer has to communicate back and forth with customers to confirm payment. She loves that she can easily switch up her menu and open her store for a limited time for pop-ups and group buys.
Now that Judy has returned to work, she only cooks on weekends. Mama Judy Cooking has become a flexible side business that allows her to share her passion with the community.
Customers return again and again for authentic, home-cooked Singaporean hawker-style food and snacks.
These days, Judy sees a lot more competition for home chefs. Her advice to anyone looking to sell their own homecooked food is to make really good food and be passionate about it. “Don’t sell your food just to make a profit.”