Where food and art meet, Grazebylemonpopps specialises in combining different colours, textures and the most importantly, flavours into a feast-for-the-eyes spread.
Dilys Chai, the person behind the homegrown brand, created the business in collaboration with her other ventures, Roots and Rack & Brew.
While with Grazelemonpopps, she provides customised grazing tables, platters and boxes.
Inspired by food her whole life, at home with her mother’s amazing cooking and opening her own food and beverages businesses, being in the industry for over six years now this has caused her love for food to grow increasingly each day.
“My interest and passion for food has grown so much over the past few years. I am very blessed to have a family who have been operating in the food trade for many decades. My family has been my biggest support system in all this growth,” said the entrepreneur.
Nowadays, people often associate food with beauty as they post them on social media before eating them and that is what the food enthusiast is doing with Grazebylemonpopps, exploring creativity in displaying food and translating it into visually and artfully arranged grazing tables.
“Food art and styling has always been a hobby but I am so glad that it has turned into a growing business, Grazebylemonppopps! I am so happy to share what I love doing with everyone. The best part of this job is to share joy and excitement through my work,” said Chai.
Grazebylemonpopps started back in 2017 and back then there was no other businesses doing what they did and fortunately, this was plus as customers responded well to the grazings they did and from then on they gained supporters as well as created a niche in the market and to see others follow in their footsteps is rewarding to them.
As the entrepreneur says, people eat with their eyes so the grazing has to be visually pleasing which is why it has allowed her to play with colours, textures, flavours, styling and height which makes each table unique and no two grazing tables are ever the same.
Grazing tables has its own theme as clients are able to customise and get their tables curated depending on their event, dietary, theme and more and with grazed tables it is an exciting way of serving food and bringing people together around the table and capturing the moments and making it Instaworthy.
“Grazing platters and tables are a great way for people to come together and bond over food. At home, growing up we always had family gatherings and there was always a lot of food. I will find myself redecorating and plating the food, ” she said.
People bond over food and what better way than to make it themed and fun and this was what inspired Dilys as she grew up with family gatherings with lots of food that were decorated on platters and tables and as her parents say, ‘a family eats together, stays together’.
“Food is tied to tradition; food is tied to memories – it binds relationships, cultures, countries and families!” said the food stylist.
Grazebylemonpopps cater and customises to almost any taste, themes and events such as festive themes for Chinese New Year, Hari Raya, Christmas and more, baby shower and gender reveal themed, bridal showers, birthdays, vegetarian themed to Italian themed and more themes that customers can imagine.
The business has gained many loyal supporters over the years and they are happy that even with the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, there were many returning customers which has helped the business grow each day and due to the pandemic, Dilys was able to open up more orders for grazing boxes.
“This period of time has allowed me to be more creative in the marketing and exploring new products – focusing solely on the grazing boxes during these times. We are always looking for new things to bring to the customers, and we are always creating and adapting to the changes. Always looking to improve and innovate the product and business,” said the business owner.
Gaining attention from the people in Brunei, most of her clients knew her business from word of mouth and social media especially Instagram which is how her marketing is usually done and from there friends and family of clients also became her clients.
The future plans for this business is always in discussion as the entrepreneur continues to focus on offering their customised grazing boxes with launching more varieties of grazing boxes in mind and with the current situation, they hope to be able to continue grazing tables again the soonest.
Being in the business for years and able to open up several businesses, Dilys is grateful for what she is able to achieve and believes that it is important to focus on something that she has passion on as being an entrepreneur has it ups and downs with the only way to overcome it is the passion for work it self.
According to the entrepreneur, starting the business requires great strength, hard work, patience, consistency and dedication for success and they would need to learn to be flexible as unexpected situations come at unsuspected times and it’s always best to try and have a business plan from plan A to B and so on.
“One of the greatest lessons I have learned as an entrepreneur is you have to be willing to fail to succeed. Even the best laid and plan and best intentions sometimes don’t make the cut. there will be lots of ups and downs and you will definitely have times where you feel disheartened – just remember to keep pushing through!” said Dilys Chai.
The entrepreneur had also mentioned that perseverance and determination are the key to a good support system which was how she was able to build what she has, being surrounded with likeminded people and people who support her.
One thing that Dilys would like to share is that it is important to remember to focus on one’s business journey and don’t measure their success against someone else’s.
See the grazing tables, boxes and plates that Dilys Chai has created and head over to their Instagram @grazebylemonpopps to order one for a future event and bring friends and family together with a grazed table.
This article was first published on 25 December 2021 in our Weekly E-Paper issue 173 | More stories here
THE BRUNEIAN | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN