Business owner Kamaliah Osman came up with the idea of freeze-drying food after realising the need to store food for a long period while minimising waste.
It was during the height of the pandemic in 2021 when she discovered the solution which sparked her interest to start home-based business ‘Nyumin’ in 2023.
“Because most fresh ingredients and vegetables spoil too quickly. So, we needed to find a way to properly store food which is through freeze drying,” said Kamaliah, adding freeze drying is a process where water or moisture is removed from the fresh produce using a specialised machine.
Nyumin was born out of practicality as the housewife wanted to store food without heavily relying on freezers, picking, or sun drying.
Even though other methods were great for her, she needed to make sure that the food would still hold its nutrients. After several attempts and upon research, she finds freeze-drying is the ideal solution.
Prior to the launch of the business, the 36-year-old was only doing freeze-drying for her household.
She then thought of going beyond her home and noticed that there is no such business just yet in the local market.
“We wanted to store food for ourselves and when we reached our goals, we were more confident in the product and our ability with the machine. It was then we decided to share what we can do,” said the full-time entrepreneur.
Kamaliah and her family also believe that freeze-dried products have their own benefits, having a unique texture and flavour while containing 98 per cent of nutrients. It is a healthier alternative for people of any age, even for pets.
Moreover, another reason for the business was to also encourage and educate on food storage as well as to reduce food waste.
The name ‘Nyumin’ is a combination of the word ‘nyaman’ which means delicious with ‘Yamin’, her family name.
Currently, the brand offers freeze-dried locally grown Cavendish bananas, ice-cream (astronaut ice cream) and treats such as caramel puffs and Skittles.
Nyumin is operating online via its Instagram @nyumin.bn and they are working on a website for people to purchase. However, for now, orders can be made either via social media account or WhatsApp.
Occasionally, they have been joining pop-up events and one of them was the MSME Festival where they were able to branch out to the wider public.
“In the short span of when we started the business, it has been overwhelming. We honestly underestimated the support we would receive. This has been a great learning experience that will help us improve our sales in the future,” shared Kamaliah.
In the future, the business plans to offer more local fruits and vegetables as its freeze-dried products.
Moreover, they are also looking to offer freeze-drying services for people once they have more machines to work with.
Kamaliah never thought she would be on the entrepreneurial journey. She is grateful for taking the path and it has been an interesting one for her although having little experience in running a business.
“DARe has been awesome with the programmes that they offer which I joined in 2022. I recently graduated from the Academy of Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) with DARe, and they helped us with producing a proper business plan and pitching,” she said.
Being in a business, she added, it is important to know that asking for help is acceptable and keep pushing through.
To know more about freeze-drying food, find Nyumin on Instagram @nyumin.bn or simply head on there to order and support them and have a taste of their freeze-dried treats.
THE BRUNEIAN | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN