2 Spicy-Loving Sisters Built A Chili Biz In S’pore
Chili is generally considered a staple spice in Singapore.
From chili crab to Hainan chicken rice, chili always seems to make an appearance, whether featured or on the side.
Singaporeans who have lived abroad for some time often fondly remember taking bottles of red condiment with them to baste their meals.
Unsurprisingly, that’s exactly what the founders of MOFO Chile – Monica Josephine and Steffi Elvira (Faith) – did when they went to college abroad.
According to Monica, the duo were frying their own chili and transporting at least 5kg of that fried chili to the UK.
Their chili has become very well known and loved by their friends.
After moving to Singapore, they continued to produce chili for their friends, who persuaded them to sell it to the mass market.
The spicy sisters
The name MOFO was derived from the merging of the first two letters of the names (Monica and Faith) together, which also led to them being referred to as the “Chilli Sisters”.
Monica told Vulcan Post that they are from Manado, a town in Indonesia well known for its spicy dishes and high chilli consumption.
In Singapore, Faith started cooking fried peppers inspired by those they could find in their hometown and perfected the MOFO Chili recipe.
Before starting MOFO Chile, Monica worked in corporate sales while Faith had a hospitality background.
Vegan, Halal and Keto Pepper
The sisters started by buying raw ingredients from a wet market near their home and cooked the peppers themselves.
Monica told Vulcan Post that their first batch of their homemade chili was sold at the Pasar Bella Farmer’s Market in 2013, where the response was overwhelming.
They later moved on to cooking in the central kitchens and partnered with companies to produce the peppers for them.
Today they have their own production kitchen and even a plantation in Indonesia from which they harvest their own raw materials for the production of chilli.
According to Monica, MOFO Chili is versatile and suitable for baking, marinating and dipping – all without changing the taste of each dish.
Even though Singaporeans know sambal belachan, it is actually not vegetarian. On the other hand, MOFO Chili is vegan, halal, and keto-friendly.
There are also no preservatives, stabilizers or additives inside the peppers. What consumers get is purely a mixture of peppers, onion, oil, and salt.
When asked about the process of creating these fiery concoctions, Monica said that “the secret is in controlling the fire and the ratio of ingredients in the chili”.
A quick read of the MOFO Chili online store shows that their peppers are of different spice levels, starting at level five. Dodge the bullet at level ten Final destination.
In recent years, the sisters have also been invited by the Singapore Youth Council to host a spicy contest, as well as host various events like MOFO Omakase Pop-Up.
The duo sell hundreds of bottles of chili each month.
An even spicier “ final destination ”
the Final destination is currently the spiciest of the MOFO Chili product line.
However, Monica said the Chilli Sisters are planning to release an even spicier version of the Final destination, as well as other product lines like instant noodles and garlic peppers.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, the sisters also revamped the MOFO Chile website to allow people around the world to buy their chillies.
Thus, this product line which is proudly “born and raised” in Singapore is making its way around the world.
Reaching out to international customers is also something the sisters plan to do, as well as expanding their plantation to support the growth of their product lines.
MOFO Chile has also established business-to-business partnerships with restaurants to enable more Singaporeans to taste the fiery chili.
Featured Image Credit: MOFO Chili, The Honeycombers
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