Maxi Lim, 34, is a familiar face in both the independent and commercial scene.
The local actor has directed six feature films and countless productions ranging from music videos, short films, television series, television series and variety shows; and is probably best known for his role in the original Singaporean film series Ah boys to men.
Although the Temasek Polytechnic graduate majored in interactive media design, he was always interested in entrepreneurship and first dove into the business world as a teenager. At 18, Maxi co-founded a fashion brand that was funded with S $ 50,000.
This experience propelled him into the business world, and early this year he launched EATMYLJ, a brand of fried chili snacks.
Singapore’s first fried chili snack
EATMYLJ is the very first fried Singapore chili snack that is locally produced and is incredibly addictive and delicious.
The motivation behind starting EATMYLJ started when Maxi was approached by her old friend, Marcus Lee.
He wanted to distribute Thai chili snacks and was looking to hire Maxi to help promote the brand. This partnership slowly turned into a business relationship.
“As I’m always on the lookout for a worthwhile startup, I counter-proposed that we should be business partners instead,” Maxi said.
However, after a year of planning, the duo decided to ditch the idea of importing snacks from Thailand. Instead, Marcus came up with the idea of “recreating” the snacks with his own recipe using a different variety of chili.
“What we have right now is an original product,” Maxi explained.
According to the brand’s website, EATMYLJ is Singapore’s very first fried chili snack.
At the initial launch, the duo sold their products on a weekly basis and within an hour everything was sold out. The best record was three minutes.
Customers always looked forward to the weekly product launch – some were even frustrated as they were already at the checkout, but failed to purchase the product.
“We ultimately continued to stock our snacks at all times instead of throwing them out every week or every two weeks,” Maxi said.
A few months later, they decided to expand their product portfolio.
EATMYLJ now has three varieties: original, chicken skin and lotus root. The original and lotus root varieties are suitable for vegans. The brand also offers shipping services to Malaysia and Brunei.
It took a year to perfect the snack recipe
Having launched the product in early 2021, the duo are clear about the roles they each carry. Marcus is in charge of production, while Maxi takes care of all marketing and business.
But they both have a hand in creating the snacks. The process is relatively simple: the peppers are seeded, fried, and then seasoned with a secret recipe.
The duo took a whole year with the testing process as they had to get the right tools for the job, implement the right technique, and set the right temperature before they felt confident to launch their product.
To further improve their product, the duo is collaborating with Tong Garden and the Food Innovation & Resource Center (FIRC) at Singapore Polytechnic.
In June 2021, the duo took part in Asia’s Great Snack Challenge, where they were among the top 10 finalists. They are supervised by Tong Garden and the FIRC at the same time.
The duo will compete in the snack challenge final in December 2021.
When the going gets tough, the tough go
Challenges are what make start-ups stronger. Without challenges, business owners wouldn’t live up to the opportunity and exceed their own expectations.
Some of the challenges Marcus and Maxi face include having full-time jobs early in the startup journey.
“Juggling filming and business can be difficult for me. My shoot has been interrupted several times this year due to the heightened alert, so there is a lot of work to catch up, ”Maxi said.
Despite the challenges faced, the duo are delighted to announce that they are in the process of launching their physical store. More details on the announcement are coming soon.
EATMYLJ remains grateful for the overwhelming support it receives whenever products are restocked as it often sells out within 3 minutes, 10 minutes and 12 hours.
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Featured Image Credit: Maxi Lim via Facebook / EATMYLJ
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