Corn, known around the world for its delicious taste and rich nutritional benefits, has long been a favourite food staple. It’s a versatile ingredient, equally suited to main courses or tasty snacks.

In Cambodia, corn has a special place in the culinary tradition, particularly in the form of homemade products.

In the lively town of Battambang, one couple’s passion for corn has led to a thriving business.

Nuth Sophors, the dedicated owner of Sepakam Sreymom or Sreymom Grains Processing Handicraft, has seen her products reach the shelves of top supermarkets across Phnom Penh and six provinces.

She kindly shares her remarkable journey, saying: “We navigated through challenges, and amid the Covid-19 pandemic, we pivoted towards this venture, yielding substantial progress in 2022 and 2023”.

Starting out eight years ago with a modest investment, Sophors and her husband began packaging their corn products in simple plastic bags, secured with rubber bands.

Yet, their strict attention to quality and hygiene soon earned them a prestigious place in the market.

Their story is one of humble beginnings, as they started as ordinary workers without any prior experience in business or craft. Motivated by family responsibilities, they bravely ventured into online corn commerce, and their dedication paid off.

Today, Srey Mom Grain Processing offers an array of products, including kimchi, savoury fried shrimp and, notably, roasted corn with garlic and spicy flavours. Their products are widely available at stores like Chip Mong Supermarket in Phnom Penh, CP Fresh Mart, and various marts in six provinces, as well as online and in local cafes.

Sophors emphasises their commitment to sourcing local raw materials from Samlot and Moung Russey districts. This decision not only ensures quality but supports local farmers. The production volume varies, averaging between 20 to 30 kilograms daily, depending on customer orders.

In speaking about the production process, Sophors highlights its efficiency, with both production and packaging completed within a single day without significant complexities.

The unique flavour of their popcorn, resulting from high-quality, locally sourced corn, offers a delightful blend of taste and texture that sets it apart from competitors.

Pricing for “Srey Mom Grain Processing” popcorn ranges from 4,000 riel ($1) for 100g to 15,000 Riel for 400g. Its popularity often leads to swift sell-outs, a testament to the product’s appeal.

Looking ahead, Sophors has grand plans for her business. Her dream is to grow from a family business into an enterprise serving both local and international markets.

Despite challenges, such as limited capital, her determination to make the most of available resources remains unwavering. With such commitment and innovation, the future of “Srey Mom Grain Processing” looks promising indeed.

As a champion of Cambodian ingenuity, Sophors is passionate about promoting local products. She calls on supermarkets and malls to showcase Cambodian goods, urging them to adopt flexible conditions that favour family and small handicraft businesses. This would open up wider market access for local products.

At the same time, Sophors encourages her fellow Cambodians to support and promote local products. She emphasises the vital role they play in driving economic growth within the nation.

Her voice is an inspiring reminder that embracing and celebrating local craftsmanship is not just a matter of pride, but a tangible way to contribute to Cambodia’s flourishing future.