Here’s A Bakery That’s On A Definite Roll.

by KT Leong

With Merdeka Day 2023 coming up and the school holidays upon us, there’s no shortage of activities to be had over these next few days. But if you want something of an eye opener, you might consider joining in on some corporate visits that Junior Chambers International (JCI) IPOH are organising.

Ipoh Echo sat in on today’s visit to JJ Roll, the swiss roll specialist whose name should be familiar to many in Ipoh. That said, if you’re curious as to the taste of JJ Roll’s products, be sure to read to the end of this article.

In any case, this corporate visit proved to be quite an unexpected experience. Sitting down with JJ Roll’s founder, Jennifer Liau Ai Shia, she shared her story with the participants of the corporate visit.

To begin with, she gave her heartfelt gratitude to all her staff, without whom JJ Roll would not survive. She emphasised how the staff were the backbone and how they’ve gone above and beyond for the business, such as staying till the wee hours of the night. She also thanked her business partner, Mr. Lim and the customers who continually support them. Yes, even with any criticisms the customers may have, so that they could learn and improve from the feedback.

A cancer survivor, Jennifer nonetheless dedicated herself to charitable causes. But charity isn’t cheap and you need to raise funds for it on a regular basis. It was then that she encountered Mr. Lim Say Ban, who would go on to be her partner in what would result in JJ Roll.

The partnership began small with Lim, a baker with 30 years of experience providing the recipes and the home made swiss rolls, and Jennifer providing the funds and marketing. And things just rolled on from there.

This wasn’t the typical entrepreneurial story of starts and stops with dramatic risk taking moves that cause the company to sink or swim. When asked about the challenges faced over the years, Jennifer simply states that they just did their best, stayed consistent and everything just grew and evolved naturally.

This also wasn’t the typical entrepreneurial story of chasing down the almighty ringgit.

JJ Roll’s brand is widely known in Ipoh, so you would expect them to have branches all over town, perhaps even going into Penang or KL, but Jennifer states that they already have their hands full with their current store. From the very beginning, Mr. Lim’s concept and idea to set them apart from competitors was to focus on healthy food. Which may sound like a generic concept now, but back in 2007 when they first rolled out, it was a pretty novel concept. And they have stuck with that concept to this day with their continued use of fresh fruits and ingredients, no preservatives and a low sugar content to their products.

But this means that in order to maintain the quality of their products and stay true to their concept, they won’t compromise quality for quantity. Yes, they could convert their operations into a factory style one, but that would affect the taste and preventing their ingredients from going bad in just 3 days would necessitate the use of preservatives. Jennifer would maintain quality, rather than go for quantity, even if it means not scrambling for every last sen.

And that’s the big revelation with JJ Roll. It would be naive to think that profits aren’t important to them, because how can anyone survive without profits? But surprisingly, it isn’t the be all and end all for them. It’s necessary to earn a profit to pay the staff, maintain the company overheads and contribute to the many charities that both Jennifer and Mr. Lim are so passionate about; but it’s not the all consuming driving force for them.

That said, don’t think that this isn’t a growing business, as the new generation are going to take JJ Roll further than ever before. We’ll keep readers updated as things progress.

In the end, this was a fascinating look into a business operation that participants of the corporate visit may have found to be quite enlightening. On top of the goodies that they received for participating, they got to hear an entrepreneurial story that’s out of the ordinary and hopefully, could be adapted for their own use.

JCI Ipoh still has 2 more corporate visits tomorrow, on August 27. Contact Local President Wiliam Hong @ 010-5042016 for more info.

  1. Title : Corporate visit 权记饼家 Qunkee Biscuit & Bakery
    Time : 10am
    Date : 27/8/2023
    Fee : Whole day event Rm30 ( JCI member rm10 )

  1. Title : Cancer survivor sharing talk
    Time : 2pm
    Date : 27/8/2023
    Fee : Whole day event Rm30 ( JCI member rm10 )

Now, for those of you curious about the food available at JJ Roll, Ipoh Echo got to sample a couple of their swiss rolls and one of their ice creams. And these, like this corporate visit, were an experience. The swiss rolls are NOT sweet, but highly flavourful. They’re not like other swiss rolls that depend on the sweetness and artificial flavouring of the cream. In fact, the cream’s pretty much there to just provide a buttery texture, as all the tastes come from the cake itself. You can really taste the freshness, despite having just come out of the fridge. These rolls are absolutely perfect for those who are not fans of sugar.

As for the ice cream, we had the durian flavour and it was actually shocking. Like the swiss rolls, it actually wasn’t sweet! An ice cream that’s not sweet? What kind of blasphemy was this? But it’s so gosh-darn delicious anyway.

The food at JJ Roll truly have the essence of their flavouring. You can tell that Mdm. Jennifer Liau wasn’t kidding when she said they valued freshness, healthiness and quality.

JJ Roll Sdn Bhd (1045587-V)
Address: 127, Jalan Bharu Off Jln, Raja Permaisuri Bainun, 30250, Ipoh, Perak
Email: or
Phone: 016-5515796, 016-5595796, 016-5237963, 012-5487963
Operating Hours: 8.30am to 5.30pm daily

Once again, contact Local President Wiliam Hong @ 010-5042016 for more info for the corporate visits tomorrow.

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