Limóne Cafe had opened it’s doors in 2022, welcoming everyone to indulge in delicious meals while enjoying the European inspired cafe environment. Limóne was founded by businesswoman Sherina Binwani and Chef Tee Jiunn Hoong. A connection developed throughout the pandemic because of their common love of baking. The café offers decadent sweets and artisanal pastries made with the best ingredients. Each dessert, from coconut mango mousse to pistachio strawberry crème, has distinctive flavours that appeals to both local and international palates. When it comes to drinks, Limóne takes pride in their single-origin Brazilian roast as well as a selection of TWG teas, Niko Neko Matcha, and Valrhona chocolate.
Interview with Sherina Binwani
Tell us about yourself.
Growing up with brothers has definitely influenced my love for sports. I am a fairly active person with an interest in the outdoors. I love running, hiking and working out in general. Aside from working out, I enjoy art, especially painting. My biggest passion is travelling. Travelling was an integral part of my childhood and is to date. As we grew up, we travelled at least twice a year with my parents. I would leap at any opportunity to pack my bags and fly. These travels have exposed me to appreciate different cultures, foods, music, language, and fashion. I’m blessed to be able to speak five languages, and I picked up two more when I was younger. Unfortunately, with the lack of practice, I’ve lost the ability to string sentences together in Japanese and Spanish but I can still understand them if spoken to me slowly.
Sherina The Baker
How did your interest in baking begin?
Growing up, my parents always encouraged me to try my hand at baking. They bought recipe books for me and were always up to tasting every sweet treat I had whipped up. In hindsight, I did wonder how tasty my baking was, but it did not matter as my parents continued to support me and were my biggest fans.They motivated me to keep trying and improving beyond the tender age of 11.
Working with Chef Tee
How did you meet Chef Tee, what would you say is the best part about working together?
Chef Tee and I became friends during the pandemic. We were introduced by a mutual friend who I reached out to asking if she knew someone who could help me improve my icing skills. She introduced me to Chef Tee, and the rest is history.
We are similar yet different in so many ways, which makes us the perfect fit. I believe our personalities complement each other. Tee has a very calm demeanour while I’m the total opposite. For example, I tend to want to get things done immediately, whereas Tee takes his time while still getting the work done. When I get too hasty, he tells me to take a step back and let things fall into place first.
Creating Limone Cafe
What inspired your decision to build Limone?
Limone was brought to life thanks to the love both Tee, and I have for Europe. During the pandemic, we missed travelling especially in Europe. We would talk endlessly about restaurants and cafes we had visited during our travels and figured why not bring a little Europe to KL.
It is mentioned that you have an expertise in marketing, did you study marketing? If so, how did you decide to go into the course?
I grew up surrounded by family members who were entrepreneurs. So, I was exposed to the business industry from a young age. It was a natural pathway for me and allowed me to further build my knowledge in this field. This was the main reason I decided to study Business Administration and Management at the University of RMIT in Melbourne, Australia. So, yes, I definitely have an eye for business. I initially wanted to do hospitality management in Switzerland, but being the only daughter of my parents, they didn’t want me to study too far away from home.
What would you say sets Limone apart from other cafes?
At Limone, desserts are our forte. We constantly work to improve and update our flavours to keep the selection fresh and exciting. You will always be guaranteed a rotation of new flavours that are sure to delight. That’s the reason we do not have a fixed dessert menu.
Lessons and Challenges
What are the biggest lessons you learned while managing your business; Limone and Baked by Sher?
Both are no easy feat! It is entirely different running a home-based business and cafe. With Baked by Sher, I had to manage my orders, inventory and accounts on a smaller scale. As for Limone, it is a more complex endeavour, where I am constantly faced with new challenges and responsibilities. These include management of staff, inventory, marketing and finances, as well as balancing the creative and innovative aspects of running a cafe. This simply means I have to always bring my A-game and be on the ball. Being a home baker was simpler as I baked on an ad hoc basis. I baked when I had orders so there was minimum wastage and no overheads.
What are some of the challenges you faced with your business partner Chef Tee while building Limone?
I am very fortunate to have a partner like Chef Tee. Since day one our vision and expectations have been aligned. Having good professional partners is very important, especially when building a business from scratch. That is key.
What are your future plans for Limone?
We envision Limone being a household name etched in our existing customers’ and potential customers’ minds. We want to be known as the Maison de Gateau in Malaysia!