How It Got Started
In 1980 the Chaimongkol family of four lived in a small village in the Na Cha-ang sub-district of Chumphon Province. Mr Sawat Chaimongkol, the breadwinner, worked as a mechanic whilst Mrs Lamduan Chaimongkol was a housewife. Despite the detriment of his health with illnesses and injuries taking a toll on his body, he continued to work hard to support the family. This prompted Mrs Chaimongkol to alleviate his suffering.
She bought shrimp paste and walked door-to-door selling it to their neighbours. It was so well received she was able to set up a stall in the village market fair. The neighbourhood responded well and supported her. With the business prospering, she expanded her range to include culinary ingredients such as coconut sugar, shallots, garlic etc. She bought curry paste in bulk from the provincial market to sell in smaller portions. It was very well received by the neighbourhood.
“Do you make your own curry paste?” asked a customer. She replied, “I don’t know how”. This pivotal question ignited a burning desire within Mrs Chaimongkol and became a turning-point in the family business.
She experimented following a local recipe and folk wisdom. With a mortar and pestle, she ground the curry paste, tasting and testing it on her family. She soon had an acceptable product she was confident to sell.
Red Curry Paste was the first of Mrs Chaimongkol’s homemade pastes. Her first one kilogram batch sold out rapidly, with customers clamouring for more. While selling about one kilogram of paste per week, she realised demand exceeded supply. Production capacity was needed and she mentioned this to Mr Chaimongkol.
With his mechanical skills, he modified a hand-cranked grinder to replace the mortar and pestle. Productivity increased as did her customer base.
In 1985 with electricity now available, Mrs Chaimongkol again called on Mr Chaimongkol to modify the curry paste grinder, which increased production.
Then Mrs Chaimongkol opened her curry paste stall at the provincial market and invited her sister Mrs Chuanpit Theerapan to join her. Once again demand exceeded supply.
With industrious determination, Mrs Chaimongkol had added 6 more pastes to her range. Having no recipes, it took a month each time to adjust aroma, colour and taste to develop a winning recipe. The best raw material selection, impurity filtration, and absolute cleanliness in manufacturing ensured that the colours of her curry pastes were more vivid than those of her competitors.
This obviated the need for colourings and preservatives giving her a competitive edge. Her moral of honesty and integrity towards her customers in maintaining these high manufacturing standards, and giving only the best to customers increased the popularity of Mrs Chaimongkol’s curry pastes.
Initially ten kilograms of red curry paste was sold daily with an increasing demand for other pastes, therefore a bigger grinding machine was introduced in 1987.
With years of experience and listening to customer preferences and their input, the recipes were perfected and two more employees were hired to meet demand. Two years later the curry paste production reached one hundred kilograms per day.
In 1994 Khun Lamduan Curry Pastes Factory was established. The production capacity of one thousand kilograms per day required a new grinder. The range expanded to include Roasted Chilli Paste in Oil, Massaman Curry Paste and Kanom Jeen Curry Paste.
Thai Massaman Curry was a particular challenge and was usually cooked for special occasions like temple fairs. Mrs Lamduan Chaimongkol consulted the cooks who presided over these events, however failing to get the recipe from the Massaman Curry cooks didn’t stop her. She spoke to a Chinese Herbal Medicine shop owner who suggested a list of herbs and spices and after a few tries Mrs Chaimongkol soon perfected the recipe. The Massaman Curry Paste received a good response from her customers.
Khun Lamduan Curry Pastes Factory was registered in 1996 as a food manufacturing facility. Having achieved food safety standards, it was then approved by the Chumphon Province Office of Public Health.
In 2004 another factory was established on three rais of land. It was a very big and modern facility with high standards and highly efficient machinery, most of which were designed by Mr Sawat Chaimongkol. This factory had a daily production capacity of five thousand kilograms.
The management team at Khun Lamduan Curry Pastes Factory have conducted business under the philosophy of ‘Consumers get the best product at a just and fair price’.
To ensure the customers get the highest quality and safest products Khun Lamduan Curry Pastes Factory continued the monitoring of quality and production standards. This endeavour earned Khun Lamduan Curry Pastes Factory approval from the Food and Drug Administration. In addition it has also been approved to have met various standards such as Codex GMP and HACCP by the National Food Institute under the sponsorship of the Ministry of Industry. Khun Lamduan Curry Pastes Factory has also received the HALAL mark from the Central Islamic Council of Thailand.
The main policy of Khun Lamduan Curry Pastes Factory is to ensure that customers can be confident that they are getting curry pastes that are, clean and flavourful in accordance with Southern Thailand’s curry traditions.
To achieve this we are meticulous in selecting fresh, clean and toxin free raw materials. As well as this, we ensure high quality production processes and most importantly, NO flavour enhancers (MSG), artificial colouring or preservatives are added to the curry pastes.