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M'sian street vendor to open restaurant in Twitter headquarters

She once operated a pushcart selling desserts in the streets of Penang.

She is now planning to open a 15,000 sq ft restaurant in social media company Twitter's headquarters in San Francisco.

Madam Azalina Eusope, a fifth-generation street vendor of Indian-Malay descent, also known as mamak, worked as a hawker.

Later, she met her American husband and moved to San Francisco, where she now runs a successful business, reported Malaysia's The Star.

"'Mamak' is usually at the bottom of the caste system back in Malaysia," she said in an interview with health magazine Dark Rye.

Madam Azalina said she scored well in her school examinations to pursue her dream to become a doctor, but she was rejected by the college she had applied for.

She then sought the advice of a teacher, who told her to learn to cook better.

"Weirdly enough, she suggested, 'Why don't you go to culinary school?'" she said.

When Madam Azalina married an American and followed him to the US, she struggled to overcome culture shock. She said that to overcome the homesickness, she would cook the food she had grown up eating.

Her hobby turned into a business in 2010, when she opened a shop at a farmer's market in San Francisco.

But she said that for the first six weeks, nobody came to eat her food.

Her business boomed when food writer Andrew Knowlton featured her in Bon Appetit magazine, listing her among the 10 best street vendors in San Francisco in 2010.

Madam Azalina said her work is far from easy and she often works 18 to 20 hours a day, getting by with only two to three hours of sleep.

She added that it is her two children who push her to succeed.

"I want to give them everything that I didn't have and to push them as much (as) I wish...someone would have done for me when I was growing up."