The sixth season of Netflix Strange eye, set in Austin, features several familiar faces from the local restaurant world, but Episode 9, “A Legend in the Baking,” centered around a makeover from Sarah Lim, who owns the adorable OMG Squee bakery. The Fab Five spent time with Lim refreshing her vintage style, connecting her to the Asian restaurant community, and, in a reversal of the show’s norm, learning her decorating tips.
Lim shared details of his experience in an email interview with Eater. Read on to find out how being on the show affected her business, which Fab Five member touched her the most, and why she still isn’t on Goldbelly.
Eater: How did you feel when you saw the Fab Five for the first time?
Sarah Lim: My first introduction to the Fab Five was Tan France being pushed through our old other people’s pickup window, which made me laugh. It’s a pretty fun and rowdy group. But also, super nice.
What was your experience on the show?
The experience was a roller coaster of emotions, but overall it was really fun knowing the Fab Five and the team that make the magic of TV possible. I rarely have a lunch hour away from the kitchen, let alone a week off, and there are a few off-screen moments that I’ll always remember, as Tan and I talk about our favorite dishes to cook. He is truly the most beautiful of humans.
But the show is like a big drop in confidence. It takes a lot of vulnerability and openness from you, but you have to be prepared and know that they will eventually catch up with you. I had no idea how things would end up turning out, or if they shaved my head, for example (jk, Jonathan Van Ness never would), so I think it would be a tough experience for most people. people.
[At the bakery], we struggled during the pandemic, and it felt like the days we were most exhausted were the days we found the nastiest people. With the Black Lives Matter movement and the rise of Hate Crimes Against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, it was a difficult time to be a person of color and a restaurateur, while still being an ordinary person. I’m generally very jovial, but it’s hard to feel good about everything and still go to work and do our job. I’m quite private and reserved, but with this amazing opportunity, I felt it was important to be open about my experiences, even though they were emotionally difficult to relate. So I definitely went through a whole range of emotions throughout the show.
Who has working with the Fab Five had the most impact?
I received a bit of wisdom or a grooming routine from each of the Fab Five, but Antoni Porowski and Bobby Berk probably had the biggest impact overall.
Antoni always reaches out to watch me and send me words of encouragement. I think it’s nice of him to take some time out of his busy life to check on my progress and how I’m doing as a person, outside of the company.
Bobby and his design team helped us provide a wonderful countertop and patio that kind of helped us “grow” as a business. I appreciate that they got to see many of the ideas we had in our original super low budget DIY builds, and really thankful that they were able to give them a fuller life than we ever imagined. We had so few resources, money and time for ourselves. We were already sinking our bodies into the ground just to keep the business afloat. The amount of work they have accomplished in just a few days is still breathtaking.
Karamo Brown also reminded me to breathe, Tan’s warmth and kindness will stay with me forever, and Jonathan REALLY hooked me up so I can take care of myself every day with the very limited time I have for me. They all had a big impact, even in the little things.
What are the main lessons you have learned from your experience? What were the lasting changes?
My main takeaway is that there are people out there who support us and invest in what we do, and we are not alone. We’ve had quite a few people telling us their stories of similar struggles, so it’s good for us – and hopefully, them – not to feel like we’re on an island. I will be eternally grateful to each of the Fab Five and the team at strange eye for that.
Is OMG Squee on the nationwide food shipping service Goldbelly, a move that was discussed in the episode?
Unfortunately, we couldn’t make a partnership with Goldbelly work at this time. After months of trying to work with their packaging team for a viable shipping solution, we realized the need for custom packaging. Shipping will therefore not be an option for us until I have the time and resources to invest in research and development of custom packaging.
We also have a very small team and kitchen to consider, but as our team grows I am certainly working on shipping options for the future. We just want to make sure that all of our customers get the same quality product and fun experience that they would in person because we care so much about ourselves.
Did being on the show affect business?
We’ve already had tons of requests from people all over the world asking for our classic pink OMG Squee t-shirts because they can’t come to the bakery in person. There are already fake websites out there for them which sucks, but is that also a little flattering?
But it’s a great feeling that people want to support us however they can. We will have more merchandise soon, but in the meantime our original and authentic pink t-shirts can be ordered online only directly from us on our website. They are currently out of stock until the end of January, but people can follow our Instagram for updates.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.