My blog is a one stop center for cooking & kitchen tips, recipes from various cooking method & types, and you can find cool places to hang out with friends and family with good food and great music!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Walking down the lane - Part 2

kawan2, ini sambungan subjek history kite petang semalam..... hikhikhik

So, while my mind keep on repeating my hubby questions again and again, and we are still discussing about the concept (which i've planted in my brain since I first thought of opening a cafe), we got stuck with the front cost. I am not willing to take a risk with taking some huge loan amount in order to achieve my dreams. A bit disappointment, I take time to read few magazines and books on how to make your business success. Only then, i read about David Chin (the owner of Dave Deli's chains) in a magazine and, his story inspired me a lot! He starts everything from the smallest thing he can find! And, do any of you know that he started his Deli's business in Bangsar Shopping Complex (BSC) Food Court? I can't imagine that myself!
I tell myself, OMG! Why can't i think about it? I should started small and use everything that I have, rather than applying for loan that I myself not sure how to pay it.

That's how we started! My bro gave idea on Food Delivery service. And, yeah of course Malaysian memang sinonim with Fast Food Delivery, but how about home cook food? But then, we tried and it works! Time ni, merasa-lah hantar flyers from mailbox to mailbox. ha,...bukan senang nak senang rupanyer.....And, after that, most of my friends from the office starts ordering their breakfast. From 30 orders to 50 to hundreds, more than what we can imagine! Pastu,dapat pula order catering untuk meeting, birthday parties, training refreshments, etc.

Even though the business is still small,tapi seronok sangat. For the first time, i did something that is meaningful to me. Masa ni, my mother in law tolong macam2 tau, in terms of barang2 catering, sebab dulu dia pun buat catering masa (arwah) my father in law masih ada. Since barang2 tu dia xguna sangat lagi, so dia pas-lah kat I and my bro untuk guna. Seronok sangat, especially after every functions that we catered, so far, Alhamdulillah, semua clients puji. Bohonglah kalau takde complaint langsung, tapi adat-lah kan, masih baru, banyak lagi benda perlu belajar. Cuma, yang ada complaint tu bukan pada food, adalah sikit on food arrangement yang dia orang kurang berkenan, but on food (taste), Alhamdlillah, semua puas hati setakat nih. itu yang semakin bersemangat nak bisnes nih. Dan apa teguran clients tu, kami jadikan sandaran untuk lebih prihatin pada tahap service kami.

Since the order keep on coming, and I've moved to my own condo (yes, i bought a big unit end, but hello..., the kitchen is not as big as landed property, ok! ), we plan to rent a shop. Ye-lah, mane leh tahan, kesian tengok my bro masak kat kitchen comel I tu. Masa ni my cousin offered her share with some money to rent a shop. We all thankful sangat, sebab banyak barang nak beli untuk lengkapkan kitchen.
At this point, my aunty yang I paling sayang (UCU ~ we love you so much!), pun tolong jugak tau! Siap bagi periuk besar lagi, :)
Cut the story short, we rent a space at MPL Food Court. Our main products are Assam Pedas Johor and Ikan Bakar Percik. Tapi, kitaorang buka kecil-kecilan jer, kat MPL Food Court, Jalan Raja Chulan. But, this is our stepping stone, place for us to learn to manage the business, how to handle customers. And trust me, it is a damn good start. Well, at this point, honestly, i dont really concentrate on my office job. Cause i have too much to handle on my shop at food court as well as my catering business. Penat? jangan cakaplah. Then only I realize, it is not easy to build up a good name in business. You have to sacrifice a lot! Your sleeping time, definitely, your TV/movie time, even nak ber-FB pun xsempat rasanyer. Thank GOD, my best friend Fara, my hubby datang tolong kat kedai on their free time,tolong distribute flyers from buldings to buildings.

Just imagine-lah, after work we (me and my bro) went straight to Pasar Sayur Chow Kit to pick up some veggies and dried stuff-lah. Then arrived home, after prayers and dinners and of course we relax a bit, then start to kopek bawang lah, rebus cili kering lah, processed all the veggies for tomorrow (nak potong dadu, nak slice, etc). Then tidur sekejap, 3am, we wake up for Morning Freash Market at Pasar KL (korang tau tak kat mane?)... Nak pilih ikan, sotong, udang... Penat? Jangan ceritalah. Al maklum, kerja berdua jer. Saya lah boss saya lah kuli.

But then, one week after, when we start seeing the crowd keep coming in and enjoying our food, you just cant express the satisfaction. What makes us more determine to provide good food are the customers! And, I am PROUD tosay that we make our own crowd in that Food Court. So, words came from mouth to mouth, our space become busier every day. Plus, the crowd in MPL Food Court are sooo good, that we became friends to our customers. We took every suggestions very seriously. Then, we are growing from just selling Assam Pedas Johor and Ikan Bakar Percik, we add more dishes (lauk pauk melayu and a mixture of western dishes) to our kitchen. And suprisingly, sambutan amat menggalakkan! Alhamdullilah, Syukur pada Allah, the food that we served are good, and the customers keep on coming.

We are at our peak moment, then something horrible pulak datang melanda. Adalah orang dengki kot kat kami. At first, we dont really bother or realize it, maybe because we all reall tak tau benda2 macam ni. Until one moment, when my bro cant cook at all, then a friend told us, there's something wrong with your shop, kot? and then after, our regulars start declining (the numbers) until one moment ada customer cakap kat I, APASAL YOU ALL DAH LAMA TAK BUKA KEDAI? and, i was like,...WHAT???? No wonder I saw my customers walking in to the Food Court, give a glance and leave! At first i thought was there something wrong with my food? Puaslah bertanyer dengan kawan2 yang mahir, orang2 tua, adalah seorang hamba Allah ni (kawan baik my hubby) introduce kat seorang Ustaz. Masya Allah, bila dapat tahu, zaman macam ni pun ada lagi ke orang bat benda2 macam nih? After things dah ok, I pun story lah kat my friends yang buat bisnes, then diaorang pun bagitau through their experiences, that some ofthem pun kena jugak...

Itulah, Ustaz dan orang2 tua berpesan,... berniaga ni banyak dugaan, bukan semua orang nak tengok kita senang,lagi tercabar kalau jualan kita lebih baik dari mereka. Banyak-banyak kan berdoa, minta perlindungan dari Allah semoga kita dijauhkan daripada perkara2 yang tak elok.

Then, business is back to normal. Good as always, when second strike came. We we requested to leave the shop within 3 days. WE WERE GIVEN 3 DAYS NOTICE TO MOVE OUT! Because,... the buiding management refuse to continue the contract with the Food Court Organizer....

Well, what to do? Dah suratan kan? Allah dah tulis rezeki kat Food Court tu sampai takat tu ajer. But we had a good GOOD BYE party to our customers... MAKAN2 FREE. Sempat jugaklah they all drop their email address kat kami. And with all their support while we were there, i thank you. You guys keep us moving forward....

Next chapter... shop hunting!!!

XOXO - Dylla Burn

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