Bruneian cube store business eyes Malaysian market
By Zafirah Zaili
06 September 2015

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Brunei Darussalam (The Brunei Times/ANN) Bruneian food business Ajwa Kitchen, which sells via the new cube store concept, eyes establishing a presence in Malaysia.

Bruneian food business Ajwa Kitchen launched its second cube store recently to cater to its growing clientele.

Establishing the latest outlet, located at Madang Complex in Brunei, is also in line with the entrepreneurs’ plan to expand locally and overseas.

Present to officiate at the opening ceremony of Ajwa Kitchen cube store in Madang Complex was Minister of Health Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Johan Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Hj Adanan Begawan Pehin Siraja Khatib Dato Seri Setia Hj Mohd Yusof.

Ajwa Kitchen sells homemade food kueh mor, nasi lemak and mee goreng. But it is its signature product - baked potatoes that are served with different toppings - that is getting raves not only among local clients but also among Malaysian customers as well. Sales from this product alone can hit as much as BN$20,000 per month.

According to Muhammad Adi Shariman Hj Aji, one of the entrepreneurs behind the family-owned business, each of these customers from Malaysia buy as many as five boxes of baked potatoes.

Each box contains 16 baked potatoes and sells at Brunei BN$10 per box.

“We have people from Malaysia buying our baked potatoes in bulk every week and some have requested for us to make Ajwa Kitchen (products) available there. This is something we’re definitely aiming for,” he said.

Muhammad Adi is expecting this store to be profitable thanks to their existing customer base and the store’s strategic location.

He said Madang Complex is located near government offices, which makes the store accessible to most of its customers.

Ajwa Kitchen was established in 2013 by Muhammad Adi and his seven siblings. They did everything at their kitchen and marketed their products through Instagram and Facebook. Customers go to their house in Lambak Kanan to collect their orders.

With demand growing, the siblings decided to venture out from their homebase and set up a cube shop at Airport Mall in December 2014.

“It was quite tough running the store from home because although we had a lot of customers, it was in a residential area so we found difficult to attract new customers,” Muhammad Adi said.

The cube shop, however, didn’t only sell Ajwa Kitchen products. Other food vendors also came in to rent a cube and sell their items.

Muhammad Adi said they decided to open up the cube store not only to attract more customers but also to help other online vendors market their products.

“We want to provide smaller businesses with a suitable place to market their products,” he said.

But as the siblings are always thinking of ways to expand and develop their business, they have recently decided to rebrand their shop in the Airport Mall. This time, they will just sell Ajwa Kitchen’s products.

“Every one of us has his/her own specialty dishes. We want to highlight these in our shop in Airport Mall. It is all part of healthy competition,” he said.

But he said other food vendors can rent out cubes in Ajwa Kitchen’s store in Madang Complex.

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