He put two quintessential Malaysian delights together. And since then, his cendol served with dollops of Musang King has made him a very happy man.
Cendol seller Muhammad Ariff Qayyum Mohd Zamri, 25, ventured into the business two years ago just to pass time.
Little did he expect his cendol stall here to eventually generate an average monthly income of RM90,000.
This would swell to RM150,000 a month during the school holidays.
RM38 for a bowl of cendol heaped with dollops of Musang King durian?
Peeved at the price, one customer proceeded to upload a photo of the receipt showing RM114 for three bowls of cendol on Facebook and complained.
The photo soon went viral, with many netizens agreeing that the cendol was overpriced.
However, in the end, the cendol seller had the last laugh – he laughed all the way to the bank.
“I’m so thankful the matter went viral.
Ariff Qayyum, who is the owner of Raja Cendol Taming Sari, said: “I’m so thankful the matter went viral. Now more people know about my stall and I’ve many more customers. My workers and I have never been busier.” He said durian lovers did not mind paying RM38 for a bowl of Musang King cendol, as they were well aware of the market price for the premium fruit.
While the Musang King cendol is the clear winner among his customers, he said the Udang Merah cendol (RM20 a bowl), D24 cendol (RM20), hybrid durian cendol (RM17) and normal cendol (RM7) are also popular.
“Just for each serving of Musang King cendol, I use between 120gm and 150gm of the pulp,” he said, adding that his durians are mostly sourced from Johor and Pahang.
Since he is particular about the quality of durian he uses to prepare the dessert, he has to cope with the fluctuating prices of durians.
“Between November and January, durian prices shoot up due to smaller harvest. During the durian season from May to August, prices start to drop. Cheap or expensive, I still have to buy my stock,” he said.
Before he opened his stall, he worked at his family-owned factory that produced durian-based snacks.
Using his savings of RM25,000 as capital, he started the venture.
His father Mohd Zamri Mohd Taib, 51, who is his business adviser, was the one who suggested that he put Musang King cendol in his menu and to add gula melaka syrup to enhance the taste.
Last year, the young entrepreneur raked in total sales of RM950,000.
Ariff Qayyum said he hoped to open branches in Kuala Lumpur and Johor in future.
Ahmad Dhani Mikail, 18, a student from Indonesia, when met at the stall recently said it was the first time he was trying out the Musang King cendol.
“I usually prefer ice kacang to cendol. But this cendol durian is really delicious,” he said.
His Singaporean friend Samantha Ng, 18, said she has eaten cendol in Singapore but found Raja Cendol Taming Sari’s durian cendol the best she so far.
“It is more fragrant and the gula melaka is not that sweet. I can have two bowls in one go,” she said.
Another customer from Seremban, Abdul Manaf Ibrahim, 47, said he was a durian lover and would never miss the opportunity to enjoy Musang King cendol whenever he visits Melaka. — Bernama