Jobless Teacher's Decision To Open A Frozen Yoghurt Shop In His Hometown Turns Fruitful
There is a new frozen yoghurt store in Kubang Kerian, Kelantan, which has been attracting a lot of buzz due to its variety of toppings and low prices
Called Froogurtz, an eccentric combination of the words "frozen" and "yoghurt", the store offers over 40 different toppings, ranging from the sweet to the sublime that include fresh fruits such as mangoes and strawberries, a selection of cereals and cookies, to even sauces such as chocolate and honey.
And at prices that range from RM6 to RM17, locals have been lining up to satisfy their cravings.
The store's owner, 29-year-old Mohamad Hafizuddin Che Soh, is a former teacher. He lost his job last year due to the movement control order (MCO).
Hafizuddin first started his business as a humble stall selling frozen yoghurt on the outskirts of Kota Bharu, the state capital of the northeastern state Kelantan.
The idea for the business came about after Hafizuddin lost his job as a vocal teacher at an international school in Kuala Lumpur.
"I was teaching at the school since 2018 until about the middle of last year," he professes to Bernama, adding, "After the pandemic hit, the school had to close and they suspended all the contract staff including myself."
"At the time it was hard for me to sustain a living, plus my savings were getting depleted. Hence, I made the decision to return to my hometown to live with my family, while trying my hand at a small business."
According to the 29-year-old, the idea was inspired by his favourite weekend outing while he was still in university
Hafizuddin, who has a degree in Music Composition from Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Shah Alam, says he fell in love with frozen yoghurt while still attending university between 2010 and 2016.
He had spent his weekends consuming the treat, turning him into a hardcore fan.
"Almost every weekend, I would go out and try every single famous outlet in the area. So after I returned to Kelantan, (imagine my surprise when) I saw that no one was doing it here. Not an international chain, nor any local startups," he said.
"So I saw that as an opportunity to become one of the pioneers of the frozen yoghurt scene here."
Despite the multiple MCOs and varying lockdowns, Hafizuddin has seen a surge in business and is considering opening a second outlet
"We started out small as a shop-lot kiosk in nearby Bandar Baru Tunjong, before moving to our own store only recently, on 1 March," Hafizuddin says meekly.
"I am very thankful that the reception here has been beyond belief. There are regulars who come every day to our shop, with some even coming from far and wide just to have a taste of Froogurtz."
In fact, he says that after the most recent MCO was implemented, he actually saw a surge of customers from before, with the store seeing full houses daily.
Hafizuddin claims that Froogurtz now rakes in over RM100,000 in profits a month.
At the moment, Hafizuddin is busy working on a second Froogurtz location, set to open in neighbouring Wakaf Bharu.
He reveals that the branch is expected to be operational by early August, before he will then look into expanding to every district in Kelantan, and then eventually the whole of Malaysia.
Many others have lost their jobs since MCO first began last year.
One such Malaysian, a flight attendant who has been on unpaid leave since March 2020, has turned to farming. He now runs a fish pond breeding about 20,000 ikan puyu Siam: