From fresh grad to beverages entrepreneur
By Patricia Hului
While some fresh graduates out there are still looking for jobs, Durri Mardhati Aldi-Jasmani, 26, was bold enough to venture into entrepreneurship instead.
It was hard not to notice her product during the course of Sukma XVIII as many thirsty patrons were seen carrying drinks away in sturdy zip lock bags.
The idea for putting drinks in this innovative packaging stood out from many of the other beverages because they were convenient to carry and resealable, making them perfect for Sukma athletes, coaches, organisers, staff and even spectators who were always on the move.
There were also holes on top of the packages to slot the straw through and keep in place for further use.
The human resources graduate from Selangor International Islamic University College started Coolbag by Dapur Express Matang about a year ago.
“Nowadays, there are many unemployed fresh graduates. Instead of looking for a job, I was more interested in starting my own business,” she said.
Durri noticed during her studies in Peninsular Malaysia that there were many beverages businesses going on.
“Coming back to Kuching after I finished my studies, I realised no one was selling drinks like these yet so that was when I had my idea.”
She ordered her supply from Peninsular Malaysia but she came up with her own recipe for the powdered drinks.
So far, she has 12 flavours for customers to choose from.
Durri also shared how she became one of two dozen F&B vendors at Sukma.
Initially, she wanted to take part as one of the vendors in Sejiwa Senada organised by the state government.
“During the Sejiwa Senada, they had Sarawak Kitchen going on the ground to sell food and beverages but my application was turned down.”
Then, she found out that Sarawak Kitchen was organised again during the period of Sukma XVIII.
She submitted her application to Bumiputera Entrepreneurs Development and Halal Industry Unit (UPUIH) in the Chief Minister’s Department and was lucky enough to be selected.
The young entrepreneur said the response she received from the customers during recent Sukma XVIII was beyond her expectations.
“Alhamdulillah, we had many customers during this Sukma especially during the opening ceremony that it was unbelievable,” said Durri, who pointed out that customer favourites were green tea and chocolate.
“I have plans to open two more branches but everything is still under discussion,” said Durri. Even though she has received requests to open up a branch in Peninsular Malaysia, she is still contemplating on the locality.
For now, she’s planning to expanding her flavours list as she realises how important it is to continue innovating in her business.
On normal days, Coolbag by Dapur Express Matang operates at Matang Jaya and Taman Sukma. To know more about Durri and her Cool Bag, follow her on Instagram at @coolbag_bydapurekspresmatang.