Money, distance not a problem for durian lovers

A refrigerator full of durians in economy packs.

MONEY and distance are no problems for hardcore fans of the “King of Fruits”.

Kamri

Just ask Kamri Mohammad, owner of the House of Durian Kuching, a durian shop, at Semariang in Kuching.

“It is common for hardcore durian lovers to spend RM500 to RM700 to get their fix. Some even come twice a week just to eat the durians.

“Some of my customers came all the way here from Padawan and Lundu just to buy three Black Thorn Durians and three Musang King Durians for a total price of more than RM1,000,” he said.

“Believe it or not, there are buyers who are willing to pay hundreds of ringgit merely to experience the taste of Musang King,” added Kamri.

“Durian fans in Sarawak are remarkable buyers because within 30 minutes to two hours, they can buy over 250 kgs of durians.”

He said when he first started his business, he was astounded to see customers buying durians in enormous quantities because the fruits he sold were quite expensive and of high quality.

While some customers buy large amounts of durians to eat, others may buy the fruits just to get the seeds.

Durians on display

Kamri’s shop sells eight types of durians, namely, Black Thorn, Musang King, 101, Red Shrimp, D13, D18, D24, and Musang Queen.

He claimed that durians from Peninsular Malaysia, such as Musang King Durians from Raub Pahang and Black Thorn Durians from Penang, were only sold at his House of Durians. 

“I care about the freshness of the fruits. My suppliers in Peninsular Malaysia collect the fruits in the morning and immediately pack and send them by cargo to Sarawak. 

“I bring in the durians from Peninsular Malaysia because some people here want to taste them,” he explained.

Kamri can sell 1.5 to two tonnes of durians every week to generate a monthly profit of more than RM10,000.

The engineering assistant at Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) became a part time durian trader four years ago because he wanted to try durians from various places.

He now sells durians in economy packs so that his consumers can afford them. Each economy pack costs between RM35 and RM100, depending on the types and grades of durians.

Kamri said before the Covid-19 pandemic and the implementation of the movement control order (MCO), his shop provided a place for family members to enjoy the durians they bought.

His shop also sells delicacies like cendol durian and pulut durian (glutinous rice) for customers to enjoy.

Durian being loaded onto a truck.

“At the end of the day, selling durians isn’t only about generating money. Seeing the joy of family members gathering around a table eating durians makes me happy.

“Now when customers come to just simply buy and bring the durians home, the thrill of enjoying the King of Fruits has disappeared. Even though I’m still in business, I feel a little lonely,” he said.

Kamri said that many people had lost their sources of income during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Hence, he is providing opportunities for individuals who have lost their jobs to deliver durians to his customers.

“So far, we only supply durians around Kuching and Kota Samarahan and since movements are limited due to the MCO, we provide these people the opportunity to become delivery agents in their own areas.

“Our concept during the MCO is to share sustenance. There are some agents who earn over RM500 a day in sales and I believe it is definitely a relief in difficult moments like this,” he pointed out.

Meanwhile, hardcore fans of Musang King can contact Kamri at 011250133790.