Woman who travels two hours to fix her craving for Frappuccino, decides to venture into beverage business

Nisha Halinda Hasbi, the founder of Bintulu Coffeescape

KUCHING: Nisha Halinda Hasbi used to travel more than two hours to Miri, just to fix her craving for a Frappuccino as there was no café that specialised in such beverage in Bintulu back in 2016.

“We didn’t have Starbucks in Bintulu (that time) so I would drive all the way to Miri every month to fix my craving for a Frappuccino… Until one day, my sister suggested that we open a business selling Frappuccino in Bintulu since there’s no one doing it yet,” she said.  

“So, I took a bold move to give up my full time job as a quality specialist six years ago and ventured into entrepreneurship, creating and selling beverages and never looked back,” she told New Sarawak Tribune.

Nisha, the founder of Bintulu Coffeescape, said they started small, using their own kitchen appliances, offering 10 beverages, mostly Frappuccino.

“When we first started, we could only sell about 10 to 20 cups per day via social media or order via WhatsApp as it is a home-based business.”

“It was not an easy journey but we are glad that people love our products and gradually we have more regular and new customers.”

“Most of them are school teachers and students from Kidurong, Tatau, and many other busy professionals and office workers,” she said.

With her passion and creativity, Nisha has crafted more than 80 items on her menu, priced between RM7 and RM17, including Frappuccino, milk tea, yogurt drink, among others.

“Biscoff salted caramel Frappuccino is our best-selling drink. It is like a match from heaven; blended with Lotus Biscoff spread, Biscoff cookies together with our very own salted caramel, it’s a must try for caramel lovers,” she said.

Biscoff salted caramel Frappuccino

“Now, we are able to sell up to 150 cups (maximum) per day, but we are facing various challenges in our business as well since we are a home-based business, especially during rainy days where it is very inconvenient for customers and riders to pick up their orders. Besides, we can’t let customers sit down and enjoy their drinks.”

 “Thus, we hope to find investors in order to open a proper cafe so that we can serve more customers and in a comfortable environment. We also hope to expand our business to other cities such as Kuching and Miri,” she added.

Nisha, the founder of Bintulu Coffeescape, was one of the top five winners of Sarawak Shell LiveWIRE programme 2021, which was announced recently.

The Shell’s flagship enterprise development programme was delivered in partnership with Tabung Ekonomi Gagasan Anak Sarawak (TEGAS) to develop more entrepreneurs among the Sarawak community.

Nisha came across the programme while browsing the internet and noticed the winner ‘Thirst Milkshake’ for 2019, which was also a beverage business.

“I joined the programme in 2020 but I didn’t win. So, I tried again last year with the help from my co-founder, who is also my sister, Siti Nur Hidayah Hasbi, for better pitch and presentation,” she said.

“It was a very interesting programme as there were a series of workshops and a business model assessment competition. I hope more entrepreneurs or start-ups can benefit from it, including winning the grant,” she added.

Nisha would invest the RM15,000 grant she won to buy more necessary machines and equipment to improve the workflow, to upgrade her beverage workstation for the comfort of her staff and customers.

Deputy Minister of Urban Planning, Land Administration and Environment Datu Len Talif Salleh presents the RM15,000 grant to Nisha at the Shell LiveWIRE Sarawak 2021 Awards at Tegas Digital Village (TDV), Sama Jaya High Tech Park here recently.
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