The Star Malaysia - Star2

Talk of the town


FIVE years ago, while working as a part-time barista at a branch of a popular coffee chain in Kuala Lumpur, Ismail Mohamad had harboured dreams of venturing into the food and beverage business.

Today, Ismail, 24, is the proud owner of a company called Movilion Coffee House, which operates two cafes in Kelantan. The cafes are known for their fun and quirky interior decoration, which make for cool Instagram photos.

“The trend among young people nowadays is to take selfies and share their pictures on social media. This got me thinking about doing something different, because for the youngsters these days, it is the experience or unique memories that they are after.

“I was also inspired by some 2D-inspired cafes overseas which I had the chance to visit back when I was working with a local airline,” he said in an interview.

The cafe’s walls and floor are painted with black-and-white 2D drawings, including that of a lady enjoying a drink in the restaurant.

“The first time I travelled to South Korea in 2018, I visited Incheon and Seoul, and I was impressed by a cafe with 2D paintings and other decorative elements on the walls. The drawings created a strange yet enchanting optical illusion.

“That was where I got the idea of opening a coffee shop with similar 2D effects in Kelantan. The shops are different from the others that we have here,” he said.

Movilion not only serves coffee but a selection of Western dishes too, all of which are Ismail’s own creations.

He said that he started the business after losing his job at the airline company due to the pandemic.

“I was with the company for almost four years and was really passionate about my job, but it all ended after I was laid off in January this year. So, I decided to return home and stay with my parents in Bachok.

“I started the business in early February using my own savings and was assisted by my two sisters, Nurul Izzah (32) and Fauzah (29). They are also my business partners and the company’s advisors,” he said.

Ismail revealed that the response to his shop was lukewarm at first because of the movement control order and its various restrictio­ns. At one point, dining in at eateries was not allowed.

However, Ismail said he continued to promote his business via social media and registered on food delivery platforms to boost sales. His hard work certainly paid off; Ismail’s shop has been “trending” on social media platforms since June.

He added that he now rakes in RM50,000 to RM70,000 a month, thanks to the re-opening of more economy sectors.

Ismail, who holds a Diploma in Aviation Management, shared that he currently wants to focus on strengthen­ing the two existing Movilion branches before expanding his business to other districts.

“I will open another branch soon, to help provide employment opportunit­ies for local youths,” he said. – Bernama

 ?? — bernama ?? Ismail at one of his movilion Coffee House outlets in Kelantan.
— bernama Ismail at one of his movilion Coffee House outlets in Kelantan.

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