Entrepreneur

These Siblings Are Selling Cakes Their Own Way—Out Of A Food Truck In Klang Valley

Sundaydotruck is a dessert truck that sells cakes and baked treats of all sorts operating from 8.30pm to 11.30pm everday except Sunday.

Lina Zulkifli manages the baking and kitchen operations whereas her brother Faris Zulkifli takes charge of the marketing and sales.

Lina studied Chemical Engineering in the University of Melbourne and has practiced engineering ever since, while she handles Sundaydotruck part-time.

Her brother Faris studied International Business in the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia. He has been juggling his own company called Awanblu that does photography and video production work since 2011 aside the dessert truck.

The business of making cakes first started as a family-oriented occasion where they would share baked goodies with fellow relatives. Feedback was good and they thought to expand further; why not share the pleasantries of a full tummy with strangers?

So in August 2016, they started operating on a truck so that other customers could share in the happiness they sought to give.

“Our main reason for opening at night is to let customers get easy access for cakes. Many cake shops are closed at night, but we are open till late.”

All their cakes are homemade, led by head baker and co-founder Lina Zulkifli with another helper in tow.

“The recipes mostly came from research and is tweaked to our signature taste: rich, yet not too sweet and full of flavour.”

Some of their best-selling cakes include the Nutella Red Velvet, Devil’s Food Chocolate Cake, and Ferrero Nutella Cheesecake.

Image Credit: Sundaydotruck

The main location they frequent is BHP Taman Melawati, starting from 8.30pm at night.

However, they do offer delivery to households and offices around selected areas as well. They constantly update their Facebook, so you can check if your preferred location will be frequented by the dessert truck that night.

What struck me as funny is that they don’t deliver using the truck itself, but use other forms of transportation. This is actually a more practical method, since it wouldn’t be feasible to drag the truck through traffic.

“As of now, we offer free office-delivery twice a week to certain offices around Kuala Lumpur. We plan to do free office-delivery to other areas as well in the future depending on the demand.”

As for made-to-order cake, the order will need to be placed at least 3 days prior to delivery. The delivery rate around KL is RM10 to RM15 whereas areas outside KL is RM20 and above, depending on the location.

Like many entrepreneurs, they aimed high with the initial plan of starting a dessert café.

However, they found that the risk was too high as significant capital was needed to sustain and maintain the cafe combined with overheads cost.

“We then decided on the food truck. If things don’t go well, we won’t be losing that much compared to a café as you can still gain back the money from selling the truck and equipment. As for a café, we will definitely not be getting back the renovation cost.”

However, running a foodtruck comes with its own setbacks.

“As we run on a foodtruck, considering ourselves a street food business, our major challenge is the weather. Even though we have a tent for those who would still like to dine in during the rain, we sometimes offer delivery to areas nearby when it rains.”

Since their resources are limited and cakes won’t be edible forever, they have to come up with creative ways to sell them off.

They have about 9 different types of cake in the chiller with 100 pieces total, so it’s definitely a challenge to finish them all within 4 hours.

“There’s where the marketing team comes into play. We really push on the marketing, so that the cake can be replenished in 2 to 3 days.”

Using social media as their main form of customer interaction, they keep their customer base small enough to maintain their loyalty.

They choose to bank on these long-term relationships in terms of recruiting new customers by word of mouth, and informing them on discounts to pull them back for more.

Taking advantage of Halloween season to further boost sales, they have combo flavours to spark up the spooky vibes with Banana Walnut, Nutella Red Velvet, Victoria Sandwich, and Devil’s Food Chocolate. One box costs RM40 and two boxes for RM75.

They keep their aspirations low and count every single sale as a daily success.

No matter how tiny it is, they believe it is these successes that will open more doors in the future.

“So far, we are happy that we managed to cater for all, from the corporate line to birthday and wedding orders, door gifts, personal orders and our customers at the truck.”

“For us, a meal isn’t complete without dessert. Many food trucks offer main meals, drinks and snacks, so why shouldn’t dessert be added as well?”

It seems that their nightly hustles have paid off; starting out at night for customers’ convenience has now progressed to a brand that has won customer loyalty and demand.

Loyal customers have expressed their desire to see Sundaydotruck operating in daytime as well. It is something the team are hoping to deliver once they have finalised their schedules and other commitments.

For now, the siblings shared that they aren’t going to turn this into a full-time commitment soon, but that could change in the distant future.

Feature Image Credit: Sundaydotruck

 

 

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