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When you think of a roadside cafe, the image that typically comes to mind might involve simple tents, folding tables, and basic banners. 

But Bluum Roadside Cafe is redefining that perception with its clean aesthetic, high-quality offerings, and a blooming business story rooted in friendship and perseverance.

Ilyas Rosmadi and Amirul Syahmi, two schoolmates from SMK Taman Melawati, embarked on a journey that transformed their food court stalls into a thriving roadside cafe. 

The seed of an idea 

Ilyas, 28, pursued architecture at a local university, earning a Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Architecture. After a year of practising, he realised that while his love for architecture remained strong, it wasn’t financially fulfilling. 

The founders of Bluum Roadside Cafe / Image Credit: Bluum Roadside Cafe

With minimal culinary skills but a strong determination, Ilyas started a food stall in a local food court selling pasta. It was here that he reconnected with Amirul Syahmi.

Amirul, 28, who studied International Business at a local university, was juggling his job in event management with a side hustle selling buttermilk chicken and Korean wings. 

The two friends soon realised their shared passion for food and business, and the rest was history.

The birth of the blooming business 

The idea for Bluum Roadside Cafe took root post-COVID-19. With the government’s permission to operate businesses in suitable open spaces, Ilyas and Amirul saw an opportunity. 

They scouted locations, eventually falling in love with a spot nestled between two giant trees—a perfect metaphor for their vision. 

The name “Bluum” was inspired by the word “bloom,” reflecting their hope for the business to flourish.

Bluum Roadside Cafe distinguishes itself through its aesthetic and operational philosophy. 

Image Credit: Bluum Roadside Cafe (left) and Hong Jing Lim (right)

Eschewing the typical roadside setup, Ilyas and Amirul envisioned a clean, appealing space. Their canopy is white, and the staff uniforms match the same aesthetic, emphasising cleanliness and a professional atmosphere.

Their roadside cafe is at Wangsa Maju, Gombak, Taman Melawati, Taman Setiawangsa and Taman Kosas, Ampang, for now.

“We always saw potential in roadside businesses in Malaysia to be more than just plain tents and folding tables,” Ilyas and Amirul told Vulcan Post. 

“We wanted Bluum to be a canvas to express our vision—serving the best quality food and drinks at the best price.”

They serve moka pot brewed coffee, various types of pasta, and soft cookies at their stalls. The prices start from RM5.

Image Credit: Bluum Roadside Cafe (left) and Nor Mariata Rita Maslan (right)

Building a blooming business

Founded in July 2021, Bluum Roadside Cafe quickly gained traction. 

Starting with just the two of them at their Taman Melawati branch, their team grew to include seven friends from high school. 

This camaraderie and trust allowed them to expand across Klang Valley, with five branches now in operation.

The key to their success lies in maintaining consistency in quality and service. Each team member undergoes face-to-face training, learning to identify the perfect balance of flavours and ensuring that every dish meets Bluum’s high standards.

“We now have a central kitchen where all our ingredients are produced following the demand on that day. We also have a team of talented players managing the central kitchen,” shared the founders.

Image Credit: Bluum Roadside Cafe

Challenges and triumphs

Running a roadside cafe comes with its own set of challenges. 

Training new staff to meet Bluum’s high standards in both food quality and customer interaction is a continuous process. 

Weather conditions also pose a challenge, particularly when making coffee with a moka pot.

Image Credit: Haji D (left) and Nudra Syafini (right)

“There’s nothing much we can do about the weather. But what we can do is train our team members to assist our customers who can’t come out of their cars and take orders from them. One thing is for sure, the business has to run no matter the condition.”

“Also, the amount of training needed to make good coffee using a moka pot. We only aim to serve good coffee regardless of the method we use. The only major factor that decides the method that we use to brew coffee is the absence of electricity,” they shared.

Despite these hurdles, the duo remains committed to serving excellent coffee, adapting their methods as needed.

While Bluum Roadside Cafe continues to bloom, Ilyas and Amirul are already looking towards the future. 

They dream of opening a physical cafe, a place where they can further refine their concept and offerings. 

Image Credit: Bluum Roadside Cafe

But they’re not rushing into it. “It is challenging to find a shop lot that would meet our demands in terms of location and layout. The rent in KL is also not cheap,” they said.

A blooming future

Bluum Roadside Cafe is more than just a business for Ilyas and Amirul. It’s about their friendship, creativity, and determination. 

From a humble beginning in a food court to a growing roadside cafe with multiple branches, their journey is inspiring.

As they explore new business opportunities, both within and outside Bluum RC, their vision remains clear. 

They trust their team, built on years of collaboration under one tent, and are continuously improving their offerings.

In a landscape often dominated by conventional setups, Bluum Roadside Cafe stands out—a blooming success story of how passion, friendship, and a bit of ingenuity can transform dreams into reality.

  • You can learn more about their business here.
  • Read other articles we’ve written about Malaysian startups here.

Featured Image Credit: Bluum Roadside Cafe and Asal Gombak Facebook

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