| Rokiah Mahmud |
DOUG Latif’s story is filled with obstacles that nearly ended his venture. However, driven by strong will, passion and determination to supplement his family’s income, he achieved success just by selling cakoi, a popular fried dough.
A successful local entrepreneur, Doug Latif of Doug’s Cakoi fame, was interviewed by the Borneo Bulletin in conjunction with the 31st National Day celebration which this year has the theme of “Generation with a Vision”.
The Doug Cakoi brand was established in 2011 with strong support of his family, especially his elder sister, that owns a pastry shop called Little Gourmet.
Initially, he did not take his cakoi business seriously but the size of daily income from the small stall changed his mind and he took the initiative to learn the recipe to make fresh, quality dough.
With a starting capital of just $500, Doug Latif determined to make Doug’s Cakoi a favourite among Bruneians. He started a small stall along Jalan Lambak Kanan selling the usual versions of cakoi – regular and kahwin – and his other creations.
He told the Bulletin that many stalls are selling similar cakoi in many locations. To differentiate himself, he created a different cakoi. “I want to sell something unique that will highlight not only Doug’s Cakoi brand but also the taste of cakoi,” said Doug Latif.
“Therefore, I got the idea to offer a new menu with different offerings. We introduced chicken, beef and cheese fillings.
“These were something that was never tried before. Because of that, I asked my family and a few close friends to taste the new menu first before selling them to the customers. Alhamdulillah, they gave good feedbacks and encouraged me to start selling the new items.
“I started to promote it to my customers and surprisingly the chicken and beef versions became popular.”
He opened up another two stalls at Jalan Tungku and Jalan Salambigar to meet the demand of his customers in the area as well as to broaden the market.
On a daily basis, Doug’s Cakoi use more than 10 kilogrammes of dough for all three branches. That amount of dough could produce almost 400 sticks of cakoi. The shops are open on Monday to Saturday from 2pm until 5pm. The cakoi could easily sold out in less than two hours as the customers start to come as soon as the stalls open.
Because of the large number of customers, Doug Latif decided to use numbering system to make it easy to prepare the customers’ orders without mistakes.
Doug’s Cakoi are available in sets – Set A consists of eight pieces of cakoi sticks with either chicken or beef fillings while Set B has three pieces of chicken, three pieces of beef and six pieces of cakoi kahwin.
Doug Latif hopes to open up more branches including in Tutong and Belait districts to meet the increasing demand of cakoi. At the moment, the primary medium of promoting Doud’s Cakoi is the social media – WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram.
Doug Latif advised the youths who want to venture into business to have proper perspectives and be willing to work hard in facing challenges in the business world.
“Success is not easy. You need to overcome obstacles, be patient, be positive, determined and know the path you are taking. The youths must have strong will in order to achieve success.
“Success cannot be achieved in just one night and you need to work on it,” he added.
“Even today there are still a lot of things that I need to learn.”