As a television and commercial video producer, Khris developed an instinct to create things people wanted, and when she quit her job, it gave her the confidence to start a business with her partner. , Raph. Together, they launched Halo Donut.
“This whole project has been under development for almost 2 years. We took a donut-making class together in 2018, but work always got in our way and our dough wasn’t great, ”Raph told Vulcan Post.
“Things first clicked after Khris took over this course in January 2020, and we sold our first donut on March 28, 2020.”
Before starting Halo Donut in his mother’s kitchen, the entrepreneur had quit his job just 2 days before the AGC announcement due to the toxic work environment.
Well aware of the effects of the pandemic, Khris simply assumed that she would have no trouble finding a new job. In the meantime, she kept herself busy preparing and posting photos of her creations online, which were then sent to friends who found them delicious.
“Friends of friends wanted them too, so Khris started selling them and more and more people kept coming,” Raph said.
The birth of Halo Donut was coupled with Raph’s knowledge in the startup scene. The two foodies had been dancing around the idea of starting a restaurant business together for a very long time. After analyzing some numbers, they finally decided to advance Khris’ skills in a business, spending RM25K as start-up capital from Raph’s savings.
Take the next step
Maybe the whole investment was worth it, as Halo Donut’s business grew faster than they had hoped. Raph attributes this to Khris’ creativity and what he thinks are the best donuts he’s come across; he never liked donuts or desserts before that.
Although Khris was able to hone his pastry skills, his knowledge of accounting and math fell short. “She undercharged people by 25% on average and mixed orders,” Raph chuckled.
“My nerd power came to the rescue here and I built a bespoke Halo outlet for her that we still use to this day.” And that’s why Raph takes pride in handling everything cheesy for Halo Donut, from accounting to IT services and email interviews, he joked.
Khris’ experience in the media industry also guided her in the company’s presence on social media, which worked in their favor especially at the start. Raph also made sure to point out that the whole ‘local support’ movement played its part in helping them attract customers as well.
Having to manage a menu of 50 flavors that changes every week, it took them a few weeks to get into a rhythm of processing higher volume orders. The team also realized that it was not viable to keep running Halo Donut from Khris’ mother’s kitchen if they wanted to evolve.
Therefore, they moved in as one of Cookhouse’s first tenants as soon as the cloud kitchen opened in June 2020. By using the right equipment, they were able to make production times more predictable, where orders from delivery went out every day at 12:30.
Raph believes the move to a cloud kitchen was an invaluable stepping stone for the business as they couldn’t afford their own storefront. However, the couple plan to open their own store in the future, but not until next year.
An outlet for creativity
While Raph would rather not go into details about Halo Donut’s income, he instead shared that they’ve sold around 17,000 donuts to date.
He proudly added that their business was making enough money for the couple to keep going and be filled with optimism. However, it’s still not enough that they can afford Khris – who wakes up at 5.30am to make the donuts – to sleep or have his own shop.
Despite this, Khris can no longer be employed again after dipping her feet into the world of creative freedom and having executive power in a company. “The hope is that this pay cut is just a short-lived slowdown,” they said.
This year, the couple will focus on expanding the Halo Donut team and reach so Khris can take a step back from production. Once that is done, Khris will focus more on the company’s R&D and social media content to make the company a food empire selling much more than donuts.
- You can read more about Halo Donut here.
- You can read more about other Malaysian startups we’ve covered here.
Featured Image Credit: Khris and Raph, Co-Founders of Halo Donut
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