“We are not looking to make acai a trend. We want to make it part of a healthy lifestyle that is sustainable for everyone.” – Wen Khyn Cheah, Co-founder and Director of Cabana
Khyn and his partner, Jun Yong Yeoh are huge enthusiasts of Mixed Martial Arts. While they were actively competing, the right nutrients were certainly a need to support their demanding training regimens. But there was just one problem – both of them had a sweet tooth. During a training session in Singapore in 2013, Khyn and Jun first discovered acai bowls and decided to give it a try over their regular protein shakes, which grew into an immediate loyalty for acai bowls. Since then they have made it their personal mission to bring authentic açaí bowls made from frozen acai pulp to Kuala Lumpur. Let’s find out more about them!
BEFORE WE START, MAYBE YOU CAN TELL US HOW ACAI IS BENEFICIAL TO OUR HEALTH.
The acai berry is known for its high concentration of antioxidants and nutrients. It is native to the Amazon rainforests of Brazil where it has been consumed for healing purposes for centuries. The antioxidants found in the acai berry, nearly ten times more than in grapes, also known as anthocyanins, is important for maintaining heart health. Also found in the acai berries are amino acids that help promote muscle performance and energy production, as well as calcium, fibre, omega fats and vitamins A. Best of all, they actually taste great when blended with other fruits and served as a smoothie bowl.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR JOURNEY OF RUNNING AN F&B OUTLET IN MALAYSIA.
We’ve come a long way since we started over 2 years ago in terms of growing awareness and educating Malaysians about acai. One of the many questions customers have is why our bowls are priced higher than most smoothie bowls. To answer, our acaí is frozen at its source and imported in as close to its original form, alongside being certified organic and unsweetened. The credibility has allowed us to supply and distribute our acai pulp to other cafes and supermarket outlets in Malaysia.
HOW DOES TECHNOLOGY PLAY A ROLE IN YOUR MENU PREPARATION?
We do a lot of blending at our outlet as we constantly blend our acai and smoothie bowls in batches a few times everyday to ensure its freshness. We also blend our smoothies fresh to order. Therefore it’s important that we use a good quality industrial grade blender.
WHAT ARE THE ELEMENTS ESSENTIAL TO RUNNING AN F&B OUTLET SIMILAR TO YOUR CONCEPT?
The quality of food and service is of utmost importance – and the menu has to reflect that. The turnaround time of preparing the items are equally important as most of our customers are the grab-and-go kind. All these elements should considered without sacrificing hygiene and cleanliness.
TELL US ABOUT SOME OF YOUR BEST SELLERS.
Our best-selling acai bowl is our signature Tropical Thunder bowl. It is a refreshing blend of organic acai pulp blended with banana, pineapple, soy milk, coconut milk, agave and topped with bananas, mangoes, strawberries, kiwi, coconut flakes, and granola. Our menu is by and large vegan-friendly too except for three items which have whey protein and greek yoghurt in it. We’ve also added variety to our menu by including nonacai smoothies and smoothie bowls, all of which are also made with fresh, healthy and natural ingredients.
WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE PLANS FOR CABANA?
As we continue to expand, we will be working with different brands to come up with new and creative ways to use acai berries beyond smoothie bowls and smoothies. We have recently collaborated with Wild Kombucha to create the first acai berry kombucha drink on the market and the response to it has been amazing. We hope that by introducing new and delicious acai berry products to the market, people will start to incorporate acai berries into their daily diet just as the people of the Amazon rainforests did many centuries ago. Other plans this year also include opening up a second outlet and expanding our delivery service to reach a wider audience in the Klang Valley. Also look out for our soonto- be-launched Malaysia’s first ever acai sorbet! It will be available in our Publika outlet as well as in selected cafes and Jaya Grocer outlets.
It looks like Cabana has come a long way in the industry especially in creating awareness about acai bowls. Surely, having to constantly adapt, progress and evolve is crucial to surviving in this fast-paced industry. “It just means we have to dig our heels in and figure out ways to boost our sales,” Khyn said.
For more information on Cabana, you may go to:
Address : Lot 63, Level UG, Publika Shopping Gallery, 1, Jalan Dutamas 1, Solaris Dutamas, 50480 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Website : www.cabana-acai.com