Bolbettas: Building a business out of meatball subs and sandwiches

From a TV show meatball sub to a real-life replica, local business Bolbettas is serving up meatball subs and sandwiches to satisfy cravings that people get from watching shows.

Founder Pg Muhd Amar Wafiuddin who is also known as Wafi was inspired to create these meatball sandwiches as he craved for one whilst watching the hit TV show ‘Friends’.

However, he could not think of any places that sell one. So, he decided to make one himself.

“One of the characters in Friends, Joey, was eating this delicious-looking meatball subs. I just wanted some but I couldn’t think of any place that offers that particular type of meatballs subs so I thought why not make one?, ” said the 27-year-old.

The subs eventually became a hit among his family and from there, he knew that it was something that he could pursue as a business.

Bolbettas came at the right time as the entrepreneur created it as a means of income as he stopped his day job back in October 2020.

With the amount of time he has and also needing to make money, it became an opportunity for him to start something.

The home-based business is currently selling only Mini Bolbettas that are paired with homemade marinara sauce combined with toasted pandesal bread topped with jalapenos toppings.

“We think it’s definitely different from most of the food that’s currently available here in Brunei Darussalam,” said the entrepreneur.

The products are sold in sets of 11 subs for $20 and 22 subs for $38 as the owner believes that it is the right amount to be enjoyed with friends and family.

Additionally, the subs are ideal for working professionals who tend to order for office gatherings, lunch and more or students to share with their friends during gatherings or even just to be shared among family members.

The business operates from Wafi’s home kitchen in Meragang with the help of his mum Dk Mahani and his wife Nurul Afina whilst his brother, Ak Muhd Amar Mahyuddin helps him with the delivery runs to customer’s doorsteps.

Wafi has always had a heart for entrepreneurship and for him to be able to start his own business is a dream come true for him.

“I studied in Politeknik Brunei and majored in Business Entrepreneurship. Basically, it hasn’t stopped there. I’ve always been involved in the business since I was much younger, and helped my aunt with her expos back in 2016-2017,” said the owner of Bolbettas.

To this day, the youthpreneur is enthusiastic about building his own business and to one day have his own company and to be able to have some involvement in different investment opportunities.

Although when it comes to business, there are some challenges and some that the entrepreneur has encountered such as the lack of ingredients and materials.

“On top of that, manpower is also another challenge faced by Bolbettas. With the ever-increasing demand for the Mini Bolbettas, we find it slightly challenging to prepare a very high quantity of meatballs subs. Sometimes we’ll have to take short breaks in between to avoid burnouts,” said the youth.

However, these challenges do not stop the 27-year-old from striving with his business as he will do what it takes to make his business grow.

The entrepreneur believes that when it comes to business, one must not hesitate and just do it as it is never too late or too early to start something.

From there on, experiences will be gained and mistakes will be made to learn from which will all be worth it in the end, he concluded.

Grab some Bolbettas and satisfy those meatball cravings by ordering and heading over to their Instagram

This article was first published on 22 January 2022 in our Weekly E-Paper issue 177 |  More stories here


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