From homemade buns to meat and sauces, two entrepreneurs ventured into a home-based food business as they started experimenting with sliders, small burgers but mighty with a burst of flavour.
Inspired after watching the movie “White Castle”, curiosity was what motivated Muhammad Hazwan Haji Bakar and Dk Simaa Ezzaza Pg Hamadi to start the homegrown business.
“Since it’s only available in the US, we decided to make them ourselves and bring the White Castle style sliders to Brunei, but with our own twist by adding our homemade sauces and hence GelinCheer was made,” said Ezzaza.
Ezzaza and Hazwan chose to sell sliders not only because they were inspired by the franchise and movie, White Castle, but they also did some market research and found that there were not many businesses selling sliders.
The 30-year-olds decided to start the venture due to the difficulty of finding jobs nowadays. With GelinCheer, they were able to find their own way of earning some income and making a career out of it.
The duo decided to name the sliders business GelinCheer as it is a play on the Malay word ‘Gelincir’ which means slide. So what started as a joke became the perfect name.
“We thought it fit really well and changed the end to “cheer” instead as we hoped it’ll bring people who taste our sliders a bit of joy,” said the youthpreneur.
Their motto “Small but Mighty” reflects their goal of making sliders that are small in size with flavourful taste.
Moreover, according to the duo, GelinCheer fully focuses on homemade sliders where they make their own buns, signature sauces and patties.
The burger business currently offers a few selections for their sliders such as Beef Sliders, Chicken Sliders and a Kiddie Meal that comes with sliders, chicken and fruits or fries.
Both beef and chicken are their best-selling products and the popular sauce choices for beef are the original and mushroom whereas chic sauce and honey garlic are a fan favourite for the chicken.
What’s unique about their sliders are their various choices of homemade signature sauces that are homemade and different from what they have seen as well as their buns and patties are also homemade.
“We initially only serve sliders but with variations of sauces, customers have the freedom to mix and match their sauces to match their needs in one tray order,” shared the entrepreneur.
GelinCheer also offers sliders in small and big quantities, perfect for anyone who craves sliders on their own or orders for a big gathering. The price ranges from the cheapest at $2 to their most expensive for big quantities at $95.
The business currently operates from Kampung Madang and occasionally joins some pop-up events so that more people can get to know them and enjoy their sliders.
Both the co-owners dived into this business without prior experience but they are determined to make it work and they are grateful for all the customers that they have gained thus far.
In the beginning, there were a lot of challenges that they had to go through and one of them was getting their name out there and gaining some customers, but after some patience and a few months later, business started to pick up.
However, there was a bit of a setback when the COVID-19 pandemic happened and there were many changes happening but with their determination, they pushed through it and came up with new strategies.
The 30-year-old shared that like many entrepreneurs and business owners, they are always faced with struggles and problems in many forms, especially in their mental and emotional states.
“We are no different. But we needed to have the motivation, determination, problem-solving skills and the right mindset and intention,” said the business owner.
It certainly would not be easy and won’t always be smooth sailing, but people will find satisfaction and taste the fruit of success in the way they see fit for themselves.
As for future plans, GelinCheer is also looking forward to expanding its menu by introducing more flavours and combo meals.
GelinCheer is happy to serve everyone and is grateful for all the support that they have received so far as it keeps them motivated to strive for the best.
Support this small business and have a taste of the movie-inspired sliders by heading over to their Instagram @gelincheer to order.
THE BRUNEIAN | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN