As a video producer in television and advertising, Khris developed an instinct to create things that people longed for, and when she quit her job, that gave her the confidence to start a business with her partner, Raph. Together, they launched Halo Donut.
“This whole project has been going on for almost two years. We did a donut making class together in 2018, but the work always stopped us and our dough wasn’t fantastic, ”Raph told Vulcan Post.
“Things first clicked after Khris took that class again in January 2020 and we sold our first donut on March 28, 2020.”
Before starting Halo Donut from her mother’s home kitchen, the employer had quit her job just two days before the MCO was released due to the toxic work environment.
Well aware of the effects of the pandemic, Khris only assumed that he would have no trouble finding a new job. Meanwhile, she kept busy in the oven and posting pictures of her creations online that were then sent to friends who thought they were delicious.
“Friends of friends wanted them too, so Khris started selling them and more people kept coming,” Raph shared.
The birth of Halo Donut was combined with Raph’s knowledge in the opening scene. The two dining halls had been dancing around the idea of starting an F&B business together for a long time. After reducing some figures, they finally decided to advance Khris ’skills in a business, spending RM25K as start-up capital that came from Raph’s savings.
Take the next step
Perhaps all of this investment was worth it, as the Halo Donut business grew faster than expected. Raph attributes this to Khris ’creativity and to what he believes are the best fritters he has found; never before have he liked donuts or desserts.
While Khris was able to hone his cooking skills, his knowledge of accounting and math was not on the same level. “On average he charged people 25% and mixed orders,” Raph laughed.
“My nerd power came to the rescue here and I built a Halo-adapted POS for her that we still use today.” And that’s why Raph is proud to handle all the nerdy stuff for Halo Donut, from accounting to IT services and email interviews, he joked.
Khris ’experience in the media industry also guided her to the company’s presence on social media, which worked in her favor especially at first. Raph also made sure the whole “local support” movement helped attract customers as well.
Having to manage a 50-flavor menu that changes weekly, it took a few weeks to get into a larger volume order management pace. The team also realized that it was unsustainable to continue running Halo Donut from Khris ’mother’s kitchen if they wanted to climb.
Therefore, they settled as one of Cookhouse’s first tenants as soon as the cloud kitchen opened in June 2020. Using the right equipment, they were able to make production times more predictable, where delivery orders came out at 12.30pm daily.
Raph believes moving to a cloud kitchen was an invaluable step for the business, as they could not afford their own shop window. Still, the couple wants to set up their own store in the future, but not until next year.
An outlet for creativity
While Raph prefers not to go into details about Halo Donut’s revenue, instead he shared that they have sold about 17,000 donuts so far.
He proudly added that his business brings enough money for the couple to continue and be full of optimism. Although, it is still not enough that they can allow Khris – who wakes up at 5.30am to make donuts – to sleep there or still have his own tent.
Despite this, Khris can no longer be a worker again after immersing herself in the world of creative freedom and having executive power in a company. “The hope is that this pay cut is just an increase in speed,” they said.
This year, the couple will focus on expanding the Halo Donut team and its reach so Khris can take a step back from production. Once achieved, Khris will focus more on the company’s R&D and social media content to turn the company into a food empire that sells much more than donuts.
- You can find more information about Halo Donut here.
- You can read about more Malaysian companies we have dealt with here.
Featured Image Credit: Khris and Raph, co-founders of Halo Donut