It’s said the first year of business is the hardest, but that wasn’t the case for one newcomer entrepreneur in Fredericton.
Mohamed Khirallah arrived in Canada from Cairo Egypt less than two years ago and in that short time has built a coffee brand that nets $100,000 a year. Khirallah’s coffee is sold in gas stations and supermarkets across the capital city.
He says as a newcomer, interacting with locals and networking gave him a business advantage.
“From the first moment I landed in Fredericton I started to introduce myself to community and I started to integrate into the community,” said Khirallah, owner of Roticana Coffee Company.
Khirallah imports high-quality raw coffee beans from around the world. He says the roasting process is what makes his coffee brand unique.
“People just absolutely love it because it’s locally roasted right here in Fredericton.” Kelly Sprott, an Irving Gas Bar Manager.
Khirallah’s roasting machine alone cost him $150,000. To save costs, he designed his logo and handles all advertising since he has a background in graphic design. The one expense is doesn’t spend a dime on is sales staff.
“My sales force is Frederectionians themselves. They helped me a lot with sales and spreading the word and marketing for the product,” says Khirallah.
And those sales have helped this Irving gas bar’s bottom line, the manager says they sell close to 150 cups of his coffee a day.
“We have seen sales go up about 25 per cent, and it’s only been in for about a month, so that’s a huge increase in a month,” says Kelly Sprott , manager of Fredericton Irving Gas Bar.
Since Roticana Coffee is in such high demand Mohamed wants to open a cafe. He is looking for a larger facility with more room for packaging.
“This is actually because of the community here in Fredericton. They did a great job supporting our business to grow that fast,” said Khirallah.