JOHOR BARU: Working at a vegetable stall was not his first choice career as a university graduate, but Muhammad Azrul Aziz did it anyway to help modernise his parents’ market trade.
Along the way, he wanted to help the community as well.
The administrative science graduate decided to focus on bringing his parents’ 24-year-old business at the Skudai Farmers’ Market online to make it accessible to more people.
He introduced Pasa, a modern take on a farmers’ market, to keep up with the times and competition from mini markets and chain stores.
Azrul, 26, said when they first started their Facebook and Instagram pages, there were many enquiries about a delivery service.
He then resolved to use social media to promote the items sold at his parents’ stall.
In August, he began offering door-to-door delivery to customers such as housewives, students, working adults and restaurant operators.
“Our customers enjoy the convenience of getting fresh produce at their doorstep. We enjoy interacting with them, even if it is just saying ‘Hi’ and asking about their well-being,” he said in an interview.
Besides the usual foodstuff, customers also look for ulam (raw herbs) that are harder to find in supermarkets, he said, adding that the items sold are not limited to whatever is available at their stall.
Azrul said consumers could just order any produce or frozen food they want via WhatsApp or social media and he would try to meet their orders, as there is a wide range of items available at and around the farmers’ market.
“Not only are we helping our customers get their desired ingredients, we are also helping the market community and surrounding traders by giving them more business,” said the father of one.
Although running around and working long hours may seem more tiring than having a desk job, Azrul said he preferred it this way as there was “more human connection and I get to continue my parents’ work”.
He said they currently offer two delivery time slots each day: 11am and 4pm to homes, university hostels, food and beverage outlets, and roadside stalls in the Skudai area.
There is no minimum order but a RM2 fee per delivery is charged, he said, adding that Pasa receives 150 delivery orders each week.
Azrul noted that while door-to-door delivery by vegetable stalls is common in the Klang Valley, it is still a relatively new concept in Johor Baru.
He plans to launch a website in February to offer a more systematic service and wider range of items.
“I hope to also provide more frequent delivery times and expand the delivery radius to reach more people,” he said.
Pasa Skudai can be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pasaxskudai/