Running a coffee business is all about creating the best customer experience. As the founder of Brew 9 Enterprise, Mirshal knows this better than most.

Brew 9 is a company that specialises in cold brews, but before it became what it is today, Mirshal had been selling cold brews since 2016 when she moved to Brunei on her own.

Alone in a foreign country, Mirshal turned to coffee as a way to connect with others, even tweaking her cold brews’ flavour profiles to suit the locals’ taste.

Of course, coffee is a passion, but to create the space and create something that brings people together and talk about the same thing, I think that’s what inspired me to start the business.

After the positive response in Brunei, Mirshal turned her household business into a full-fledged cafe when she returned to Malaysia in 2019. Today, Brew 9 is a favourite neighbourhood cafe in Kota Kemuning and has expanded its range of beverages from coffee to non-caffeinated drinks as well.

How Brew 9 Uses Dropee to Adapt in Times of Crisis
Image credit: Brew 9

The Importance of Adaptability During the Pandemic

The Covid-19 pandemic created many challenges for local businesses, and a small business like Brew 9, which prides itself in uniting the community through coffee, would be one to know. The country going in and out of MCOs made it difficult for Brew 9 to operate and to reach its customers.

One of the biggest challenges Brew 9 faced were high overhead costs, made worse by slower sales turnover as customers were not able to go to the cafe during lockdowns. 

“These entire two years have taught us how important it is to adapt quickly to the circumstances that we face and to the demands and the needs of the community that we live in. Because if we don’t, then the business doesn’t survive.”

Like many businesses, Brew 9 turned to delivery platforms like GrabFood and Beep It to expand its customer radius and make up for the loss of physical sales. But food delivery platforms brought even more challenges for her business to adapt to.

Brew 9 had to increase prices to make up for high commission charges and factor in packaging into product costs. As costs continue to rise, Mirshal started thinking of other ways her business can become more agile and earn sales.

Branching Out into B2B with Dropee

On top of directly selling to consumers, businesses can earn by expanding their distribution network. This was especially crucial during MCO as travel restrictions meant that a single distribution channel was not enough to reach customers in other places.

Mirshal had the same idea for Brew 9, already engaging with a few retailers through personal connections to sell her cold brews in their stores.

This is where Dropee comes in to help Brew 9 maximise its reach. Mirshal was particularly interested in Dropee compared to other platforms because we cater to B2B and have the tools to help businesses buy and sell wholesale seamlessly.

“The service rendered by Dropee is very seamless. The interaction is curated according to my need for the business and the platforms are easy to use.”

With Dropee, Mirshal was able to add more retailers into Brew 9’s distribution network.

Reaching More Customers Online

The rapid digitisation taking place in the F&B industry allows wholesalers to reach more buyers easily and in turn, sell more products. Mirshal has credited Dropee with helping Brew 9 target a wider audience because “anyone can go on Dropee and look for something on wholesale prices and start connecting with the businesses.”

Brew 9 was able to adapt to the new normal not just by targeting a wider audience but also by creating a great buyer experience. By listing its products on Dropee, Brew 9 eased its workflow because clients and regular retailers can seamlessly place their orders online.

“Whenever I speak to a new retailer or when I’m reaching out to new wholesale partners, I also mention that we are on Dropee and that you can also order through the platform. It’s really easy to use, your order can be confirmed very fast and we get to deliver with ease.”

Scaling the Business One Step at a Time

Reflecting on the tough pandemic, Mirshal learned this: “Business has its ups and downs, but it requires resilience, flexibility and quick adaptability of strategies to suit different circumstances.”

“Starting small, learning the foundations of running a business and marketing the products are the best way to start any business. As the momentum and demand increases, scaling up the business slowly but surely is the next step.”

With Dropee, Brew 9 is able to do just that – engaging more retailers online, reaching a wider audience and ultimately fulfilling its goal of bringing people together, one coffee at a time.

Categories: Case Study


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