The Brickhouse Group began with a tiny café at MAHSA University. Co-founders Datin Christine Bong and Datuk Sharon Haniffa talk to Petrina Fernandez about the twists and turns the company has taken to diversify its portfolio, the inspiration behind initiatives such as flagship café Pokok KL and artisanal hub Kedai, and the joys and challenges of their rocky entrepreneurial journey.
It was like something out of Bollywood, Datin Christine Bong jokes. “A Tamil movie, the story of how we met,” she says.
“Really,” agrees Datuk Sharon Haniffa. He pauses theatrically. “Ten years ago, we met under a tree.”
While out celebrating a friend’s bachelor’s night in Changkat Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur, Sharon bumped into an acquaintance standing beneath a tree who introduced him to Bong. They went their separate ways but the two coincidentally met again under the same tree an hour later.
“She was in sales for a hydrotherapy equipment business and I cheekily said we might be able to work together since my family has some involvement in physiotherapy. We exchanged numbers and now, here we are,” continues Sharon.
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