Apon Coffee House: An inspirational tale of perseverance

By Alvee Khan


It would not be far-fetched to refer to Apon Coffee House as the trend-setter for the chocolate cold coffee place of Dhaka. Located in Khilgaon Chowdhuripara, the tale of this hot-favourite cosy coffee shop’s rise to fame is an astonishing one, as well as inspiring too.

Apon revolutionized the Dhaka cold coffee scenario, offering delicious coffees at a cheap price. For only Taka 50, you can have a glass of their signature chocolate cold coffee that’ll quench your thirst and satisfy your taste buds. However, Apon’s rise to prominence was not a swift ride. It’s a tale of perseverance, dedication and quality control that every restaurant owner and entrepreneurs should look up to.

Back in 2005, Apon started as a small grocery store on Shahid Baki Road of Chowdhuripara. Md. Zia, the owner, invested his savings for the shop as a mean to support his family. Things were going normal, when a small experiment changed their lives for good.

In 2010, as some restaurants were trying to make their mark beside the recently developed Shahid Baki Road, Zia and co decided to start serving cold coffees to the locals, as there were youths hanging around the shop all the time. Just selling coffees for the target demographic would ensure the capital invested in this venture and make it sustainable. However, the expansion exceeded their expectations. Everyone loved the taste of the coffee at such a cheap price. Words spread, and soon everyone started inviting their friends over for a sip of this stunning delight.

That’s when Zia and his family realized the opportunity to create something grand. That’s when they decided to stop being shopkeepers, and became entrepreneurs.

The intensity of the crowd demanded a separate place to have coffee, and Apon expanded as a coffee shop in a small shop on the same road in 2013. The 200 square feet place was beside Alamgir catering in Shahid Baki road. Crowds started pouring in, and it was tough to manage such demand while operating in such a small place. However, the crew worked relentlessly to serve their customers, and retained their reputation not only through the quality of their coffees, but also through their jovial personalities. After all, a mere Apon confectionary had branched out into Apon Coffee Shop, and people from all over Dhaka city were coming over to taste their cold coffees.

The increasing demands made the owners realize the need to set up a big shop to serve the customers well and as a result, they shifted to their current place, named ‘Apon Coffee House’.

In 2017, Apon expanded their shop, launching a big cosy place for coffee lovers to sit, have a conversation and sip some coffees.

Khilgaon has placed itself as a prominent location for food lovers of Dhaka. It would not be exaggerating to give Apon’s cold coffee the majority of the credit for turning Khilgaon into a food hub of Dhaka. It brought the foodie crowd into Khilgaon.

In the beginning, Apon served chocolate cold coffees for 40 taka. The price of coffee has risen only Taka 10 over these eight years. Their loyalty to their customers turned their customers loyal to them as well.

Currently, Apon serves eight types of cold coffees: regular, chocolate, caramel, butterscotch, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, cappuccino, vanilla and peanut chocolate. These eight variants have their hot coffee version as well, alongside hot chocolate milk shake, cappuccino chocolate hot coffee, latte, latte hot chocolate and hot creamer chocolate coffee. There are 8 kinds of milkshakes: strawberry, Oreo, kaju, vanilla, chocolate, mango and strawberry chocolate combo. There are Shahi Lassy, Labang, mango juice and papaya juice. All the items are priced between Tk 40 to Tk 100.

When asked about the shop, Mohammad Zia said, ‘Apon is a family business. We all worked hard to make it sustainable, and through our perseverance we have succeeded. Throughout the years, we’ve faced many troubles, ranging from problems with local hooligans, building owners etc. But that never stopped us.’ The owners expressed their ambition of opening branches in other culinary hubs such as Dhanmondi or Uttara.

The success of Apon Coffee House is almost like a fairy tale. It sounds too good to be true. But believe it or not, it is true. Apon proves that quality combined with perseverance, always pays off.

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