Gym owner muscles into the durian business

 | Mon 4 May 2020 17:22 ICT

When the government announced the emergency decree, most businesses were forced to shut down.

Nattaphol Pongphasathorn, 39, owner of King of Gym (Chiang Mai-Mae On Road) and Gold Hillside Gym (Hillside 4) found himself locking up his two gyms and temporarily out of business.

“I have always been a durian lover,” Natthaphol told Citylife, “so when a friend of mine told me that he had friends in Chantaburi, a province famous for its durian, who had some quality durian farms, I thought why not? I have only ever eaten it, but maybe I could start selling them. But then I looked around and realised that durian stalls were everywhere, by road sides all in and around Chiang Mai. So I had to think of something that would be a good gimmick that would make us stand out. So I decided to invite my staff who had no job at the time, to come and help me sell them.

Four men and one women joined me about three weeks ago and we began to sell them out of my friend’s restaurant, B Samcook Home 16. Within four days, with friends and fans sharing pics on social media, we began to get customers who came specifically to find us.

When asked how he came up with such a gimmick, he said, “Well, I suddenly realised that we had all been investing in our bodies for years, crafting them to perfection. Why not use them now if they can help us?”

Initially Natthaphol thought that this little venture would be a temporary one for a few months which could help see him and his friends and employees tide themselves over the crisis. But he has been shocked at the success.

“We have been in Thai and international media and we have fans in Taiwan and Japan,” he said. “It is incredible that businesses from Laos or Bangkok, both of which are much closer to Chanthaburi than we are here in Chiang Mai, are choosing to order from us!”

Natthaphol’s business is soaring. He is selling around 1.5 tonnes of durian every two days which pulls in about a hundred thousand baht per day. If you would like to check out the muscly vendors, please visit B Samcook Home 16 or just go to their Facebook page if you are really hungry…or thirsty.