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Moosa Mohammed (left) with one of his employees. Image Credit: Supplied

Muscat: Moosa Mohammed started his café in Ruwi in the Omani capital Muscat in 1991 in a location that is considered super prime today. It wasn’t so then. Today, his shop is one of the many recognisable landmarks in Muscat.

In 1991, Moosa’s shop was one small corrugated shed, and it remains the same to this day - but with a lot of modifications. He has added an air conditioner, a separate water storage unit and a covered outside seating area. Moosa starts his day at 5.30am every day and remains open till 11pm, with no day off, except perhaps for Eid. His staff work in shifts as the café remains open continuously till its closing time.

Crowd of early-risers

The items required for the snacks he serves in his shop, like the batter for various types of fritters, and vada (an Indian deep fried snack) are made at home and brought to the shop. It is not rare to see a crowd of early-risers gather around Moosa’s coffee shop at half past five in the morning.

Moosa, who in 1991 had just one staff to assist him, has eight staff now who have been with him for the past two decades. Even as pandemic fears raged and business stuttered, Moosa took care of his staff, and laid no one off.

Many of his loyal patrons have left. But business is slowly bouncing back with the benches in front of his shop filling up with old and new faces.

There are people who come in swanky cars and take their parcels and drive off. The falafels, pakodas, and the fritters he makes with onion, potato, and banana sell quite literally like hot cakes. His signature item though is the karak tea he makes.

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Moosa Mohammed's palatial house in his home city of Kannaur in Kerala. Image Credit: Supplied

Back home he has constructed an expansive home in a prime locality in Kannur, where his wife and three kids stay. His eldest child, daughter, schooled in Oman till tenth, is now actively pursuing ACCA as she has set her eyes on becoming a chartered accountant.

Moosa is confident that she will clear the course with good grades as she has all along been a brilliant student. The second son in his school finals is a studious one too, who Moosa says will do well in whatever he chooses. “The third son who is in class seven is yet to get serious with studies.”