When CherryBerry opened its doors in Kabul in June 2013, it was an overnight hit, with customers lining up outside to try this strange new food. The staff said it was a challenge to explain that it was not only self-service, but that you had to pick between all the flavors and toppings, a new concept for most.
After just six months, the business had already netted a profit of $50,000, a fortune by Afghan standards. Sarfaraz said he was bitten by the business bug, and with great pleasure he quit his very respectable job with the Ministry of Rehabilitation and Development.
Since then he has launched a second Cherry Berry in Mazar e Sharif and just last week, a third in Herat. His fellow investors have quit their jobs as well.
The owners say that over 80 percent of their customers are Afghans. But at $3 to $5 dollars a serving, CherryBerry is very expensive for most, since the average monthly salary in Afghanistan is just $130.