Gupta and Primo from Eskimomo are posing together in a kitchen.

Eskimomo: A Story of Passion and Perseverance

It takes patience, perseverance, and sacrifices to see one’s passionate pursue finally came to fruition. Gupta Sitorus and Primo Rizky, the duo behind all things good coming from Eskimomo ice cream, shared their story of success here.  

What’s the story behind Eskimomo?

Eskimomo was started in 2013 and we are ardent believers of anything that started with passion, not ambition, will always end well. Both of us love desserts so much and we wanted to start something that can evoke a lot of creativity. What made sense with our circumstances back then was to start a humble ice cream business. For us, ice cream is such a colorful playground and sky’s the only limit.

As we grow, we are still committed to this industry and have done a lot of developments in terms of our taste portfolio, cooking techniques, while also learning from the more experienced as well.

Can you describe what kind of ice cream that Eskimomo offers?

Our kind of ice cream is what the industry would categorize as ultra-premium ice cream. In contrast with the massively produced industrial type that can yield twice or thrice after churning the mixture for hours, our version will only yield additional 30%. That’s why compared to them, our ice cream has thicker texture, a bit chewy, and rather similar with gelato.

As to why we chose this approach, our initial determinations back then concluded that Indonesian market did not bother (yet) with the differences between gelato and ice cream. In terms of cooking techniques though, there’s not much difference aside from some of the ingredients. However, in terms of investments, gelato machines are more on the high-end side. Eskimomo had humble beginnings and once again, it all started with passion and not mere ambition. That’s our way to avoid unnecessary risks as well.

Tell us why you guys prefer the B2B approach?

That has always been our aim since the beginning, to tell you the truth. We both have other businesses in publishing and as consultants as well. Therefore, it wouldn’t make any sense to present ourselves in retail business as a full-time job. Jakarta is challenging for ice cream business and hats off for those who build their retail presence bravely here, but it’s just not our thing in the end. Perhaps later when an opportunity arises, we’d like to consider that again.

Why the B2B? Partly because we can manage our time better with this approach. It’s more reasonable for us and yet, it’s no less profitable than retail. We get to keep our creativity all the time as well, since our B2B clients may ask for customized flavors. For instance, we have our Pinacolada ice cream for Mexican theme, we have Putu flavor for Indonesian, we have others for Japanese, and many more.

What are your signature flavors and the most unique you ever came up with?

Our Apple Pie flavor is still the best-seller to date. Other signature flavors we have are the Choco Orange, Choco Mint, and Salted Caramel Popcorn. We are adopting the Philadelphian-style ice cream and that enables us to explore with more flavors rather than the Parisian.

Lately, we are exploring a lot of Indonesian flavors. We did Kunyit Asam sorbet, just because we were intrigued with the tamarind we found in Cirebon. We created the Nasi Lemak flavor when we had this gig once in Kuala Lumpur – made from tempe kecap, caramelized anchovies, sweet chili jam, rice pudding, and emping. Recently in Singapore, we did Martabak flavor and Sayur Asem sorbet!

Where can we find your ice creams in Jakarta and how many do you produce?

We supply our ice cream to Beau, Lewis & Carroll, Taco Local, Baoji, Honu, Ramurasa, Coffee AYA, and several others. Currently we have a single client that orders around 6,000 cups per month.

You guys have come a long way, haven’t you?

We now have several ice cream machines each with an output of 5 liters per hour or so. We have three kitchen assistants and a courier to drop our ice cream fresh every day for clients.

Looking back, we only have this tabletop, home appliance quality, ice cream machine that can only produce a liter per hour or equal to 10 cups. One time, the pedal was broken and we, in turn, had to churn it manually by hand! We need to finish everything that night just because we’re heading for an event in Bandung the next day.

We did this at home after 9 to 7 work every day back then and it’s for a business that was not more profitable than our salaries. But well, that’s passion for you, and looking back, we have come quite a long way!

Any plans after this?

We are so blessed with internet nowadays. Back then, you need to go somewhere far just to study about ice cream making. However, we still would like to get a degree for it and we’re enrolling for food science degree at Penn State University starting at the end of this year. We need to learn more about the R&D, how to deal business in industrial scale, and that’s important since Eskimomo is heading more seriously that way.



The article was published in Passion Magazine

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