Category Archives: Interviews

Coffee Talk With Sagaleh

Meet Dhydha Maryudha – one of the co-owners of Sagaleh, among the first coffee shops that pioneered the emergence of es kopi susu beverage. With the industry landscape is now much more diversified, he shares his two cents about the business.

In just mere three years, coffee shops are sprouting like wildfire across Indonesia. Early last decade, it was all initiated by a handful of third-wave coffee shops, championing both local beans and micro batches from across the globe. The movement sparked a renewed nationwide appreciation toward coffee and the dynamics that surround it.

Among which is something that’s exclusively found in Indonesia and it’s none other than es kopi susu. This is a refreshing mixture of espresso shots with milk and mixed with homemade sugar sauce, with many prefer using brown sugar. Sagaleh however has its own recipe and was among the pioneers alongside Toko Kopi Tuku, Kopi Sana, Animo, and Di Bawah Tangga.

How it all began

Before fully inheriting RM Sepakat – a long standing Padang restaurant in Blok M, Dhydha and the rest of third generation owners decided to open their own business first. As to why a coffee business, he simply says that’s because everyone in the family likes coffee!

I remembered a day in 2017 when I walked down this downhill alley around Petogogan, South Jakarta. There I found Sagaleh and it was not the coffee shop that I would had imagined. It was a home, designed for takeaway orders. There were also stools reserved mostly for Gojek drivers. That was my first time enjoying their bold and indulging es kopi susu. It’s among my personal favorites and tastes consistently the same today.

Sagaleh started out modestly without investing in professional espresso coffee machine. “Four portable stoves and ten moka pots. That’s what it takes to brew our coffee”, Dhydha reminisces. Those days, Gojek was not yet available as easily as today. How they did it was just by letting everyone know that they’re open for business through social media. “We still received last order the day before delivery. The next day, we’re using GoSend to deliver our beverages – even to as far as Tangerang and Cibubur!”, he adds.

However, it wasn’t long until they can finally harness the full might of Gojek to catapult the Sagaleh into a well-known powerhouse in es kopi susu business.

Growth and expansions

A few months later, Sagaleh received an opportunity to expand. With overflowing orders keep on coming, the owners must consider an option to move out and not intruding their residential neighbors furthermore. Since then, a small shop tucked on Jalan Sambas – Blok M, became their new home. It was not only designed for takeaway orders, but also for hanging out.

However, the big break came almost just a year after they first started the business and this time the offer came from Pondok Indah Mall. It was still rare in 2018 to find an es kopi susu vendor in shopping malls. Until this day, the one at Pondok Indah Mall remains among the best performing of all Sagaleh outlets.

In 2019, Sagaleh opened up their flagship store in Panglima Polim area. Designated as a hub, Rumah Sagaleh shares its space with a barber shop. Inside, you can find more seats and even outdoor space. The kitchen was also set up to cater more more food menu to complement your drinks.

“Finally, we have a complete portfolio for Sagaleh. A full-fledged coffee shop, a smaller shop like the one on Jalan Sambas, and a tenant at a lifestyle shopping mall”, explains Dhydha.

The road ahead


Now there are more than just the three outlets in Jakarta. Only recently, they have expanded to Bandung and soon at least a couple more will be opened. “We are also considering for other cities as well. Would be great to reach 10 shops this 2020!”, exclaims Dhydha, brimming with confidence.

Even so, the pathway that Sagaleh leads to is to grow organically. With rapid expansions of several brands in the coffee shop business recently, it was only natural for us to ask his two cents about it. “Do you think such growth is deemed healthy for the industry and the competition?”, we ask.

Wisely Dhydha answers that he does not worry about it. “As long as we can all compete healthily, it should be okay. But my concern would be the astronomical demands for the farmers”, he continues. A just concern, remembering that Indonesian farmers capacity to cater such scale is being seriously challenged.

“Venture capitalists are now partnering with coffee shops and they now have serious KPI to fulfill. Such offer was once presented for us, but we decided to just grow the business by ourselves”, explains Dhydha. The new direction from the management of Sagaleh is not only expanding their business gradually, but to also focusing on quality without forgetting their roots.

“To bridge the gap between es kopi susu and specialty coffee would be where we’re heading next. It’s already challenging to maintain consistency with the products and our human resources. So in the end, it’s all about creating a sustainable business for the long run”, he says.

This article was published in Passion Magazine



RUMAH SAGALEH

Address:
Ruko Dharmawangsa Square, Jl. Darmawangsa VI No.20, RT.5/RW.1, Pulo, Kec. Kby. Baru, Kota Jakarta Selatan, Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta 12160Plaza Senayan, LG Sogo, Jl. Asia Afrika No.8, Senayan, Jakarta

Opening hours:
Daily, 8am-10pm

https://www.google.com/maps/embed?pb=!1m18!1m12!1m3!1d3966.1214030524197!2d106.80004931439197!3d-6.2477289954776065!2m3!1f0!2f0!3f0!3m2!1i1024!2i768!4f13.1!3m3!1m2!1s0x2e69f1477028ac93%3A0x6a15e14125dd244a!2sRumah%20Sagaleh!5e0!3m2!1sen!2sid!4v1604072609741!5m2!1sen!2sid

Mooning Over Cold Moo’s Ice Cream

Kota Jakarta kini merupakan sarang berbagai panganan pencuci mulut – dari cokelat hingga toko es krim. Bicara soal yang satu ini, Jakarta punya warisan es krim sejak jaman colonial, es krim gaya modern, hingga gelato. Sungguh era yang menyenangkan bagi penggemar makanan manis karena bisa menjajal lebih banyak tempat.

Menariknya, Cold Moo punya satu perbedaan unik dengan yang lainnya, meskipun sama-sama mencari rasa yang seimbang dan tekstur pada produknya. Ia tidak berfokus pada aksi teatrikal seperti es krim Turki ataupun yang dibuat di atas batu granit beku. Begitupun ia bukan tipe es krim premium ataupun gelato. Kami menjumpai Nick dan Ali, pasangan di balik Cold Moo yang berbagi cerita suksesnya. Popularitas Cold Moo dimulai sejak tahun 2018 selagi masih menjadi tenant di Pelaspas, satu hub kuliner anak muda di Jakarta Selatan.

Setelah jalan beberapa bulan, pengunjung semakin memadati Cold Moo. Namun karena tempatnya yang terlalu kecil, mereka memutuskan untuk pindah tidak jauh menuju ruko di seberang The Darmawangsa Square. Awal tahun ini, Cold Moo dibuka kembali dan langsung menjadi tempat yang hype lagi. Dengan kapasitas lebih besar, Cold Moo kini memiliki satu lantai khusus untuk kedai kopi dan berjualan cookies. 

Panggil saja barista berpengalaman Mario untuk kebutuhan kopimu, atau teman-teman lainnya kalau ingin mencoba cookies buatan Ali yang dipanggang baru setiap hari. Naik ke lantai dua dan bertemu dengan Nick untuk memesan es krim favoritmu. Kalau baru pertama kali ke sini, maka es krim Cold Moo akan menjadi bintang di hari ini! “Alasan mengapa Cold Moo berbeda adalah karena penggunaan mesin bor untuk es krim ini. Tugasnya adalah mengaduk semua bahan agar tercipta rasa es krim yang segar serta sesuai yang diinginkan”, jelas Nick. Namun kalau begitu, mengapa bukan es krim pada umumnya? Ali kemudian menjawab, “Orang Indonesia adalah penggemar tekstur dan makanan sehari-hari mereka terdiri dari banyak tekstur. Pengalaman tekstural inilah yang menjadikan bersantap es krim lebih seru”.

Tersihir adalah kata yang tepat ketika melihat proses membuatnya yang menarik. Apalagi segenap kru Cold Moo dapat melakukannya dengan sangat baik. Hasilnya adalah satu porsi sweet milk ice cream yang dipadukan dengan topping kesukaan. Contohnya rasa Special K yang memadukan es krim dasar dengan stroberi segar dan corn flakes. Lalu ada juga Banana Krisps yang memadukan pisang dengan Rice Krispies.

Dengan menggunakan mesin bor ini maka setiap suapnya adalah rasa dan tekstur yang selalu seimbang. Penasaran, saya bertanya lebih jauh tentang mesinnya. “Mesin buatan Amerika Serikat harganya bisa 13 kali lipat dari yang ini. Ya, itulah sebabnya kita menggunakan buatan China”, jawab Nick. “Untungnya ayah Nick mengetahui banyak soal mesin sehingga bisa membantu untuk memperbaiki bila rusak. Selain itu, kita memang membeli mesin ekstra sebagai pendukung”, tambah Ali.

Es krim Cold Moo terjual di angka ribuan saat akhir pekan. Ini menjadikan saya penasaran juga dengan kue yang turut menjadi ciri khasnya. “Lima ratus buah terjual saat weekday”, sahut Ali. Langsung saja kita menuju ke lantai tiga, tempat pembuatan kue berlangsung. Di sana saya menemukan sebuah dapur yang didesain dengan baik untuk kebutuhan sehari-hari, produksi, bahkan untuk kelas memasak.

“Kami biasanya memproduksi dalam batch kecil agar memastikan bahwa kualitasnya terjaga”, jelas Ali. Selanjutnya saya juga menanyakan mengenai alat-alat yang digunakan. “Kami menggunakan oven merk Turbofan dengan tiga rak, karena lebih baru dan lebih baik daripada oven dengan merk yang sama namun dengan empat rak. Untuk mixer, saya menggunakan tipe klasik dan profesional namun hanya berukuran kecil dan bukan untuk industry. Ini membantu saya untuk mencapai tekstur dan teknik yang diinginkan”, begitu lanjutnya.

Di satu titik, es krim dan kue milik Cold Moo berpadu menjadi satu rasa premium yang jadi favorit para penggemarnya. Cold Moo adalah satu contoh prima dimana es krim, kopi, dan kue saling mendukung satu sama lain dengan seimbang. Meskipun sukses, Nick dan Ali tetap menjaga kerendahan hati mereka. “Para pelanggan kami adalah pahlawannya. Di akhir hari, kami tidak mungkin mencapai ini semua tanpa mereka. Masih banyak dari mereka yang merupakan pelanggan sejak pertama buka dan ini sangat berarti bagi kami. Tanpa mereka, bisnis kami tidak akan berkembang seperti sekarang”, begitu tutupnya. 


This article was published in Passion Magazine



COLD MOO

Address:
Ruko Dharmawangsa Square, Jl. Darmawangsa VI No.20, RT.5/RW.1, Pulo, Kec. Kby. Baru, Kota Jakarta Selatan, Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta 12160Plaza Senayan, LG Sogo, Jl. Asia Afrika No.8, Senayan, Jakarta

Opening hours:
Wed-Sun, 9am-6pm

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

Markoek: Innovating Beyond the Boundaries of Indonesian Traditional Snacks

Heading to the southern part of Jakarta in a busy, weekday morning was no small feat. The excitement to know more about Markoek, a decade old business that successfully promotes traditional Indonesian snacks, pumps up the spirit for even the most seasoned foodies.

Any efforts nowadays through personal means to promote Indonesian food in its own country are very much appreciated – let alone if one could successfully introducing it also abroad. More and more people are showing their love to Indonesian food nowadays, but the pioneers may be only a handful and they are here to inspire us today. One of them is Markoek.

Traditional Indonesian snacks have unlimited potential – especially if we could appreciate how influential they are within the fabric of our society. Its intricacies behind the making, how colorful they are, and its rich variety are the mediums that brought people together in social functions for as long as any Indonesians could remember.

Even so, its place within the society nowadays is considered only for lower segments, since the mid-high markets are more interested with the likes of modern French and Japanese pastries nowadays. Not to mention of course, the onslaught of Korean influences for at least a few years now.

Upon reaching our destination, we meet Mr. Mindiarto Djugorahardjo. Traditionally known as an experienced salesman, a business consultant, and also a trainer; Mr Djugorahardjo has been in the business for around three decades now. Surely if the motivation is righteous and the opportunity arises, one can tell that he would be undaunted with the task of expanding his business to food.

That was the case regarding the inception of Markoek in 2006. It was a leap of faith in remembrance of what his mother had taught him about food and the spirit to promote Indonesian cuisine. As a foodie and a home cook, Mr Djugorahardjo jokingly suggest that, “Entering this business is a matter of changing the main ingredients of rice to flour”.But even so, Markoek turns into a very serious business.

Fun fact, Markoek itself may sound like a real world but it’s actually a portmanteau between “markt” (the Dutch for market) and “koek” (cake). Markoek was then labeled as a boutique cake shop, instead of just the usual snack shop.

The story of how it all started came from eleven years ago. Menteng – a verdant neighborhood in the heart of modern Jakarta, was about to witness the opening of a strategically located small shopping mall that goes with the name Menteng Huis.

“I was asked by its management to be featured as one of their food tenants there with Indonesian theme on the menu. Quickly we came up with the idea of promoting Indonesian traditional snacks”, explains Mr Djugorahardjo who would right away took the opportunity.

His confidence quickly was put to test during the early years of the business. “Two years we bled and it was indeed challenging to open up a shop there”, he says.

Menteng Huis as we know it, is more of a culinary destination rather than a full-fledged shopping mall. “One would walk around, does some window shopping, watch a movie, and then grab something to eat in a shopping mall. With Menteng Huis, it’s about people coming specifically to eat at a certain restaurant only”, he explains.

That’s when they decided to open up the delivery business and also going online. “It was the initiative that my daughters presented and I quickly agreed with their terms. Now each of my family members has their own involvements in the business”, says Mr Djugorahardjo proudly.

It was advantageous for Markoek to expand into delivery service that caters nearby offices and government institutions around Menteng. “The Ministry of Fishery is one of our regulars and its bureaus would each order from us for their meetings and other functions”, he says. In time, other nearby institutions such as the Ministry of Trade, Ministry of Law & Human Rights, Pertamina, BAPPENAS, KPPA, and others require the services of Markoek for exactly the same needs.

However, then came a time to close the shop at Menteng Huis as Mr Djugorahardjo deemed that the renting fee has become too exorbitant. Nevertheless, Markoek has now already stood firm with its delivery business, all made with love from its main kitchen back at Kelapa Gading.

“In the afternoon we are doing all the preparations and then the finishing part came in very early in the morning. As the dawn breaks, we are ready for the delivery”, Mr Djugorahardjo explains about how it works back at the main kitchen.

Markoek’s traditional lineup consists of the things we know all too well and yet hard to resist. Snacks such as getuk, ongol-ongol, bugis, hunkwe, onde, arem-arem, kroket, and lemper are only but a few of its full lineup. “In order to make it competitive but also innovative, we also employ the use of cassava flour instead of the imported regular flour. Apparently, it works really well for some of the snacks”, he says.

Now after a successful traditional snack delivery business, a coffee shop, and two snack booths at Jalan Radio Dalam and TransMart Cempaka Putih; Mr Djugorahardjo still has in his heart to expand his business again with something even more innovative.

“Jakarta doesn’t have a proper traditional oleh-oleh shop”, he says. “This city needs to be like Bandung, for example, where people would buy its pisang molen or brownies as souvenirs back home. That is something that I would like to do in the future here.”

The article was published in Passion Magazine (2017)

Charins Chang, The Explorer of Textures

Charins Chang’s passion for science and baking brought her to Indonesia after many years living abroad. In no time, she has captured the hearts of many through her well-crafted cakes and desserts. What are her hopes and struggles living the dream in Jakarta? Here, Charins shared the story for everyone.  

What got you into baking in the first place?

I started baking since high school and that’s because Betty Crocker’s brownie mix. I was amazed even with the process of just mixing the powder with water and then it becomes a cake. But the reason why I love baking is because it is so closely related with science and all about the chemical reactions! You don’t really see it with your eyes but it’s happening.

Did you study at a cooking school after that?

Interestingly, I went to Australia not to learn more about baking, but I was studying Biotechnology for five years there. After graduation, I moved back to Singapore and started working in the petroleum bioengineering industry. However, I never lose my love for baking. I did it almost every night and shared the cakes with my friends, to the point that my family became so sick of my baking! (she laughs)

That’s why I started my cake business online on charins.com and then after a year, I finally decided to study more properly about pastry. I did a bit of school in France and an internship with a champion pastry chef there. I was immersing myself with the language and the countryside, steering away from Paris. After that, it’s time to move to Jakarta.

What made you move to Jakarta instead of Singapore?

My parents have always been very supportive with my plans and when I told them that I want to move back here, everyone came along! We all still visit Singapore from time to time though.

Why Jakarta? I think it’s because the people are more chilled and fun here. There’s also something charming about the city, despite of course – the traffic. I saw also a high demand for quality desserts and pastries in Jakarta, but you could only find a handful of good pastry shops here a few years ago when I came. That’s the opportunity that I had been looking for.

What happens next?

Originally, the reason why I moved back was to open my own dessert shop here. After a few years though, it’s easier said than done. I don’t want to just jump in recklessly and struggling unnecessarily just because I needed more experience in the industry. So, I decided to just take my time exploring the city and looking for opportunities. I keep my Instagram active and the online cake shop helps me get by.

From there, turns out that I received a lot of opportunities for consulting, creating menu, and for supplying. There’s even this café from Myanmar which was asking to collaborate. Benedict and Heavenly Sweet found me also on Instagram.

Care to share us a bit about your dessert creations?

When I first joined Benedict, I revamped the whole dessert menu. That time, there was this hype for the Thai mango desserts, and I decided to jump in by creating my own interpretations. Surprisingly, the Mango Sticky Rice Tart was a huge success and people started posting about it.

I also created a sister dessert for it called Tart Ketan Item – with coconut and black sticky rice. It’s basically a twist of our traditional dessert of bubur ketan hitam. There’s also Marie Regal Cake because yes, everyone loves Marie Regal!

I also started making bite-sized desserts like bonbons since people are not always wanting to eat a whole cake. In each bonbon, I created a whole dessert that can consists of elements found in cakes, crunch, cookies, and ganache. I put also many things like potato chips, wajik, nastaar, and talam. For my creations, I just love doing my own formulations instead of copying recipes.

Why bonbons by the way?

I’m more interested in chocolate because it’s very science-y and no one’s making bonbons seriously yet as far as I know. I suppose it’s because the high level of difficulty to mass produce it. Bonbons must be made carefully because it won’t be good otherwise. You need to temper chocolate to a certain degree, or the fat crystals won’t crystallize properly so it won’t get the good snap. It’ll be pasty, thick, and won’t have good texture.

But I think the challenge is that most people may find it hard to understand why it costs the same as buying a whole chocolate bar instead. That’s why I’m trying to find the middle ground here to still maintain the quality but also creating time efficiency.

Lastly, what are you plans next?

Opening my own shop, that’s for sure! But for now, I enjoy teaching at Heavenly Sweet every month. I have own classes and I also create my own syllabus based on science! We do one-on-one series about sponge cake, butter cake, pound cake, or only egg whites. We explore why each recipe is made different, why adding this and that yield different results, or how to decrease the sugar content without compromising texture. It’s not about the usual recipe sharing class and for you to bake at home. It’s about how to make the student think more about the process and how to remake recipe in their own version. Other than that, I am also sharing my expertise about baking with less fortunate kids. We are creating these baking classes for them and showing that everyone can bake. We want to let them know that they have options in this industry for their future.


Featured on Passion Magazine