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Table8, When Chinese and French Cuisine Collide

Hotel Mulia Senayan, Jakarta

Hotel Mulia has already been known as one of the best hotels in Indonesia. Those who are fortunate enough to enjoy Mulia’s luxury should have noticed that the hotel also provides the best dining places. Every restaurant in Hotel Mulia was differentiated from each other. There is “Il Mare” which specialized in Italian cuisine, “Orient8” which offered Thai, Vietnamese, Singaporean cuisine, the 24 hours dining place “The Café”, to “Table8” or “Pa Sian Cuo” which means table for 8 Gods.

The latest one, which was formerly named Samudra Shark’s Fin, is a Chinese food restaurant. According to Andry Kurniawan, Mulia’s Communications Manager, the reason behind the name change was to improve the restaurant’s facilities, the name “Shark’s Fin” also doesn’t sound like an environment friendly terms. Instead of talking directly about the food, Table8’s interior must has grabbed any visitors’ attention.

The Chinoiserie
Unlike the other Chinese restaurants, Table8 goes beyond the traditional interiorwise. The dining place introduced the concept “chinoiserie”, a French term which means “Chinese-esque”, a theme in European artistic styles with Chinese artistic influence. Although the concept was already popular in the 17th century, Table8 managed to take the concept to a new level and prized as “Winner in the Fine Dining Restaurant in 2010 Hospitality Design Awards for Creative Achievement” in New York, USA. The restaurant received the award in June 2010, which is quite surprising because the restaurant had just opened in February. The best of it all, the restaurant was designed by Indonesians (Mulia designer team) and beats over 300 other competitors from all over the world.

To visualize the mixture of East meet West concept, you can see Marilyn Monroe dressed in cheongsam at the main dining room’s ceiling. The main dining room also features two of China’s most famous symbols, Pagoda and Dragon, in many of the restaurant’s ornament. But unlike the traditional Chinese red and gold theme, Table8 is using natural color of the wood, metallic silver, and ivory combined with gold. As a result, we have a more stylish, exclusive, luxurious atmosphere while maintaining the dominant Chinese influence.

Authentic Szechuan and Cantonese Cuisine
While the interior is the combination of eastern and western culture, Table8 is serving authentic Chinese food, especially the home cooking of Szechuan and Cantonese. Szechuan cuisine is generally more spicy than Cantonese which is lighter in taste. Customers can choose from a la carte menu, 7 set of exclusive menus, to the only authentic and widest line of Chinese buffet.

Some of Table8’s favorite menus are “Buddha Jumps Over the Wall Soup”, “Braised Superior Shark’s Fin with Black Truffle and Dried Scallops served in Stone Pots”, and “Szechuan Stir-Fried Chicken Cubes with Dried Chili and Pepper Corn”. The foods are supervised by a Chinese Chef to retain the original flavor. If we’re talking about authentic Chinese food, it is difficult to avoid pork. Therefore, although the cooking utensils to cook the pork are separated, it is strongly recommended for Moslems to read carefully the menu before ordering.

Tea is a must in any Chinese restaurants. As a high end dining place, Table8 offers various imported Chinese tea and special performance by a tea master, a person who is specialized in serving the tea to customers. Using a special tea pot with very long spout, the tea master serves the tea in a very extraordinary way, his acrobatic movement is similar to what you’ve see on kung-fu movies. The ceremony is a traditional Chinese custom that has been descended through generation. Next time you dine in Table8, make sure to ask the tea master to serve you.

The Weekend Dim Sum
Dim sum is often associated with the older tradition “Yam Cha” which means drink tea. A long time ago, the travelers of the Silk Road needed resting place, therefore, many teahouses were built along the roadside. The teahouses became a resting place not only for travelers, but also for the farmers who had been working hard in the fields to drink tea. Combining tea with food was believed would lead to excessive weight gain, but when people discovered the fact that tea can aid in digestion, teahouse owners began to add various snacks. Nowadays, these snacks are what we know as dim sum.

Aside from providing the traditional dim sum menus, Table8 also offered many of its signature Dim Sums. Table8 offered the total 28 dim sum variations, Steamed Chicken and Shrimp Dumpling (Shao Mai), Steamed Prawn Dumpling (Ziao Jao), Steamed Bun with Crab Meat (Xie Lou Xiao Long Pao), Steamed Rice Roll with Prawn (Xian Xia Chang Fun), Deep-fried Prawn Dumpling served with Mayonnaise (Salud Ming Xia Jiao) and Baked Egg Tart (Tan Tat) are among the best selling dim sum in Table8.

Table8 noticed the rising popularity of dim sum and brunch among Indonesians, therefore, the restaurant offers “Weekend Dim Sum and Brunch”. With Rp 198.000++, customers can enjoy the dim sum buffet package. The promotion is only available on Saturday and Sunday from 08.00 am to 02.30 pm. Having a bite of the old Chinese traditions in a mixture of Chinese and French atmosphere should be an interesting experience. (Edwin)

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Iton Pao

Senayan City LG L-56, Jl. Asia Afrika, LOT 19, Jakarta Selatan

Iton Restaurant merupakan Chinesse resto yang telah hadir selama 10 tahun. Beragam chinesse food disajikan untuk costumernya, dan salah satunya adalah Pao. Dalam perjalanan bisnisnya, kemudian Iton memperluas bisnisnya di tahun 2006 dengan membuka Iton Pao Shop yang mengkhususkan diri pada produk pao. Tapi tidak hanya menyajikan beragam jenis pao, Iton Pao juga menjual variasi jenis dari bolu sakura, cookies, dorayaki, mantau, shienthou, dan juga produk roti. “Pada dasarnya pao merupakan jenis roti, tapi hanya proses pematangannya saja yang berbeda dengan cara dikukus,” tutur Henny D. Surjama dari Iton Pao Shop. Iton Pao Shop pertama yang menjadi satu dengan Iton Restoraurant berada di Jl. Pluit Karang Timur blok B8 Timur no. 113 – 115, Jakarta Utara, kemudian dibuka cabang yang kedua dengan konsep gerai di Grand Lucky Superstore, Kawasan Niaga Terpadu Sudirman Lot 12. Cabang ketiganya berada di LG Floor, L. 56, Senayan City baru beroperasi sekitar setahun lamanya.

Desain Bapao yang Unik
Produk pao dari Iton Pao memiliki beberapa klasifikasi produk, ada yang memiliki beragam jenis bentuk yang menarik, seperti bentuk wajah anak laki-laki dan perempuan, landak, tikus, jagung, kepang dan lainnya. Karena beragam bentuk yang lucu dan unik ini, maka Iton Pao membuat slogan “Lucu di luar, lembut di dalam”. Bahkan ada pula pao yang berbentuk seperti mangkuk yang fillingnya diletakkan di dalam bentuk mangkuk tersebut. Pao dengan bentuk mangkuk tersebut terdiri dari dua rasa yaitu blueberry pao dengan kulit luar rasa talas dikombinasikan dengan selai rasa blueberry dan lemon pao yaitu dengan menggunakan selai lemon.

Tak hanya itu, Iton Pao juga menyediakan pao yang berbentuk klasik (bulat), vegetarian pao, healthy pao, mantau klasik dan mantau burger. Secara keseluruhan, produk Iton Pao memiliki hingga 100 macam pao. Keunikan lain dari produk Iton Pao juga memiliki warna-warna yang menarik, tidak hanya berwarna putih saja seperti warna pao pada umumnya. “Warna-warni yang digunakan untuk pao tersebut terbuat dari pewarna khusus makanan,” tutur Henny, Manager Marketing dan Operasional Iton Pao.

Produk yang diciptakan oleh Iton Pao (signature) yaitu shienthou, yaitu pao dengan bentuk menyerupai buah persik sebagai lambang buah panjang umur. Sehingga biasanya digunakan untuk acara-acara ulang tahun, souvenir peresmian rumah atau kantor, dan untuk sembahyang untuk umat Budha. Seluruh produk Iton Pao menggunakan bahan yang berkualitas, tidak hanya dari produk lokal tapi juga dikombinasikan dengan bahan impor. Menurut Henny, shienthou juga dikonsumsi oleh masyarakat luas dan tidak hanya khusus untuk warga keturunan Tionghoa saja.

Beragam inovasi pao yang unik dari Iton Pao merupakan salah satu bentuk pemasaran untuk produknya. Harga produk dari Iton Pao ditawarkan mulai dengan harga Rp 2.500. Kemasan yang digunakan untuk pesan antar dengan jarak yang jauh digunakan tempat stereoform dengan dilengkapi dry ice, hal tersebut dilakukan untuk tetap menjaga kualitas dari produk paonya. (Cica)

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Delicious Bakery

Jl. Hayam Wuruk No 64 (021-6597077)

24 Tahun Menyuguhkan Yang Terbaik Bagi Pelanggan
Menyambut Imlek 2562 tahun 2011, Delicious Bakery telah membuat berbagai persiapan untuk memeriahkan dan melayani kebutuhan pelanggannya. Bakery yang telah berdiri sejak tahun 1986 ini, memiliki 3 varian produk yang sangat diminati oleh pelanggannya menjelang Imlek, yaitu Lapis Legit, Lapis Prunes dan Lapis Surabaya.

Ada satu hal yang menjadi perhatian dari Ng Soek Tjin, salah satu Direksi Delicious Bakery yang ditemui oleh BAKERY MAGAZINE, yaitu kemasan yang disediakan dengan desain khusus. “Saya memperhatikan masukan dan kebutuhan dari pelanggan yang menginginkan kemasan yang lebih elegan dan luxury karena produk yang dibeli merupakan hantaran atau hadiah ucapan selamat tahun baru Imlek untuk kolega ataupun keluarga,”jelas Ng Soek Tjin. Kemasan yang didesain khusus diharapkan menjadi salah satu nilai lebih dari produk yang dibuat oleh Delicious Bakery khususnya untuk produk special Imlek.

Lapis Surabaya misalnya, dibuat sesuai dengan pesanan yang datang demi menjaga mutu dan kualitasnya. “Lapis Surabaya yang baik adalah yang fresh saat akan dikonsumsi. Karena bahan-bahan pembuatnya yang natural tanpa bahan pengganti maka kami hanya membuat lapis Surabaya yang dipesan saja. Jika disimpan terlalu lama maka kualitas rasa dan aromanya akan menurun,”jelas Ng Soek Tjin. Proses pembuatan lapis Surabaya memang lebih sederhana daripada lapis legit karena hanya terdiri dari 3 lapis cake dengan warna kuning dan cokelat.

“Kami hanya memiliki 1 varian lapis Surabaya dengan desain yang klasik yaitu cake warna kuning, di tengahnya ada cokelat dan lapisan paling bawah juga kuning,” ujar Ng Soek Tjin. Selain untuk produk khusus Imlek dan beberapa perayaan hari besar lainnya, yaitu lapis Surabaya juga dibuat untuk cake yang kemudian dihias sebagai cake ulang tahun atau perayaan lainnya. “Beberapa pelanggan yang menginginkan cake ulang tahunnya dibuat dari lapis Surabaya juga kami layani. Minimal pemesanan 1 hari sebelum tanggal yang ditentukan pasti akan kami layani,”ujar Ng Soek Tjin.

Kesungguhan Delicious Bakery untuk memberikan yang terbaik bagi pelanggannya adalah dengan penggunaan ingredients yang terbaik pula. “Karena beberapa ingredients yang kami pakai masih impor dan sering kali terjadi banyak pertimbangan untuk harga. Tetapi sesuai dengan prinsip yang telah kami tetapkan bahwa kualitas adalah yang nomor satu maka kami tidak mencoba untuk menggantikan ingredient tertentu,” jelas Ng Soek Tjin. Pengalaman dalam mendekati Imlek di tahun yang lalu, pemesanan Lapis Surabaya maupun lapis legit sudah mulai ramai saat satu bulan sebelum perayaan Imlek. “Kami memproduksi ratusan loyang lapis surabaya dan lapis legit yang kebanyakan dipesan oleh keluarga untuk sajian kue di rumah,” terang Ng Soek Tjin.

Originalitas Produk Delicious Bakery
Memiliki beberapa cabang seperti di gedung BNI 46, Ambasador dan beberapa pusat perbelanjaan di Jakarta, membuat team produksi bekerja 24 jam dalam sehari. “Kegiatan utama yang tiap hari diproduksi adalah mensuplai kebutuhan aneka macam roti tawar, roti manis di gerai pusat di Hayam Wuruk dan juga gerai cabang lainnya,” jelas Ng Soek Tjin. Gerai di Jalan Hayam Wuruk buka mulai jam 06.30 – 23.00.

Beberapa produk roti manis yang masih dipertahankan sejak awal berdirinya antara lain roti isi daging sapi, roti cokelat, phoenix, roti tiga rasa serta donat dalam berbagai ukuran dan bentuk. “ Kami mengikuti tren roti manis yang sedang berkembang saat ini tetapi juga masih memproduksi produk yang menjadi ciri khas dari Delicious Bakery,” Ng Soek Tjin menjelaskan.

Berlokasi di jalan yang strategis dan mudah untuk diakses membuat pelanggan juga tidak segan untuk datang ke gerai yang baru saja mengalami renovasi ini. “Pelanggan kami datang dari beberapa penjuru Jakarta dan mereka rela datang untuk menikmati roti terbaik yang telah kami buat selama 24 tahun terakhir ini,” ujar Ng Soek Tjin. Walaupun telah memiliki beberapa cabang, Ng Soek Tjin masih ingin terus mengembangkan usaha yang telah dirintisnya ini dengan keinginan untuk terus menambah cabang dan berekpansi ke beberapa wilayah Jakarta. (wn)

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Vineth Bakery, The Pioneer of European Bread in Indonesia

In the beginning of Indonesian modern bakery outlets, we only had Gandy Bakery and Holland Bakery, but Gandy’s hegemony didn’t last long as there was Vineth Bakery. Perhaps the best known fact is that it is owned by William Wongso, Indonesian well known Culinary Expert and Host for his own show “Cooking Adventure with William Wongso” on Metro TV. Established in 1977 by his father in law, Vineth opened its first outlet in Samanhudi, Central Jakarta. Compared to the Asian bread which are offered by Gandy, Vineth were selling European heavy bread, it is no wonder that the majority of Vineth’s customers were western expatriates. In 1980, the bakery which was named after William’s niece, moved to Jl. Panglima Polim to suit their target market. However, now you can see Vineth’s products on some supermarkets such as Ranch Market, Kem Chicks, and Hero.

According to Lusianawati Rahardjo, William’s wife who also handles the production department, the number of expatriates is not as many as it was in the 1970’s. Nowadays, Vineth’s main customers are graduates from abroad who are getting used to eating European bread as main course, not just as regular snack. This kind of bread is using rough whole wheat that is good for diet; it has high fiber and makes you feel fuller than any other bread. This is the reason why many old people who go diet are one of Vineth’s loyal customers. Judging from the price range, we can tell that Vineth’s customers are from middle up class who are highly concerned about their health.

Back then, Lusi was travelling to Switzerland and France to gain deeper understanding of European bread where she met the experts to perfect her products and recipe. To preserve Vineth’s quality, Lusi always makes fresh products every day, even though the products may still be consumed longer than that. She doesn’t want to leave the customer wondering for the freshness of the product. Lusi used mostly couverture chocolate for Vineth products although it is more difficult to handle as it melts easier.

Lusi also always avoids using any excessive preservatives. “I can’t say we are 100% free of preservatives because some ingredients are coming with preservatives and there’s no way to remove them”, said Lusi. Vineth prefers using their own mixed dough compared to using the premix just like many other bakeries to maintain its originality. Vineth Bakery will provide special decoration for Valentine and will be available in February 2011. As usual, red and pink are the color that is commonly associated with this romantic event.

William Wongso and Luciana are lucky to have daughters that are willing to inherit their businesses. Tia Wongso is occupying the product design department while her younger sister, Olivia Wongso handles the public relations and marketing for Flavor of W, the parent company for all Vineth’s outlet. Olivia stated that her parents never forced her and Tia to continue the business, but Lucy always involves them in testing new Vineth products since they were kids. “This industry is very challenging and I still have many things to learn, therefore, I never think twice to join the family business”, said Olivia. To her, the best part of the business is that she is able to learn directly from the expert, her own parents. Just like the other businesses, Vineth can’t escape conflicts but the family was striving to be professional by doing their own duties well.

Dealing with the Inflation
In 2010, Vineth and many bakeries are having quite difficult times, the sales weren’t as high as the previous years but Lusi stated that it is still okay. Vineth was using many European ingredients whose price was rising drastically throughout the years. However, to accommodate the escalating price, Lusi decided to use alternative ingredient to push the selling price. The imported ingredients availability is another issue that is faced by Vineth in manufacturing its product variants.

Regarding government policy to prohibit regular cars to use subsidized fuel, it is predicted that many ingredients price will rise even further. When that happens, Lucy usually waits for all ingredients price to rise before raising Vineth’s price. “It is fatal, when it comes to fuel because the price of everything else will also increase”, said Lucy. The government policy is estimated will bring major impacts on bakery industry, they have to find smart ways to survive the inflation in 2011. However, their experience to pass through the hard times will once again tested. (Edwin)

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Maqui’s

Plaza Indonesia Unit L3 # No. 57, 58A, 58B,
Jl. M. H Thamrin Kav. 28-30, Jakarta 10350
Telp. (021) 2992 3563

Specialty Japanese Patisserie Shop
Di negara asalnya Jepang, brand Maqui’s merupakan usaha rumahan yang penjualannya menggunakan sistem online dan delivery. Sebelum bernama Maqui’s pemilik bisnis ini, Noda Safpon, pada tahun 2004, menggunakan nama Morozoff. Setelah sempat tidak aktif selama dua tahun, Noda-San menggantinya dengan nama Maqui’s di tahun 2006. Di Indonesia, brand Maqui’s dibawa oleh salah kerabat dekat Noda-San yaitu Yonetani.

Maqui’s pertama kali dibuka pada tahun 2008 di Wisma Oktroi yang berada di kawasan Kemang, Jakarta Selatan. Kemudian berlanjut dan mulai berkembang pesat di akhir tahun 2008 pada saat dibukanya cabang kedua di Bellezza Shopping Arcade, Permata Hijau dengan respon costumer yang melebihi outlet pertamanya. Kemudian Maqui’s terus melakukan pengembangan bisnis dengan membuka cabang di beberapa mal besar lainnya seperti Plaza Indonesia, Grand Indonesia, Senayan City, Plaza Senayan dan Central Park. Dalam waktu kurang dari satu tahun, Maqui’s sudah membuka 8 outlet.

Gerai Maqui’s pada awal bisnis, hanya memiliki konsep ‘take away’, dimana costumer membeli produk untuk dibawa pulang. Kemudian berkembang konsep cafe yang baru, yang dibuka sekitar delapan bulan lalu di Plaza Indonesia. Selain di Plaza Indonesia, Maqui’s dengan konsep cafe baru ini juga berada di Central Park. Maqui’s yang berada di Plaza Indonesia memiliki tema ‘Bunga Sakura’. Lima meja yang dilengkapi dengan empat buah kursi yang seluruh furniture didominasi dengan warna putih, serta siluet berbentuk batang pohon di dinding yang memberikan kesan sedang berada di luar ruangan sambil menikmati indahnya bunga sakura.

Produk Maqui’s yang berada di Indonesia sama dengan produk Maqui’s yang berada di Jepang. Sebagian besar produk dan ingredientsnya diimpor langsung dari negara asalnya. “Setiap satu tahun sekali kami mendatangkan Chef langsung dari Jepang untuk melakukan standarisasi resep dan rutin dilakukan quality control setiap tiga bulan sekali,” tutur Aji, Assistant Operational Manager dari PT Maquis Indonesia. Pusat produksi berada di Bellezza yang kemudian didistribusikan ke seluruh cabang Maqui’s.

Berbagai Cokelat Unik Berbentuk Machine Tools
Ciri produk yang khas dari Maqui’s yaitu Cheesecake, Cokelat, Puding dan Cookies. Maqui’s memiliki varian cokelat yang beragam. Mulai dari rasanya hingga presentasi bentuknya. Beberapa varian cokelat yang menjadi best seller, seperti Kobe (Cokelat yang memiliki kombinasi dark chocolate dengan milk), Midori (Cokelat yang dikombinasikan dengan macha / green tea) dan Hanakaruta (Cokelat dengan bentuk kartu khas Jepang yang dilukis secara hand-made) yang didatangkan langsung dari Jepang.

Sedangkan salah satu produk Maqui’s yang cukup unik dinamakan Chounique. Chounique dari Maqui’s memiliki ciri khas beragam bentuk yang menyerupai alat-alat mekanik seperti baut, mur, kunci inggris, obeng, gir dan lainnya dan diproduksi di Indonesia. “Chounique menggunakan bahan dan cetakan yang didatangkan dari Jepang. Chounique ini berjenis cokelat padat, sehingga cokelat dengan bentuk seperti mur yang dipasangkan dengan baut seperti layaknya mur dan baut aslinya. Kedua bentuk ini jugalah yang menjadi best seller dari salah satu bentuk dari chounique, yaitu Bolt & Nut Set.

Chounique cenderung dipilih sebagai gift. “Bahkan pernah ada salah satu bengkel yang sengaja memesan beragam bentuk tools tersebut hanya digunakan sebagai display di bengkelnya. Tidak hanya para pemilik bengkel saja yang menjadi costumer kami, perusahaan lain seperti bank juga membeli produk kami sebagai gift untuk diberikan kepada kliennya,” Aji menuturkan. Jumlah Chounique yang diproduksipun terbatas, karena ingin menjaga kualitas dari cokelat. Pencetakan cokelatnya dilakukan dengan penanganan khusus agar benar-benar menyerupai bentuk toolsnya.

Produk khas lainnya yang menjadi andalan Maqui’s yaitu cheesecake. Produk cheesecake memiliki rasa dan penyajian dengan bentuk yang berbeda dari jenis cheesecake yang dikenal oleh kebanyakan. Cheesecake memiliki bentuk bulat kecil yang menyerupai mangkuk kecil. Produknya memiliki kulit luar menyerupai pie yang dikombinasi dengan filling keju yang memiliki enam flavour, yaitu real cheesecake yang seluruh fillingnya menggunakan keju yang diimpor langsung dari Jepang, kemudian cheesecake dengan rasa green tea, edam cheese cake dari Belanda, cheesecake rasa Almond, chocolate dan cream cheese rasa lemon. (cica)

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F’ly Truffle, Living Proof of Specialization Theory

Jack Trout, one of the founders and pioneers of positioning theory in marketing, once suggested that the key to success for small companies is not trying to do everything, but choosing one function and performing it excellently. F’ly (read: Ef Lee), chocolatier from Bandung is the living proof of Trout’s theory, instead of offering broad chocolate lines, they chose to specialize on a rather unpopular chocolate products, truffle. F’ly stands for Firman and Alya, Firman handles all the promotion and making the strategic decisions while Alya handles the production. However, they often got too many orders so that Firman must help Alya for the production.

In 2008, the couple, both Widyatama students, majoring in Accounting, started to make pralines and sell them as a hobby to get extra income. Their business didn’t go well due to the fierce competition in praline products. “Back then, we can only sell during Valentine, Christmas, and New Year eve. We made some errors in financial reports, such as buying too many baskets and dolls for Valentine”, said Firman. The couple decided to drop the business and found way to have continuous order from customers.

In April 2010, Alya browsed the Internet and discovered a new chocolate product that might suite for them, truffle, and began researching by buying all of truffle products in Bandung. According to Firman, truffle in Bandung is the round version of praline, the taste were similar. A friend gave Firman and Alya truffles from abroad and it’s taste is very different from praline, it has much softer filling and melted immediately in the mouth. After a month of experimenting, they found their own recipe and with only Rp 200,000, they shared the truffles among their friends.

According to Firman and Alya, truffles are more difficult to handle. When making pralines, they just need to melt the chocolate, put it in the mold, and sell it. However, the process of making truffles requires 6 hours, minimum and all of F’ly products are handmade. According to Firman, most of Indonesians prefer the chocolate compound over couverture, price is one of the biggest considerations. Couverture is three times more expensive than compound type of chocolate and it melts more easily if it is sent out of town. That is why, in the meantime, F’ly focused on the compound even though Firman and Alya personally prefers the couverture one.

F’ly offers 8 variations of truffles ranging from green tea truffle, mocchacino to Belgian. The most favorite one is the Snowy Choco. Basically Snowy Choco is the same as their original truffle, but is covered in white chocolate and almond while the original was covered in cocoa powder. A piece of truffle is priced Rp 1,000, a price that is very tough to beat for the quality.

Overloaded Demand
Using only Facebook and Kaskus (both are Internet social network sites), no shop at all, and two people, F’ly Truffles can get up to 4 orders a day and spend 10 kg of chocolate a month. Due to the capacity production limitation, not all of the orders can be fulfilled. The Internet may cause the customers to ignore the distance as their orders mostly came from all over Indonesia, the farthest one was from Timika, Papua. For some unknown reasons, they get most orders from Kalimantan, especially Balikpapan. Alya can only speculated that it is because they are used to buying things online. To preserve the truffles, F’ly is using ice gel which can be acquired for Rp 15,000 or free for minimum purchase Rp 100,000.

As a new brand, F’ly has succeeded in making some achievements such as becoming the runner up at Widyatama Business Plan Competition 2010 due to their specialized product. F’ly Truffles quality has also made many customers insisted on becoming reseller or even franchising the brand. A supermarket distributor from Jakarta even offered the couple to distribute their truffles to Jakarta. Again, Firman and Alya can’t take these kind tempted offers. Instead, they will focus on opening their own outlet in Talaga Bodas in February 2011. Firman has made the calculation for the extra expense for employee’s salary plus the rent fee and predicted that the price will rise for only Rp 50 to Rp 100.

It is difficult to do business with a loved one, especially when personal feelings get in the way. Just like many young couples, Firman (23) and Alya (21) often fight, but they have different view regarding this issue. “The relationship strengthens the business, but the business also strengthens the relationship, when we fight, Alya often needs my help to make the truffle. We often ignore the fight to be professional and responsible to the customer’s orders”, explained Firman. In fact, the couple was having a fight when BAKERY MAGAZINE requested an interview the day before, but they managed to make it up for the interview session.

Valentine Truffle
For Valentine, F’ly Truffles will provide special bouquet packaging. Customers can pick their favorite truffles flavor and color of the bouquet. Firman said that it is better to eat the gift together with your significant others than giving them a bouquet of flowers which will wither for the next two weeks. F’ly also offers special packaging for those who prefer the traditional Valentine boxes. These boxes are custom order by their supplier and it has to be durable as it will travel out of town.

Specialization and the Internet are the two most important factors for F’ly Truffles success. Specialization allows F’ly to escape the praline competition, creating a new category and become the leader in the category. Internet has proven itself to be an effective media for promotion as it can reach customers from all over the region, even the world for free. With no barely promotion cost and no physical shop, small companies like F’ly Truffles can enjoy continuous order every day. (Edwin)

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