Sendok Kreatif – How a Local Initiative Continues to Empower the Balinese Community

Written by Elina Tin

Over a year has passed since the first lockdown was implemented in Bali. As one of the most famous tourist destinations in the world, COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the local community. 

While the pandemic has notably increased poverty levels in Bali, with thousands left jobless, it has also served as a chance to illuminate how strong the Balinese community really is. 

Many local initiatives were formed to support and contribute to those in need. One of them being Sendok Kreatif.

What is Sendok Kreatif?

Sendok Kreatif is a movement that aims to empower the local Balinese community by encouraging creative thinking in order to build self-sustainable micro-businesses. Sendok Kreatif is a team of 4: Landriati, founder of Dine and Wine (media & restaurant consultant), Chef Wayan, Executive Chef at Desa Potato Head Bali, Nadia, independent Graphic Designer and Visual Artist, and Heru, founder of Hay Concept (hotel & restaurant consultant). The team shares valuable knowledge from the hospitality business as well as start-up funds for candidates with promising ideas.

 

The movement is based on the idea that as long as you are creative and you have your magic measuring spoon, you have the power to succeed. “Indonesians are highly creative but they are not necessarily entrepreneurial, the education system teaches them to follow rather than lead, and this they do wholeheartedly, but now it is time to stand on their own and create a new future for themselves and their families,” said Landriati, founder of the movement.

How Does It Work?

With their main focus on home-based culinary businesses, Landriati and her team started promoting their movement through social media. They called on individuals from hospitality businesses who had lost their primary source of income but had a product they thought they could sell. 

 

On Wednesdays (check out their social media page for date announcements), Landritati opens her home to candidates, or as she likes to call them, heroes. She and her team interview the heroes and decide whether they are eligible. They determine their commitment by asking them the why and what behind their business idea. 

Landriati and new heroes discussing future plans

One of the requirements for Sendok Kreatif is for the candidate to come with an existing product. The product is tested within their team and everyone provides their professional input to improve the product for the Indonesian market. They then brainstorm a few names for the product, create a logo, do a photoshoot and help the heroes to establish social media accounts.

Product photography

“We teach them the importance of branding, hashtags, marketing strategies, and packaging, and most importantly cost calculation”, she added.

 

Most of the candidates that walk through Landriati’s door come with plastic packaging. The Sendok Kreatif team strives to help the heroes move past the plastic and on to glass, paper bags, cartons, and create products that are more environmentally friendly. 

 

“They see that cash goes out and comes back in, but they don’t know that there is something in between that you have to deduct… what is the net profit?” 

 

At this stage, Chef Wayan and the team break down the ingredients and identify where the heroes are getting them from. Landriati explained that only restaurants have access to suppliers, so smaller businesses end up buying their ingredients from grocery stores at full price.

 

“Having this entire team from the restaurant business, we share our suppliers and connect them with the heroes. Because on the other side, suppliers also need help so we build on the community chain”, she said. 

 

If they see that the cost calculations are too expensive and not worth producing, they tweak the recipe or change it into a slightly different product. 

 

“We take what they have and try to develop something else so that they don’t just have one product, but maybe two, three, or four different products to sell, a bigger chance to touch on different markets”, said Landriati.

Hero Stories

In just one year, Sendok Kreatif has managed to empower 7 micro-businesses! The following are just a few examples: 

Nyoman Sudiasa

The founder of Three Brothers Infused Arak, was one of the many who lost his job because of the pandemic. Having a passion for wine and spirits, Nyoman developed over 10 different infused Arak flavors with many local ingredients such as passion fruit, rosella, Kintamani coffee, etc. With the help of Sendok Kreatif, the hero was able to set up his social media accounts and learned about branding and marketing. The team also helped the hero with his cost calculations, product photography, resource management, and recyclable packaging. “Sendok Kreatif is a miracle for me, they provided great marketing tips, gave input on tasting and how to increase the quality of the infuse”, said Nyoman Sudiasa. He added that the team taught him proper sterilization procedures to ensure the safety of his customers. 

Catherine Muljadi

 Founder of Apple & Co, came to Sendok Kreatif with a BA in hotel management. Before the pandemic, Muljadi worked in 5-star hotels as an operational manager. Her passion for baking and a love of apples inspired her to share the joy with the people of Bali. Sendok Kreatif has helped Catherine broaden her network by directly connecting her with suppliers in order to eliminate the middleman. In addition to networking, the team has helped fine-tune her apple crumble and apple pie recipes as well as develop new ones. Having worked with Sendok Kreatif, Catherine expresses her gratitude for helping her find her voice and brand identity. 


Graduated from Bali’s tourism school of Sekolah Tinggi Pariwisata

Komang Aditya Raharja

Komang has worked in various restaurants and hospitality spheres until finally opening up his own micro-business - Tencup’s Babi. Tencup’s Babi (@tencupsbabi) offers a traditional family recipe of sausage made from Balinese spices and premium pork. Sendok Kreatif helped Komang with cost calculations, social media branding and set-up, logo design, product photography, and resource management. In addition to all these services, Sendok Kreatif was also able to raise funds in order to provide Komang’s business with equipment: steaming pot, measuring jar, and piping bag.

Landriati mentioned that usually, they ask heroes to donate 3.5% of their sales into the fund for future heroes. However, it is not an obligation.

How Can You Help?

Sendok Kreatif is solely based on donations. Contact @sendokkreatif via Instagram to find out how to donate.

However, Landriati explained that the best way for the readers to help is to support the heroes directly by buying their products. 

“And they’re all making good products, we’re from the hospitality business, so we know what food is”, she stated. 

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