Empowering people through entrepreneurship and marketing, Sendok Kreatif is more than a community born out of the pandemic-led lockdown. It strives to reignite the culinary spark of those left unemployed in the hospitality industry and to build a solid foundation in the digital world; for each one to eventually possess the vital purpose of a sendok or spoon: to feed — themselves, their family, neighbours, and the entire island.
In the backstreets of Berawa, a group of ‘heroes’ assemble every Wednesday. The meetings are casual yet productive, led by a team of five who come from a variety of backgrounds but together form a cohesive force.
Their weekly attendees, endearingly known as heroes, are home cooks. They are those who have been laid off in the hospitality field, be it a front of house or kitchen staff, now home-based micro-entrepreneurs with a passion for cuisine and a commitment that’s needed to succeed.
With uncertainty from authorities continuing to loom over Bali’s re-opening, the woman behind Sendok Kreatif forged an idea to support people in a more sustainable away, going beyond the many food donations around the island.
Landriati Pramoedji of Dine & Wine Bali has a wealth of experience in Bali’s hospitality industry that not only merits the position to assist but drives her to give back to the community that welcomed her for over a decade.
“When people started giving away sembako (essentials), one question came to me: how long will this last? We see people losing jobs indefinitely. How do they pay rent, bills, and petrol? We want to help them generate money to survive independently,” she says emphasising the sustainable element of this initiative.
Sendok Kreatif teaches methods that instil self-confidence by influencing, empowering, and supporting the development of skills and personal transformation. With no registration fee imposed, the door is open to anyone who is ‘talented to cook but forced to stay at home’ and committed to utilise their flair and creativity to create a business at home in an eco-responsible and self-sustainable way. The mission is to elevate them to the necessary level of autonomy to provide for themselves, which then creates a butterfly effect for the community.
A hero’s micro-business can start with a grateful gander at their home kitchen, adding to the the creative power and knowledge one gained in their previous employment. The team encourages candidates to start with what is already there, whether it’s a stove to fry chicken or the finesse to roll sushi.
The home cooks might lack a utensil or two — the team stands by to create a list of missing items, shop the necessary supplies from spatulas to pots, electric scale to blender, then provide the initial budget enough for the first three batches of raw materials, and a gas tank.
But what makes Sendok Kreatif an exemplary charity-based project is the personalised training they provide for effective business development and management.
Landriati centralises all supervision but focuses on marketing directions, whilst her team of volunteers offers education in the form of one-on-one training sessions for a series of modules. Some of the most consequential ones are cost calculations, including settling the ideal profit margin, quality control (e.g. hygiene and safety, production and storage policies), sterilisation and pasteurisation processes to increase shelf-life, and so on. Wayan Kresna, Executive Chef of Potato Head Bali, helps in this department as well.
Then comes the digital education. Each candidate sits down with Nadya, the in-house graphic designer, to kickstart a brand identity including the name, logo, tag line, and visuals inspired by the concept and vision of the candidates themselves. Food blogger Heru volunteers to help candidates grow in the immersive social media world, highlighting the importance of understanding the origin story to represent them appropriately. “At the end of the day, we want to tell their story,” he affirms.
He imparts his own knowledge of effective content management on popular social platforms like Facebook and Instagram, from product descriptions, hashtags, tagging, and other social media etiquettes that may sound rudimentary for many. Heru also helps them with initial product photography, but also to maximise traffic, such as posting behind the scenes footage.
Sendok Kreatif bridges opportunities for the business-driven culinary individuals but also ensures each one is equipped for the growing digital landscape. With the appropriate education and guidance, they hope to increase each hero’s ability to tackle meaningful objectives, impacting those around them in an infectiously positive fashion. Each hero re-donates 3% of their revenue into the Sendok Kreatif pot, so that future candidates can benefit from the same process.
How can you support?
(1) First and foremost, support small businesses! Buy from one of the heroes, whose products range from Balinese cuisine like homemade urutan; to unique homemade sambal (chilli relish); to all-things apple, such as pies, jams and more. Full list below.
(2) You can donate directly to Sendok Kreatif.
(3) You can buy their merchandise – T-shirt and Masks. Available here.
Full list of current Sendok Kreatif heroes:
• Tencup, Balinese Urutan Sausage
• Apple&Co, Apple-made delicacies
• Ciak! Cooking, Rice Bowls
• Ta-Luh, Sweets and Pastries
• Paper Bowl Bali, Rice Bowls
• Balot Bungsil, Steamed Cake Specialty
• Nyuh by Chef Wayan, American Style Cookies, Granola & Jam
• Nooma Deli, Mediterranean Deli Delights