“You get a strange feeling when you’re about to leave a place. Like you’ll not only miss the people you love. But you’ll miss the person you are now at this time and place because you’ll never be this way again.” Azar Nafisi.
The quote represents a strange feeling of sadness and strange when I moved to Jakarta in 2001. It is not about people or places in Pontianak left behind, but it’s a longing for my’self’ at that time. What’s weirder were my early days in high school when a teen girl suddenly came to me in my classroom. “You’re Galuh, right? The daughter of Mr XXX. I am Miranti, your dad and mine were friends in Pontianak. My dad is a doctor at your dad’s office.” Out of the blue.
It’s so weird, I was just a high school student for a few days, a few months living in Jakarta, then a Pontianak fellow approached me, in the classroom, in the same school, and she knew me. At that time I did not remember who she was. What I vaguely remember, once there was a girl, waking up at midnight because of me coming to her house due to the high fever I had, wanting to seek treatment from her father. Her name is Miranti.
Miranti is one of the strangers in my life. I feel that she’s close but there is a strange feeling that difficult to describe and to explain to other friends in our circle. Short story, Miranti and I have been friends since high school until now when she lives in Jakarta and works from home by making her culinary business. I asked Miranti some things about being a working-at-home mom.
Miranti, when did the last time you work in an office (person) and in what field?
In 2013, in the field of foreign outsourcing consultant.
What did make you decide to resign?
Because my first child (Aina) would enter kindergarten. I wanted to be able to pick her up at school. We happened to move and the house’s location was quite far from the office.
Since when did you start a culinary business?
In 2012 when I was still in the office, I made durian pancakes and I posted them on Facebook, many people wanted to know more about it. My husband said, “c’mon, try to sell it!” I was not confident because it was the first time I made it, but once I ventured to sell durian pancakes the response was good.
In the same year, I made Lebaran cake for my family at home, but I tried to sell it too. I was helped only by my house assistant. Alhamdulillah, the first sale reached 120 jars even though I was hung after that, hahaha… But I got a lot of satisfaction. The following year, I hired more assistants to make cakes. Thank God, I could make 300, 400 to 500 jars.
In 2017 I tried to sell Dendeng and Sambal Goreng Ati via online. For the first order, I managed to cook 7 kg dendeng & 3 kg sambal goreng ati. It got me in trouble since I need to grind the chilis and it was for the first time I had to cook a lot, so it was overwhelming. But in time, after I can adjust the life pace, it can also be well coordinated.
From only 2 menus (Dendeng & Sambal Goreng Ati) at the beginning, I tried to make another menu, namely Cumi Asin Cabe Ijo. At first, it tasted nothing special. I tried to spice it up by adding this and that, and it also became one of the favourite menus in Dapur Bunda Mir2. Then I tried to cook Ikan Suwir, I was not hunting for recipes, it’s a real recipe coming from my trial and error. Thank God, the response was good. People keep returning to order Ikan Suwir Pedas.
Then I added the menu Udang Balado Petai. Some orders just happened to come from an office in Jakarta, asking to add some rice. Finally, I tried to package them in bowls. It turned out to be interesting and many food products were using the bowls too at that time. Then I tried to join Gofood, Alhamdulillah now Dapur Bunda Mir2 is already on Gofood ?
Anyway, in 2015, I sold cupcakes, too. At first, it only made for Aina, turned out many people were asking and saying that it was good. But making cakes needs a painstaking work, I’m more comfortable cooking home-dishes. Finally, I was unable to handle cupcakes, unless if there was an order from friends or relatives.
What’s the main menu of the Dapur Bunda Mir2? The recipe is by your own or gotten from parents?
Almost all menus of the Dapur Bunda Mir2 Kitchen have good responses. Those who order always return. The sales share an equal load. Dendeng and sambal goreng ati are recipes from the mother-in-law, the other menus are my own, I create it by myself.
What do you find most difficult in working and building a business at home?
It was difficult because I had to chase time between taking care of my business and picking up 2 children from different places. And set the time to open pre-order.
Do you want to return to the office or not?
I don’t, at all. Alhamdulillah, owning my business from home gives me more flexible time management. The business keeps going, the children are handled.
Have you reached consumers outside Jakarta?
Not yet, consumers are still from Jakarta because I have not dared to send them to far places. Sometimes people bring the dishes by themselves into the plane, I’m just okay with that. Alhamdulillah, the Dapur Bunda Mir2 menus have been brought by consumers to Paris, Dubai, China, Vietnam and Singapore.
How’s the profit during Lebaran season?
During Lebaran, the profit can 2 times multiply.
What is your goal for the future? Something that hasn’t been accomplished and you’ve been dreaming of for a long time.
I wish Bunda Mir2 Kitchen can expand the sales, and I want to have a store or restaurant.
Then finally, does the whole family support Miranti’s culinary business?
Alhamdulillah, due to support from my husband I dared to try this culinary business. Regarding my family, I have no business background, my mother was also initially pessimistic, she even offered me to go back to college to become a lecturer like her. Hehe… Bismillah, with the great support from my husband and maybe because my mother-in-law is also experienced in the catering business, so she can understand. Whatever my business idea is, my husband is always passionate about contributing by giving his ideas. So I feel grateful to have a husband who can understand and support everything I do. My mom finally gave her support for me. Thank you for the father of my children.