Assorted Cakes and Traditional Snacks: Indonesian UMKM Food Business Makes Breakthrough in California

Indonesian UMKM Food Business Makes Breakthrough in California
Indonesian UMKM Food Business Makes Breakthrough in California

San Fransisco, United States – ​Another small and medium-sized food business by the Indonesian community in California has emerged, specifically in the city of Danville, in the Northern West Coast region of America. The business, known as East Bay Bakery, was initiated by a young Indonesian woman named Gabriela Lubaba. Affectionately known as Gaby, she and her family are active in various pop-up kitchens at several farmers markets selling pastries with a blend of American and traditional Indonesian flavors in the San Francisco Bay Area.

On the afternoon of July 14, 2023, the Indonesian diaspora, who has been living in the United States for a long time, held the One Year Anniversary of East Bay Bakery, following the soft opening in the same month last year. Among the attendees were the Indonesian Consulate General in San Francisco, Mayor of Danville Newell Arnerich, and several culinary business partners. Today, East Bay Bakery has become one of the most popular pastry shops in East Bay, California, selling a variety of breads and wet and dry cakes.

Offering no less than 12 types of bread and 25 types of cakes, including various traditional Indonesian cakes such as kelepon, ongol-ongol, lemper, lapis legit, cenil, kue talam, and bolu kukus. The bakery has become a local favorite, even supplying pastries to several large supermarkets in East Bay, including Diablo Foods, known for its variety of food offerings since 1968. “At least 50,000 assorted breads and cakes are sold out every month, including at least 300 breads and cakes ordered every day by Diablo Foods, hundreds of which we have to prepare at the weekly farmers market events in Walnut Creeks or Orinda,” said Gaby.

Her diligence and hard work attracted the attention of Voice of America (VOA) and several local media outlets who conducted direct coverage to the store located at 9000 Crow Canyon Road, Danville.

In this occasion, Indonesian Consul General in San Francisco Prasetyo Hadi, who was present, expressed his pride and congratulations for the success of East Bay Bakery. “We congratulate East Bay Bakery for passing the crucial period since the soft opening last year, and now the business is even more thriving. We are also proud because another culinary business initiated by the Indonesian diaspora has emerged in our area of work, promoting unique Indonesian flavors,” said Consul General Prasetyo.

Gaby shared that she started the business with her family members from scratch. Her experience working in a food store, especially in baking and cooking, didn’t make her complacent. She continued to enhance her skills, not only inheriting the cooking skills from her family but also attending a specialized culinary training with a chef brought in from Paris at the San Francisco Art Academy. 

Going forward, she hopes to continue developing her business, remain humble, live peacefully, and continue to create creativity and innovation.

The existence of East Bay Bakery has added to the richness of the culinary businesses initiated by the Indonesian community and diaspora, especially in the area of work of the Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia in San Francisco. The post-pandemic crisis conditions, at least in the last year, have not dampened the spirit of the Indonesian diaspora in America to start a food business.

Previously, it was known that the Vio Pastry shop was established in Vacaville, California, inaugurated in May 2022. Then in August 2022, the Indonesian Consulate in San Francisco also inaugurated the presence of the wholesale store Maya Asian Market, initiated by Maya Damayanti, an Indonesian diaspora from Bandung now living in Seattle, selling various Indonesian food and beverage products such as instant noodles, snacks, ready-to-use seasonings, tempe, bakwan, meatballs, coffee, tea, and various packaged Indonesian beverages. 

In early May 2023, the Food Truck Bakoel Djakarta returned to the city of Eugene, Oregon, serving a variety of typical Indonesian cuisine including mixed rice rendang, chicken satay, fried rice, fried noodles, gado-gado, chicken noodles, and snacks such as pastel, stuffed tofu, lumpia, and bala-bala (bakwan).

Consul Pensosbud, Mahmudin Nur Al-Gozaly, stated that the commitment of the Indonesian Consulate in San Francisco to support the culinary business of the Indonesian community and diaspora continues to be encouraged with the spirit of collaboration and synergy. The presence of these Indonesian culinary businesses is expected to further enhance the promotion of cuisine while strengthening Indonesia’s nation branding, together with other social and cultural elements. Their diligence and discipline are also expected to further encourage the growth of new Indonesian restaurants in the future in the United States.

​By Consulate General of The Republic of Indonesia, San Fransisco