Today we bring you the story of Ayu Linggih, and her journey from Indonesia to Australia; where her study in food science and brunch at her favourite cafe in the hip Brisbane suburb of ‘Rosalie’ led her to return to Jakarta to establish an Indonesian natural cheese startup!
Inspired by Ayu’s story of entrepreneurialship and our appreciation of an artisan cheeseboard, we met with Ayu at her shop on Jl. Benda South Jakarta, to ‘taste’ and ‘talk’ cheese.
Where did you grow up and study?
I was born in Jakarta, then moved with my family to Bali. I studied at the Ghandi school in Bali for 6 years. After graduating from high school I moved to Australia to study Food Science at the University of Queensland in Brisbane. I chose Queensland because it was close to home. Living in Australia was hard for me at first, I missed the food; particularly the food that I couldn’t make such as the snack foods. I lived in a home stay in Brisbane and I still keep in touch with my host family.
What did you want to be when you were a child?
We are curious to know the origins of the name Rosalie Cheese? We see you have a connection with Brisbane Australia and the suburb named ‘Rosalie’. Can you share with us why it is a special place for you?
I was inspired to make cheese while living in the Brisbane suburb of Rosalie, where local gourmet foods thrive. The idea came to me when I was having Sunday Brunch at Salt Cafe in Rosalie.
When did your passion for cheese begin?
I have always been very passionate about fermented food and beverage products. I learned about the whole fermenting process while at University.
When did the Rosalie Cheese business begin?
The Development period began in 2012, and by 2013 we started joining the International Women’s Bazaars, showcasing our products there as well as supplying to some restaurants. I’m happy to say Rosalie Cheese products were well received amongst the Expat community who found us in the early days at the British and ANZA Women’s bazaars.
What is your role in the business?
My Role is chief Cheesemaker and everything else in the company…like all start-up companies, I am involved at every level.
Dairy is not a traditional part of the Indonesian diet, this is obviously changing. Can you tell us more?
Yes, the Indonesian dairy industry is very small but it is growing, particularly on Java Island and my goal is to educate and encourage Indonesians to eat local, natural cheese made from farm fresh ingredients. To fill the gap, Indonesia imports milk from Australia and New Zealand.
Regarding Indonesian diets, kids these days eat everything with cheese, even “Bakso” with cheese! Even though most of the cheeses are still processed cheese; but at least we are starting to eat more dairy products in Indonesia.
Where do you source your goat and cows milk for Rosalie Cheeses?
Currently we are partnering with six partner farms. They are located in Bogor, Parung,near Depok and Cibubur (West Java). Our partner farms work hard to maintain hygiene and good quality of milk, healthy cows (Holstein Friesian) and goats (Etawa and Saanen) clean and well-managed farms and fair wages for the farm workers. We believe that cheese should represent the quality of the milk and uniquely showcase the land profile.
Where does the cheese making take place?
The milk is transported from our partner farms by temperature controlled vehicle to our workshop in Bintaro Tangerang. It is here that our cheeses are made preservative free, using pasteurised milk. We have eight staff members who have been trained in all areas of cheese making and health and hygiene processes. I am heavily involved in their training and oversee their work. Each staff member has been trained in the cheese making process so they can easily cover each other if needed.
Who is the Rosalie Cheese shopper?
Women age 30 – 45, Expat & Local. Each group is different in their buying practices:
- Our Japanese shoppers enjoy our mozzarella and bocconcini. They come prepared with cooler bags to transport their cheese and enjoy making their own selection.
- Indonesian customers like to send out a GoJek (motorcycle taxi) to collect their cheese, which they will purchase online. They enjoy a mild cheese such as mozzarella to include in their lasagna recipes.
- Australians enjoy our goats cheese, Chèvre and our signature Black and White cheese.
- Our French shoppers are very familiar with cheese as we all know, and it is such a compliment that they keep returning!
3 personal favourite Rosalie Cheese products & Best Sellers?
Black & White Cheese: Our own recipe. Bloomy rind cheese coated in Coconut Ash
Milton: Our own recipe. Hexagonal-petite bloomy rind goat cheese
Chèvre: Fresh goat cheese with only a hint of salt
Other Rosalie Cheese Products?
*Rosalie Mt Batu and Acacia Natural Honey
*Bali Alami Kusamba Sea Salt, Sun-dried Lemon grass, Sun-dried Tomato, Chai Tea, Black Pepper, Cinnamon Powder, Chili Powder, Tumeric Powder, Rice Vinegar, Rosella Tea
*Burgreens Kale Crackers
*Burgreens Pandan Grawnola
Any New Projects, Products or Collaborations you are involved in at the moment?
Currently we are setting up cheese production as well as our own goat’s farm in Bali
Can you list 3 resources that you turn to regularly for creative inspiration?
Instagram, Bloomberg Business Week, Supermarket shelf
What does a typical day involve for you?
Flipping and checking out the cheese, monitoring the production and working in the shop. So everyday I move between our Bintaro production and South Jakarta shop.
Your tips on what to team your cheeses with? Both food accompaniments and drink accompaniments?
- Perfect for a cheese platter: Black & White and Milton
- Perfectly paired with white wine (Alexandria from Hatten Wines or Moscato d’Bali from Sababay Wine) or some Kombucha!
- We would also recommend it with a little bit of honey or dried fruits
3 words to describe your Jakarta?
Vibrant, Crazy and Crazy-fun
Music you are listening to?
Anything easy listening while I’m traveling in my car
Never leave the house without?
Phone, wallet, sunnies and some snacks
Every visitor to Jakarta must Try?
Definitely the food! Street food delicacies from all over Indonesia to the high-end dining experience. Avoid the shopping malls for a more authentic experience.
Favourite place to eat in Jakarta?
Bo Shin Meyong Ga in Pejaten. Korean restaurant with lots of fresh salad, fermented vegetables and the lady owner is very friendly. My favourite dish is Smoked Duck!
Tea or Coffee? And where?
Coffee for sure! Next door to my office at Levant Bakery
Where do you go to relax in this busy city? Bali! ☺
I go to Bali a lot these days because my husband is in Bali. So normally I spend 10 days in Jakarta (working straight, no weekends), 2 weeks in Bali and back to Jakarta again.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
* Supplying our tropical cheese to major cheese shops around the world. The cheesemongers can share our stories to all the cheese lovers out there.
* Having my own cheese shops consisting of all cheese produced in Indonesia including; local condiments, artisan food products, local beer, kombucha, wine and other interesting things.
* In five years time, our goat’s farm project is hopefully running well and benefitting the communities surrounding the farm. We are looking forward to building the community with job opportunities, sustainable compost (in that village there are mostly clove farmers, so instead of buying chemical fertilisers they can start using the goat’s manure to produce organic/natural cloves)
How can our readers purchase Rosalie cheese?
Jl. Benda Raya No. 8B1
Make sure you check out Ayu’s website and schedule a time to visit her shop on Jl. Benda. She would love to see you to taste and talk cheese too!
**Ayu recommends sourcing your bread and wine to accompany her cheese at Levant Boulangerie & Patisserie and Hattan wines, both located on Jl. Benda.
*Kenalkan: Let me introduce
Words: Liz Photography: a journey bespoke and Rosalie Cheese
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