ABOUT US is a gelato company in Indonesia. They create unique flavours inspired by travel memories and regional ingredients.
Fillet helps ABOUT US to calculate cost and profit, and develop new products quickly. Fillet’s automatic calculations help them to save time and effort.
About ABOUT US
Please tell us, what made you start your own business in Indonesia?
I used to be a camera assistant of during Fashion Week and I worked in the fashion industry while learning modern art in France. My wife and I met in Paris while she was working at Balenciaga making clothes. Since my wife is Indonesian, we thought about interesting ventures for us in Indonesia.
We considered stating a modest clothing business or other creative activities. However, we felt that would be too risky for us because art and designer fashion were not developed yet in Indonesia. So we decided to make gelato that would attract people who love fashion and art, as well as build a market base.
At that time, there were ice cream shops in Indonesia, but gelato shops were rare. Moreover, global social networking tools like Instagram and Facebook were widely used in Indonesia. Plus, Indonesia has summer weather all year round, and it has a lot of young people in their 20s and 30s. So altogether, we saw a lot of potential for rapid growth.
As for myself, a lover of abstract art, I saw an opportunity to create a different kind of abstract expression through colourful gelato.
I thought to try a more conceptual approach of expression through desserts, using new contemporary shared content. Just as clothes and perfumes can change the mood of the moment, gelato can too. After all, who doesn’t like ice cream?
After we decided this, I went to Italy and learned how to make gelato. Then I started a gelato shop in Indonesia. This was my first project.
Your gelato is all very unique and we do not see that kind of gelato in other shops: how do you develop a new menu? Where do you find the inspiration?
I’m mainly inspired by my memories, recollections, and travels in the past.
My gelato is often developed based on cravings like, “I want to eat something very rich and chocolatey and sweet!" Or “I want to eat that cheesecake that I had on the streets of Spain!” Or “I want to drink that citrus juice from Mexico again!”
It’s all about the experience.
How long does it take you to develop a new product?
I get the idea first and then I find the ingredients, which can take up to about 3 weeks. If we already have the ingredients, then we can develop it in about 2 days, at the earliest.
You mentioned that you do not use any artificial additives such as preservative, fragrance and coloring for your gelato. Why did you decide to do this?
There are many coloring additives that are not harmful to your body. But generally they just don’t sound good. I simply want to make safe, delicious gelato with thoughtfulness and care.
What do you pay special attention to when making your gelato?
I think it’s very important to calculate the amount of water and sugar content.
Each ingredient has a different moisture content, sugar content, and fat content. So to make a standardized, smooth gelato, I use different kinds of sugar and formulas to calculate the proportions.
Which of your menu items would you recommend the most?
I’m constantly developing new products, so everytime we have a new item on the menu, I’d recommend that one!
I personally like our Premium Matcha Gelato using the matcha I order from Uji, Kyoto. I also recommend our Dark Chocolate Gelato which is made using lots of cocoa and the finest chocolate from France.
Daily operations and future goals
You select your ingredients with great care. How do you choose suppliers for your ingredients?
Firstly, in the planning stage, I decide on what ingredients I need. Then I look for the suppliers. I always taste-test the ingredients to see if they’re of a quality that we can trust, every single time. After this, I make sure to buy several kinds of the ingredients and compare them altogether.
What is your daily schedule like?
I sleep about 6 hours a night, and I spend about 6 hours in the morning making, planning, and managing our gelato. After a break, I spending about 5 hours doing marketing work, filming, editing and such before I go home.
What is the most difficult part of your work?
Human resource development is very difficult because different countries have different cultures.
What is the happiest part of your work?
I am happiest when our customers are simply happy with the gelato we created.
What are some daily challenges of operating your business?
Increasing work efficiency and production rate, reducing cost while improving quality and service. Also planning new projects, and posting on Instagram so that more customers know about our gelato.
What are your plans and goals for the future?
I’d like to increase our production capacity by putting effort into human resource development so that we can automate more of our work.
We’ll also expand our business in new areas, such as selling gelato in vending machines, so that we can satisfy more customers. We’re also working on collaboration projects so that we can attract customers from many different angles.
Eventually, we’d like our brand to branch out to the apparel business, as well as a cafe (with photo books, artist books, etc.). I don’t set any limits for our goals.
How ABOUT US uses Fillet
What is your favorite Fillet feature and why?
I’m very impressed with the automatic calculation of cost and profit.
I used to do use Excel to do calculations, every single time. I’ve been waiting for an app like this for a long time.
Which Fillet feature do you use the most and why?
I use Recipes every day while making gelato.
And every time we purchase ingredients, I try to enter the ingredients into the app.
How has Fillet improved your business operations?
Thanks to the automatic costing system, the speed of product development has become much faster.
We can easily compare and check the cost of each menu item and link it to sales. We can now see which menu items perform the best. So thank you very much!
Thanks very much to ABOUT US and their founder, Mr. Sugiyama, for doing this interview with us!