Fusing the taste of West and North, Muhammad Alameen Adewale Ajamu or Wale wanted to bring the best of bakmi to the South area of Jakarta and that’s how he came up with Demie Bakmi 69.
He has been in love with noodles his whole life, until one day he figured to take what he likes the most into something worth living—business. Working hand on hand with his friend, he started his business casually through an online food service last year and today, he managed to grab the heart of many noodle lovers toward his brand, Demie Bakmi 69 and about to launch the second branch anytime soon. Needless to say, Wale is someone who knows how to play the F&B game well.
Many people came up with new F&B ventures, there’s always a new business everyday. With all the presented competition, how do you keep it consistent?
“I’m not a newbie in F&B business to be very honest, I started to work in the F&B industry since I was in a college. I worked for a restaurant in South Jakarta in 2010 for two years, and ever since then I realized that working in F&B field suits me the most. Fast forward to the next six years, which is last year, I tried to find the courage to build my own commerce and I decided to continue my path in the F&B, so that’s practically how Demie Bakmi 69 was born.”
And now you’re bringing the taste of Barat to Selatan.
“I found many bakmi stalls around my home in West Jakarta years ago, they’ve got their own taste and they’re sort of everywhere. Whereas in the Selatan area, I rarely found the same exact vibe—I didn’t find bakmi as popular as it is in West or North Jakarta. I tried to combine the style of both areas and introduce it in South Jakarta through my own brand, offering two of the most popular types of noodle in Jakarta: Rubber Noodles or Mie Karet and Curly Noodles or Mie Keriting.”
What distinguishes Demie to other bakmi stalls?
“We do everything by ourselves— the noodles and the seasonings are all made in our kitchen, so the quality control is more trustworthy and our chefs don’t have to waste their time to blend various ingredients for each serving because everything is already laid out from our central kitchen. They just need to pour the correct proportion for each serving instead.”
Demie Bakmi was born from social media and now you have your own stall, how did it happen?
“At first, we were thinking to promote it to our friends, we sent them out through online service for the first weeks. Then we received quiet a demand from our friends to take it into a more well-established business, which we took it to a very serious consideration. We began brainstorming for the brand, the logo, the name and then we started to do the business through a food delivery service. After a while, my partner and I thought the feasibility of installing a bakmi stall for real instead of online delivery. And that’s how we chose Pelaspas, Dharmawangsa as our first branch.”
You started business at a young age, how do you manage the time?
“I’m used to do my work on-the-go, basically taking care of few restaurants at once. From there, I learned how to do things on time, precisely and effectively. So though I wasn’t physically there, I think that’s how I learned how to manage my time, to spare my time from this restaurant to another one and basically that’s what I’m implementing to my current work and lifestyle.”
Apart from the F&B business, do you mind to share more of your other passion?
“I’m actually a music enthusiast, I do music in my spare time and I took music course before. There were times when I held some music events in Jakarta too—I used to enjoy music as a mere spectator, but then I fell deeper into the music world. I tried to find some beats, gathered my own crew, and did music as a hobby. I definitely didn’t take it as my main thing as my focus still lies on Demie Bakmi.”
These days many young bloods try to give a shot in business, do you have any tips for them?
“Believe in the process, because to be on top you have to be on the ground first, find the best team players that suit you well, communicate well and never give up on your goals. The most important ones though, pray and fight are the main keys on this. I believe if you put your mind to it, anything is possible, like they say: where there’s a will, there’s a way.”
Editor: Galuh Tathya
Writer: Windyannisa Cindrati
Photographer: Ganang Arfiandi
Digital Imaging: Rendra Martin
Location: Lei Lo Jakarta