It is one thing to start a warung from scratch, however it is very different to attempt to open an organic warung. Abe-do Organic Warung, located 2 kilometres from Ubud, in Banjar Kutuh Kaja, was created a year ago with only three spoons, three knives, three forks and five glasses. It was difficult for Nyoman Sukarsa, the former artist and gardener, to come up with the start-up cost of Rp.2 million. There was not much spare change for kitchen implements and extra supplies.
Nyoman was motivated to go organic when his wife, Sri, got very sick and he started to source a natural, healthy way for her to get back to good health. With the aid of herbs, jamu (traditional medicine) and switching to organic whole foods, Sri is now healthy, full of energy and is working full time at the warung. The food they serve is fresh, organic where possible and prepared on the spot from scratch. Nothing is pre-prepared or from jars, cans or bottles. It’s a real labour of love.
The organic farmer, Mr. Hartono, is located only 2 km away and he provides seasonal organic fruit and vegetables, and delivers to the restaurant daily. Nyoman explained, “My warung is only 70% organic, because I can not provide certified organic chicken and meat. The meat costs are four times the regular price and I simply can not afford to charge those prices”.
Nyoman told me how he feels blessed by the patrons that visit the warung. “One American man helped me out and put Abe-do on Trip Advisor and then another person helped me make a Facebook page. Now people are coming from far and wide to try my organic food and organic Bali coffee. I am so happy and business is doing very well.”
Nyoman and Sri now own twenty cups and twenty glasses and things are getting better. The cool music tunes that play in the warung are from a little IPod docking station that was donated recently by a Canadian patron. Nyoman told me how he feels blessed by all these random acts of kindness and ‘angels’ that drop into his warung. A great little success story that started with courage and belief on a shoestring budget and an example of how from little things, big things grow.