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Sidikalang Coffee Entrepreneur Saor Aritonang

Sidikalang Coffee Entrepreneur Saor Aritonang

“Quality and no cheat are the key success factors of my business”, so said Mr. Saor Aritonang to Mr. Sabam Malau in a friendly interview took place today in the IDA Store in Sidikalang, the capital city of Dairi Regency of North Sumatra Province of Indonesia.
Photo 1: Saor Aritonang (Right), Safei (customer, center) and Sabam Malau (left) standing in the IDA Store. Safei (living in Tebing Tinggi) always buys IDA coffee powder for loyal customers in Bangka Belitung Province.

Mr. Saor Aritonang is the owner of the famous IDA store that sells the coffee powder. The store locates in Jalan Sudirman Nr. 20, Sidikalang, Telp (0627) 23330. Dr Sabam Malau is Chairman of NSCF-North Sumatera Coffee Forum. The following is the entire interview result.

Sabam Malau: Would you please tell me the buyers of your coffee powder?
Saor Aritonang: The loyal buyers are living in this regency, other regencies, other towns, other provinces and abroad. They are people of Dairi, Balige, Medan, Tebing Tinggi, Bangka Belitung, South Korea and Malaysia. Starbucks have ever inquired 2 tons of coffee powder per month from me. However, I refused to sell it to them because I wanted Starbucks would like to pay much more better price because Starbucks sells expensive coffee in their store.  

Sabam Malau: Your store is very famous. Please tell us your key success factor.
Saor Aritonang: My key success factors are the no-cheat and the quality of coffee powder that I sell in my store. My coffee powder has the best quality, and I do no cheat. I sell only powder that has the best quality. What I mean with quality is pure coffee, no other ingredient in it but coffee. There is no cheat here since you and all our customers can see the whole process there near you. Green robusta coffee will be roasted with certain Standard Operating Procedure (SOP). The roasted bean will be ground in such a method  that the powder will then have certain mesh. It’s smell and taste are very good. 
Photo 2: Saor Aritonang Operating the Coffee Roaster

Sabam Malau: Can you describe your business capacity?
Saor Aritonang: I have 4 workers. In average, I sell 100 kg a day or 36 tons of coffee powder per year. To produce it, I buy 56 tons of green coffee bean. I use robusta coffee bean from this Dairi Regency which coffee is frequently called Sidikalang Coffee, one of the best coffee of the world. Most of the coffee bean I buy directly from coffee growers who bring their coffee bean to this shop. I pay good price, at least 5-10% above market price. Just now I buy IDR 20,500 per kg while market price is IDR 19,500 per kg. Through such reward, the coffee growers will maintain the quality of coffee bean.
Photo 3: Roasted Coffee Bean of IDA Store 

Sabam Malau: You are not the only sellers of coffee powder in this town. Tell me your competitiveness.
Saor Aritonang: I sell coffee powder at IDR 44.000 per kg. I know price of my coffee is a little bit higher than price of others’ coffee powder. However, my business still grows significantly because quality is my business competitiveness power.  
Photo 4: Packed Coffee Powder of IDA Store

Sabam Malau: What’s your opinion to the increasing price of coffee.
Saor Aritonang: I am happy about the increasing price because coffee growers can then earn good for better life.  I hope price will go up higher and higher. As a seller of coffee powder, I don’t have problem with the increasing price of coffee bean.

Sabam Malau: What’s your next business plan?
Saor Aritonang: The roaster (machine) already works in maximum capacity amids increasing number of buyers of my coffee powder. So, I want to increase production capacity and modernize the current machine. I cannot avoid modernization, and I do need to make a bigger business. Now I am looking for new modern roaster and grinder (machines) using LPG or Kerosene.

Kind regards,

Dr. Sabam Malau

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