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Nisya Kunto
23 August 2021


The lockdown period in Jakarta has given birth to some of our favorite baked-good suppliers, including NOOLSTRALA. We spoke to co-founders Kade Chandra and Laura Hidayat about the rise of NOOLSTRALA.


The rise of home-bakeries during the lockdown period in Jakarta has given birth to some of our favorite baked-good suppliers, one of them being NOOLSTRALA. Founded by duo Kade Chandra and Laura Hidayat, the two had previously ventured the bakery-realms on their own with Nool Sourdough and Strala Bakery, before deciding to join forces. 

The word Noolstrala originated from the Korean word ‘neul’, meaning to extend and increase, and the Swedish word ‘strala’ meaning to emit or radiate. Indeed, the bakery business has been one that continues to rise amidst the pandemic, inviting more and more consumers to taste and appreciate what difference an artisanal loaf of bread brings. We spoke to Kade and Laura about how Noolstrala has risen and expanded, and proven again how bread becomes a source of nourishment and comfort through tough times. 

“I started as a chef with a basic knowledge in Italian and French cuisine with two restaurants in Central Jakarta, and after the COVID-19 pandemic affected my business, I found myself in an excess of free time during my quarantine days,” shared Kade, “Then, I started submerging myself in countless baking videos – especially about naturally leavened/wild bread that has since caught my attention.”

Laura follows: “I am a pastry chef with a background in pastry and bakery major from At-Sunrice GlobalChef Academy in Singapore, Kade and I graduated from the same school. I had been working at one of the many restaurants in Jakarta, but got laid off after the first PSBB hit. Then, I picked up baking at home to utilize my free time.”

Noolstrala currently has four people operating the kitchen, in which all of them take turns mixing, laminating, and baking, but every one does have their own areas of expertise, “I am in charge of most of the paperwork: standard recipe, costing, and bookkeeping, as well as marketing and branding,” said Kade. “I bake bread daily, every morning, as well as handle the packaging and purchasing and order,” continued Laura. 

“But most of the time, we do everything together,” both say in unison. “It continues to blow our minds, and it’s unexplainable (how Noolstrala has grown).” The pair then added how Noolstrala experienced growth in multiple areas, including customer base, the menus, the bread making facilities — Noolstrala has even grown a steady base of regulars. Currently, Noolstrala offers a wide range of pastry offerings, some of which are the Sourdough Pastries with Cardamom & Walnut Praline Bun, and the Cinnamon Frangipane Bun.

Naturally, everyone at the bakery are early risers. At NOOLSTRALA, the day starts at around 5 AM, when the oven is turned on and all of the dough from the previous night is starting to be baked per batch. “Since we only own one single deck oven, we need to bake our bread in batches of 12 each for our regular loaves. Hopefully when we move to a larger facility with a brand new oven that can bake a lot more at one time,” said Kade.

Production starts around 9 AM, when the mixers start to spin and smaller portions are hand mixed and folded manually. “Since most of our breads are naturally leavened, it takes up to 6 hours for it to mature and proof before it goes to sleep in our fridge,” he continued. “During this hour, we also start to produce bread for our B2B clients, which includes burger buns, paninis, sandwich loaves, etc,” shared Kade. NOOLSTRALA wraps up production around 5PM, and by 6 PM the bakery is already empty. 

Interestingly enough, Kade shared that he’s not all that keen on consuming his own sourdough creations, “I don’t like eating sourdough, or should I say, I hate the taste and texture of it, but I got this gift to make a good product without having to like it,” he said, when we asked about his personal favorite products, “So I might choose the item that have a minimal traits of sourdough, like Chocolate Hazelnut Sourdough or the Laugen Pretzel.”

Laura, however, takes the Focaccia as her favorite, “Especially the Blue Cheese and Honeycomb,” she said, “The harmony of the salty and tangy cheese combined with the crunch of the walnuts, also the sweetness of the honeycomb is incomparable.” Laura also said that Noolstrala’s sourdough bagels always take her back to her teenage days spent visiting New York City.

But regardless of which loaves they love, Kade and Laura’s joy always comes from seeing their loaves blooming and baking perfectly after days of hard work. Sharing their creations with customers who understand what they are enjoying is the greatest reward of their vocation.

NOOLSTRALA’s ongoing collaboration with one of Jakarta’s favorite sandwich creators, Lunch For My Husband, recently launched two successful Mexican-themed sandwiches. NOOLSTRALA is also supplying bread to some of Jakarta’s most sought-after sandwich joints, including Munch Sandwich (Puri), Lucky Dips (Salemba), Boo Sandwich (Cipete & Lebak Bulus), and Boogie Woogie Sandwich Bar (Senopati). 

Following their progress, we asked if there’s any future plans in the making, “We are currently working on a bigger bread facility to cater to more orders daily,” answered Kade and Laura, “We are also opening our newest concept, NOOL/STRALA LIVE, our offline store at Dharmawangsa. We should’ve opened on July 21st, however, due to PPKM we have decided to postpone the opening.”

Finishing our interview, we asked Kade and Laura how to best enjoy NOOLSTRALA’s breads, to which they replied casually, “We don’t like to romanticize ways of eating sourdough. You can eat it the way you eat your supermarket bread. Put whatever you want.. chocolate sprinkles (muisjes), Blue Band, fried egg, anything that you like… after all, it’s just a loaf of bread.” / NK.


Taman Semanan Indah NB 26, Jl. Dharma Pratama II, Jakarta Barat, 11750


Vegan and cholesterol friendly sourdough, bread, and pastries

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