Press Release by BoBoKo Indonesian Cafe
Announcing the opening of BoBoKo Indonesian Café
Cozy restaurant opens in historic Ice House in Harrisonburg blending Indonesian and Western ingredients
Chef Hotiman Ridwan’s enthusiasm for cooking originated as a young child while assisting his mother as she prepared desserts for her open-market shop in West Java, Indonesia. A generation ago and half a world away, BoBoKo Indonesian Café is now opening in Harrisonburg, Va. The concept was inspired by the flavors of Ridwan’s native tropical country of Indonesia, his love of friends and community, and the use of fresh and healthy ingredients enjoyed in a cozy, and friendly environment. Boboko is West-Java tribal language for a “rice basket” typically made out of bamboo and used as a serving container for prepared steamed rice.
Ridwan’s culinary passions continued to develop as he followed his dream to move west to America. Through a temporary visa program, Ridwan was able to work various positions in the hospitality industry across the states. Ridwan was sponsored for his permanent residency by a Harrisonburg, VA restaurant where he was promoted to assistant manager and now a permanent resident, he is working his way through the steps to US citizenship. Through all of these experiences, he continued to refine his cooking skills and formulate the vision to create an intimate dining space where community can gather and enjoy his Indonesian inspired dishes.
Ridwan carefully transformed his dream into a reality by utilizing many economic development resources offered in the Harrisonburg community. Participating in the Shenandoah Valley Small Business Development Center’s 2015 “What’s Cooking-The Business of Food” program allowed Ridwan to take his dream and formalize it into a business plan. Ridwan was the winner of the inaugural What’s Cooking Concept Plan competition held last April.
“Ridwan and his partner were wonderful participants in our “What’s Cooking” competition. They worked hard on their own plan while being fully engaged and supportive of all the other members,” reported Joyce Krech, Director of the Small Business Development Center. “Ridwan took advantage of the SBDC and city resources and met regularly with the SBDC team to move his plans forward. The results show in this beautiful space and creative menu. We’re extremely proud of BoBoKo!”
With a fully formalized business plan and financial projections in hand, Ridwan worked with Harrisonburg Economic Development and Matchbox Realty to determine the best location.
“HDR is truly proud of BoBoKo’s entrepreneurs who diligently learned the necessary skills to launch a new business and took advantage of the supports available to ensure a successful venture,” says Andrea Dono, the executive director of Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance. “We are even more excited about adding an Indonesian restaurant to Downtown Harrisonburg’s impressive food scene. Downtown has almost 40 restaurants in our 40-block district and are thrilled that BoBoKo further showcases the culinary skills and creativity of our diverse community.”
Utilizing the skills of professional services including Sysco Virginia, Blue Ridge Architects, and Rhodenizer Construction, the dream was transformed into brick and mortar reality in just over one year.
Neighboring Business Owner John Blackburn says “The entire Pure Eats team is delighted to have BoBoKo as our new neighbor! We believe that our businesses are complimentary, and we look forward to working closely and collaboratively with Mark and Ridwan.”
Menu items include appetizers like Tofu Teriyaki Summer Rolls, Indonesian Chicken Noodle Soup, and Indonesian style tropical salads like Gado-Gado with steamed mixed vegetables available in small or meal portions. Beef and Chicken Rendang are prepared traditionally along with many vegetarian tempeh and stir-fry options. An array of authentic Indonesian Street Foods feature rice and noodle dishes like the Mozzarella Cheese Risoles, an Indonesian fusion vegetarian fried croquette filled with mixed vegetables and mozzarella. Sandwiches and desserts featuring French Macarons complete the menu.
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BoBoKo Indonesian Café is located in the Ice House at 217 South Liberty Street. Hours are Monday-Wednesday-Thursday-Friday-Saturday for lunch from 10am to 2pm and dinner is served at 4:30 until 8pm. Closed on Tuesdays. Open for Brunch on Sundays from 10am-2pm. Phone (540) 434-3542. Website address is www.bobokoindonesiancafe.com.