Eng Shen & Foo – Dotto Kombucha
In this interview, Eng Shen & Foo, founders of Dotto kombucha, share the story of how their brand came about.
What do you do?
We are a duo running a home-based business of handcrafted raw kombucha — Dotto.
Our kombucha is brewed with 100% natural and authentic fruits and herbs without artificial flavours to preserve the high quality of probiotics, nutrients and taste.
How did you get into the industry?
Both of us have been working in the tea industry for years, and we always love to explore anything related to tea culture. Since then, we bought our first scoby two years ago and have been experimenting with kombucha fermentation. We were home-brewing kombucha for our own consumption initially and slowly ventured into an online business to share the love with more people.
Share with us the story of Dotto.
“Dotto” simply means dot (in Japanese).
We believe everything starts from a dot, to start small and dream big, and to never forget the beginning of our journey.
We started out everything from scratch all by ourselves, from sourcing quality ingredients to kombucha production, branding design to photography, packaging to logistics, marketing to customer service, and so on. The whole journey is a rollercoaster with a lot of trials and development. However, we are still striving and learning with the hope of achieving greater in future.
What’s the best/worst part of your job?
The best part would be receiving positive feedback and compliments about our kombucha taste and aesthetic from the customers. We are really overwhelmed by all the love we received and are still in awe until this day.
The worst part is definitely the cleaning process! Cleaning all the fruits and herbs in the fermentation bottles and triple washing everything to make sure they are well sanitised, especially during this pandemic.
What’s a food memory from your childhood or travels that stands out?
Eng Shen: My grandmother’s marinated pork chop. My family can never cook the same taste ever since my grandma passed away, but the taste of it will forever remain in my memory.
What’s your favourite food and beverage pairing?
Foo: Nasi lemak and a cup of local coffee
Eng Shen: Somtam (Thai papaya salad) with a refreshing iced kombucha!
What’s one of the wildest things you’ve seen behind the scenes?
Pop opening a super fizzy bottle of kombucha, and it exploded all over the place, even with fruits splashing to the wall! Needless to say, the cleaning process is a nightmare.
The perfect day off would be…
Eng Shen: Binge watching Netflix all day.
Foo: Uninterrupted sleep at home.
What do you do for fun?
Cafe hopping and watching movies.
What’s something you’d like guests to know about Dotto?
Dotto is a handcrafted kombucha brand that aspires to bring you optimal health benefits without compromising on flavour. We believe that good health and good taste are equally important. Brewed with all-natural and authentic ingredients, we strive to elevate your tasting palate and nutrients with a daily dose of Dotto!
How has the pandemic changed you, your perspective, or the way you operate?
We actually started out our business during the pandemic. We see it as an opportunity as more people are now more familiar with online food and beverage orders.
What’s something you’d like people to know about being a kombucha brewery as a profession?
Making your own kombucha is not hard. However, making a business out of it is definitely not as easy as it seems. Lots of hard work and commitment are needed to keep your kombucha business growing. You will definitely need passion to run it as a profession, just like any other sector of entrepreneurship.
What’s your view on the kombucha scene in KL/Selangor?
More and more Malaysians have started drinking kombucha contributing to its increased popularity, especially in the urban cities. The risen popularity definitely comes with an increasing number of competitors. We’ll definitely keep an eye on upcoming new kombucha breweries on the scene and give some support too!
What practices do you currently implement or hope to implement in the future to work towards social responsibility and sustainability?
We are currently running a rebate programme to encourage our customers to return our bottles for us to recycle and reuse, as a small contribution to the sustainability movement.
What’s in store for you in the upcoming months?
We are planning to collaborate with cafes and other potential local brands to expand our business opportunities. We will also participate in more events and pop-ups in the near future. Do stay tuned with us @drinkdotto for more!