If there is one thing that makes M Bloc Space a standout among the traffic of Jakarta’s community hubs, it’s the fact that they continue to wear the local pride like a badge of honour. Since their inception in 2019, the establishment has successfully congregated creative communities and independent local enterprises, from specialty coffee joints to plant shops and record stores. Recently, this initiative expanded with M Bloc Market, the bloc’s new artisanal grocery store and a point of captivation to many.
Taking over 2000 square metres of an ex-warehouse of the former Perum Peruri, the local marketplace derives its curated grocery items from independent, homegrown brands across the archipelago. Designed by M Bloc’s Building and Tenant Director Jacob Gatot Sura of Arcadia Architect, the modern toko kelontong (local convenience store) was built on the foundation of three core principles: wellness, traceability and locality.
With the build-up of conscious shopping trend, founders of M Bloc Space question what it means to be a conscious shopper and consumer in the urban setting. While the concept of conscious shopping commonly gravitates towards ethical and eco-friendly productions, creators of the marketplace link this trend to product traceability. Through their strict curation, helmed by co-founder Handoko Hendroyono, the team reassures consumers of the quality of their locally-made products through a mobile app, made in collaboration with Peruri, for shoppers to access the database of their products, including product descriptions as well as the origins of the brands.
The market’s inventory boasts fresh produce and covetable pantry goods that ticks one’s shopping list, from fruits and veggies sourced from local farms such as the Cianjur-based My Vegetables and the hydroponic-grown Thank God I Farm, to snacks and essential staples like rice, raw pasta and whole grains, which shoppers can score in bulks. Those who kept their eyes peeled on the growth of local brands will be familiar with names like Pipiltin Cocoa, Javara, Green Butcher and Watu Organic, which the grocery proudly flaunt on their racks.
Personal care items, hand-crafted household and plant accessories don’t shy away from making an appearance on the shelves here, so don’t be surprised if you run into the eye-grabbing ceramic goods from Sadur Studio, wooden kitchenware from Lekuk, terracotta pots and vitamins for your leafy greens by ARA or self-care and beauty products that have been flirting with you from the distance.
A line-up of food stalls awaits hungry shoppers with a variety of grubs and beverages to offer. Patrons with a sweet tooth can drop by the Malang-based bakery Retawu Deli, but those in search of heavier treats can head over to Twalem that plates up Balinese dishes, Japanese eatery Komorebi or the Bloc Burger. The hidden Jakarta Taste, set on the building’s mezzanine, is a convenient spot to lax in the company of the shop’s traditional snacks or a cuppa by Coldheart.
Not only M Bloc Market could be our next favourite for grocery runs, but the long list of homegrown brands they carry also makes scouring easy for those who wish to embark on a mindful living lifestyle. This launch has set another milestone in the group’s endeavour to sustain the ecosystem of our local industries at the emergence of consumer consciousness.