In this week’s episode, I spoke to Marlienna Suwito who is the CEO of Heavenly Nest based in Jakarta, Indonesia.
This gorgeous mother of two is in the business of rearing swiftlets for their nests since 2006. (Fun fact: she was once crowned Miss Lampung 2002 in her hometown in Lampung, Indonesia.)
Swiftlet nests or birds’ nest as they are commonly known are prized among the Chinese community in Asia. For the Indonesians though, they are just getting to know this prized delicacy that used to be known as the caviar of the East.
The nests are carefully harvested and cleaned before they are made into edible products such as birds’ nest desserts. Birds’ nests are treasured by the Chinese for centuries as it is believed to improve complexion, enhance immunity and enhance youthfulness.
While Marlienna lives in Jakarta, her swiftlet farming business is located in Pontianak, West Kalimantan, another island in the Indonesian archipelago. Her products are exported to the US, Hong Kong and Greater China as well as sold in Indonesia.
She makes health beverages and beauty products from birds’ nests but what makes her story compelling is that she is using her business as a vehicle to help underprivileged children while providing livelihood to women who are in need.
Marlienna, as you will hear in this episode, has a heart for her community. This is why she volunteers at Focus on the Family Indonesia, an international foundation established to empower families across the archipelago and Woman and Youth Detention Centre, Tangerang.