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Welcome To The Lab

starter lab bali baking cake at night

Welcome to the lab


Welcome To The Lab!

We’re thrilled to introduce you to Starter Lab, a family-run bakery making mouthwatering sourdough goodness, and Bali Direct’s newest supplier of fresh baked bread.

Starter Lab Head Baker Emerson Manibo hails from New York, where he first began learning the art of baking bread at world-renowned establishments like Per Se and Roberta‘s. After graduating from the International Culinary Center, Manibo moved to California to refine his craft at Della Fattoria in Petaluma, CA. In 2015, Emerson’s outstanding work as Head Baker at Della Fattoria earned him a nomination for the highly acclaimed James Beard Award. Emerson’s next stop was the world famous Tartine Bakery in San Francisco, where he worked alongside the best bread bakers in the world. It was also in California that Emerson met his partner Min.

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Emerson and Min decided to settle in Bali to share their gifts with the island of the gods, and we couldn’t be happier that they did. We may or may not be speaking from personal experience here, but entire Starter Lab loaves are known to have been eaten in a single day.

Starter Lab began with the idea of baking the finest sourdough in Bali, using quality and locally sourced ingredients, with a long fermentation process. The “starter,” or what the French call Levain, is what gives the bread its complexity of flavor. Bread bakeries are in some shape or form laboratories, as bakers are constantly experimenting with a variety of wheat and grains, then developing a scientific formula called Baker’s Percentage (using four simple ingredients – Flour, Water, Starter, and Salt) to create a bread recipe. Hence the name Starter Lab came to be.

Emerson’s delicately made masterpieces–Seeded Wheat, Country Bran, Danish Rye, and our personal favorite, the Rosemary, Lemon, and Sea Salt Sourdough–are perfect for sandwiches, toast, as a salad side, or simply eaten on their own.

We think Starter Lab’s bread is the real deal, but don’t take our word for it. All four breads are 10% off this week, so give them a try, and let us know what you think! Welcome to the lab.


Information on products, sourcing, production, sustainability standards, certification, and much more for those who want to dive deeper.

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