Bamboo Cafe in Bukidnon Moves You to Help Empower Community!
Kenneth Mheil Mangaya- Ay | July 20, 2020
Who would have thought that a college business plan requirement will give birth to a small unique café that will promote tourism and empower the community? In Bukidnon, Café sa Bukid is a bamboo cafe located between two mountain ranges, Mt. Kitanglad and Mt. Kalatungan. It aims to be an eco-friendly café and advocate the use of Bamboo straws. “It started with Cassava Chips, a business plan requirement of one of the owners in her college degree. In 2016, we came up with the idea of putting a small Pasalubong Center in Kibangay of Cassava Chips and Jams. A twist in the concept that resulted in a small unique café. We started serving in 2017 with three owners hands-on with the business. Two months later, it became a hit in town and later extended to accommodate more guests. Now, we have employed 11 Out-of-School Youth, 5 Nanays (mothers) and 9 part-time students,” shared one of the owners who refused to be mentioned.
They produce their very own cassava chips, a variety of jams like strawberry, pina colada, ube, pineapple-mango, guava, pineapple passion, and of course, bamboo straws. They have their very own Strawberry Farm because their cold weather is perfect to grow strawberries. They also have wild honey, Italian vinaigrette, home-made cookies, coffee, tablea, fresh vegetables, and herbs. They also have consigned products from their local partner SMEs from all over Bukidnon. In their menu, they serve sandwiches and shakes using their own jams, salads, and sandwiches packed with lots of fresh vegetables and other meals.
Don’t miss to try their freshly brewed and locally grown coffee, perfect for the cold weather! “It is our mission to offer the best “Bukid” experience with local quality food and the best products of Bukidnon. Inside the café, all customers are asked to be barefoot, not just to preserve the place but also to experience the culture. They also have the option to sit on the floor. We have no wifi available in our café because we want them to disconnect from social media, reconnect with nature, and to spend quality time with their loved ones,” shared the owner.
Aside from satisfying its customers, the café also uplifts and changes the lives of the people in the local community by providing employment to out-of-school youths, part-time students, and mothers thus giving them value and dignity. They advocate the use of bamboo straws instead of plastic straws. “We give income opportunities to high school students and out-of-school youths who prepare the straws,” said the owner. Apart from the café, they have a small vegetable market called, “Mag-uuma,” where they sell their own fresh vegetable produce and also a variety of vegetables sourced from local farmers since Bukidnon is the Vegetable Basket of Mindanao, “Café sa Bukid had been the game changer of our local community’s economy, it did not just make the place known but also encouraged others to establish businesses.”
Support of locals is very crucial in keeping any businesses going especially during these trying times when adapting to the new normal is very challenging. “We are just so thankful for their overwhelming support and in effect, we’re able to continue to source out local raw materials, get local pasalubong products from our partner SMEs, get fresh vegetables from local farmers and continue providing regular jobs.” #BuyNaKayJuan #ChoosePhilippines