Coffee, with its unparalleled benefits and innovations has now evolved from a mere commodity to recreation, art, leisure and experience. Not only that, it can also be a platform for making a difference in the society, improving the lives of others. Instrumental to that change is The Giving Café , a concept pioneered by Henry and Sons Foundation for Sustainable Coffee Excellence (FSCE) in Highway Hills, Mandaluyong.
Michael Harris Conlin, entrepreneur, coffee explorer, innovator and FSCE director invited us for the launching of The Giving Café. He discussed a bit background of coffee growth in the Philippines, its foreseen adversities, challenges and advantages to the economy if utilized properly. With a pressing vision to fortify a more sustainable coffee industry, Henry and Sons came up with a replicable model to boost local coffee while initiating social change. Thus, The Giving Café was born.
The Giving Café is more than just a coffee shop or a store. Corporations are free to adopt the replicable social platform of the café, to run social advocacies and generate income at the same time. One of its beneficiaries are the farming communities in La Trinidad, Benguet. Henry and Sons and FSCE have been helping these farmers alleviate problems related to livelihood, equipment, water, education and health. For every cup of coffee sold, a percentage goes out to the farmers.
Other models of the program include The Giving Caravan, the Volkswagen café that has been making rounds distributing free coffee in BGC and The Giving Cart, a pop-up concept that infuses events and activation spaces with good will in the form of steaming cup of Joe. All the necessary materials from the coffee equipment to the beans to adopt this platform will be provided by TGC.
Aside from standing as a social enterprise, we of course could not overlook The Giving Café as a haven for coffee and food lovers. The café’s interiors has a lot to speak about its ideals, advocacies and roots. It pays homage to Henry and Sons’ as a manufacturer of abaca ropes.
This wood work is pretty much a tribute to the hard work of a Filipino farmer.
Henry and Sons’ expertise on coffee is manifested on its line of coffee drinks, produced from state-of-the-art coffee machines. Part of the media launch program allows bloggers to experience latte-art, the latest trend in cafés today. I thought it was easy breezy but no – it needs right control and balance in maneuvering the cup of milk to form that art.
We also get to taste some of the café’s specialties, a fusion of Chinese and Filipino comfort food such as pasta, adobo, sisig, and sweet and sour pork.
The Giving Café serves coffee from its own brand, Bloom Coffee line, a special range crafted to support programs that solve issues related to harvesting coffee in La Trinidad. A substantial portion of the sales is allocated to fund more programs for the Benguet farmers.
With passion for coffee and service, The Giving Cafe endeavours to help Benguet farmers improve their trade, so in return, they can help to get Philippine coffee back in the international market by 2018.
I am inspired to know that businesses which aren’t solely concerned to earn profit still thrive today. Contrary to other coffee drinking sessions that I consider a luxury, I know that with TGC, it will enable me to reach out to others in my own little way. Every coffee sip imbibes in me a certain social awareness that I also should take part in helping others, wherever industry I may be.
The Giving Cafe finally opens its doors to the public on its grand opening, on July 15.
The Giving Cafe
Sheridan corner Pines Street, Bgy. Highway Hills, Mandaluyong City
Facebook: TGC: A Social Enterprise
Phone: +632 746 3231, +632 746 2693