Monday, November 25, 2013

Coffee and Saints Café @ Don Bosco Parish


Coffee and Saints Café: The Little Café that Could

by

Coffee and Saints Café opened in 2006 and is an offshoot of the successful livelihood ventures between Chevron Philippines, Inc., the company that markets the Caltex brand of fuels and lubricants, and Don Bosco PUGAD (Parish Urchins Gathered at Don Bosco) Center, a center for the disadvantaged migrant youth. The earnings from the café are used for the operations of the center.

Coffee and Saints Café, located at Don Bosco Parish (Arnaiz corner Amorsolo Streets)
Through this project, PUGAD Center’s boys who were rescued from poverty, abuse, and child labor have the opportunity to acquire skills in food preparation and restaurant operations as well as build their self-esteem and personality. Aside from providing grants, Chevron has partnered with some of the food industry’s big names to provide professional training for these boys. Celebrity chef Nancy Reyes-Lumen and volunteer chefs from Via Mare Catering, Kenny Rogers, and Jollibee have all shared their expertise, which have greatly contributed to the growth of Coffee and Saints over the years.
 
 
Since 2012, forty of PUGAD’s boys have trained at Coffee and Saints and 95% of them are employed. Some of them went on to pursue formal training in culinary arts and are now working as professional chefs, like 27 year-old Rolando Velasquez who graduated from Maya Culinary School and has been working at Taal Vista Hotel for the past 2 years.
Rolando Velasquez
Colle de Don Bosco
Parishioners and Makati residents seem to love this little café found just beyond the St. John Bosco Parish Church. In 2012, the café was renovated to have a more modern look that was complemented with an updated menu. Another renovation was made this year for a bigger kitchen and the addition of a deck where diners can sip their afternoon coffee al fresco.
Al fresco area
 
Books on saints
During its recent re-opening, I was able to try some of the café’s well-loved food offerings. Some of the Filipino dishes on their menu like their Pansit Canton and Bicol Express have ashitaba leaves, a Japanese herbal plant known for its medicinal benefits.
The Roast Baby Back Ribs (P100) with potatoes is a winner – tender, flavorful and affordable at that. Another favorite among diners is the fall-off-the-bone King David Chicken (P100).
Roast Baby Back Ribs
 
King David Chicken
For merienda, there’s simbang gabi food - Puto Bumbong (P50), Suman glazed with Honey (P30 for 3 pieces) and Bibingka (P50).
Suman glazed with Honey and Puto Bumbong
 
Bibingka
There’s also the Colle de Don Bosco (P70), a play on the Monte de Cristo or fried ham and cheese sandwich, which was introduced by one of their graduates who now works at the Intercontinental Hotel. PUGAD’s Director, Fr. David Buenaventura, SDB explains: “‘Monte’ means mountain and since we have a small shop, we reduced the mountain to a ‘colle’ or hill.”
Colle de Don Bosco
If dishes have ashitaba, the drinks have malunggay. Malunggay Citrus (P50) is certainly refreshing. The Malunggay Coffee (P50) has that subdued flavor yet still very pleasant and will still wake your sleepy head as it’s made with kapeng barako from Batangas. Brewed coffee, cappuccino, and latte are also available as well as the traditional Batirol.
Malunggay Coffee and Malunggay Citrus
Social Entrepreneurship
“We’re proud to share that social entrepreneurship really works,” says Cherry Ramos, Chevron’s Coordinator for Policy, Government and Public Affairs. “Sustainable programs can be done. It’s easy to do dole outs, it’s easy to give money. But to empower kids, the beneficiaries, and make them into our project partners instead of just the donees - this is the business model we would like to present in corporate social responsibility.”
Establishment Info

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