Caltex-Pugad Coffee & Saints Training Café Re-Opens-A A +A
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
MAKATI -- Coffee and Saints (C&S) café, a Caltex-Don Bosco Pugad livelihood project for migrant youths, a favorite of the office crowd and church-goers at Don Bosco parish, has reopened for business.
The new C&S has a fully furnished upper level and improved menu. Up to 25 people can enjoy dining and hang out on the upper deck, al fresco. The added deck doubles the capacity to 50 customers including patrons at the main dining area. The café is fully equipped with an air-conditioned dining area, expanded kitchen and a professionally trained crew in new uniforms.
Diners can choose from a wide selection of meals, which include the new King David’s Chicken and Roast Baby Back Ribs. The secret to the café’s success and the real story behind its popularity is the C&S crew. C&S is manned by migrant boys rescued by Don Bosco Pugad Center or Pugad from a life of child labor, vagrancy, abuse and poverty.
C&S equips these young men in the field of food preparation, food business and restaurant operations to expand their employable skills. Attending to customers also helps the youth develop healthy self-esteem, improve their social proficiency and reinforce positive values learned from Pugad’s Salesian doctrines.
In 2003, Chevron Philippines Inc. (CPI), marketer of the Caltex brand of fuels and lubricants partnered with Pugad to start a bakery skills training project called Caltex Pugad Pandesal. The outstanding success of the bakery led to the opening of Manna from Heaven bakeshop, also a joint project of CPI and Pugad.
C&S opened as a natural offshoot of the food ventures of CPI and Pugad in 2006. With its popularity and the changing customer needs, C&S was renovated in 2012 to bring a more contemporary look and improve the menu.
Success again dictated another renovation in 2013 to expand the kitchen, add the roof deck and strengthen the food offerings. CPI provided grants for each renovation and also helped promote C&S, linked with partners for professional training, and generate publicity.
“The success of Coffee and Saints Café is not the steady flow of income; it is the lives of ex-migrants who are presently manning the coffee shop, not to mention those who have found full time jobs in well-known restaurants in the country and abroad. Much thanks to Caltex for providing an avenue where these boys receive their livelihood training” says Fr. David T. Buenaventura, SDB, Pugad director.
This remarkable change has allowed some of Pugad’s youth to land jobs in five-star hotels, first-class restaurants both here and abroad. Tracing back to 2011, out of the 40 graduates of C&S 38 alumni are currently employed.
“What was once envisioned as a simple means to an end is now one of the favorite go-to-places of Don Bosco Parishioners and residents in the nearby condominiums. C&S now competes with food and restaurant establishments in the area. Today, we are really excited to re-open the café with our improved menu and newly furnished upper deck with Caltex tents to accommodate our growing clientele,” said senior C&S cook, Bryan Rabino.
On average, C&S caters to about 60 customers a day and generates enough revenue to sustain other Pugad projects.
Raissa Bautista, Manager for Policy Gov’t and Public Affairs, CPI, adds. “We are proud to partner with Don Bosco Pugad Center who shares the same belief that helping disadvantaged youth is not only a worthy cause but a good, long-term investment in the future of the Philippines. Through Caltex Energy for Learning (EFL) initiative, we support livelihood programs that empower beneficiaries by providing them with skills that will expand their job opportunities.”
CPI’s other joint projects with Pugad are as successful as C&S such as Pugad Pandesal which was the mother project. Others are Manna from Heaven Bakeshop, the outlet for Pugad’s pastry products, and Mobile Mechanic, a car repair service. (PR)