IF YOU want to experience a thing or two about Mati City, this newly-opened café makes it possible.
More than just a café, Sala Surf Café intends to promote Mati as a tourism gem through coffee, music, and surf culture.
“We say it’s a café but it’s never just a café. We wanted to promote a space for a good coffee, music, food, and surfing experience,” café owner Stefan Mikhail Araneta Rabat shared.
True to its name – Sala (living room) – the café has an easy and chill vibes.
Sala’s coffee experience can be magnified with other available activities that can be done inside the café like playing board games, reading books, and/or jam with the café’s musicians and artists.
To complete a real Mati culture indulgence, the cafe owner also made sure to hire no one but locals in the city. Sala Surf Café has presently six-strong team, mostly surfers, operating the business. It is capable of catering to 36 customers at a time.
“I don’t want to just get anybody. I want to make sure that the people here will fit into the culture of Mati and luckily I hired the perfect people,” Rabat said, adding he wanted to establish a homey workplace for his staff.
What is even cooler about this café is its vow to use locally-sourced products.
“We wanted to be as authentic as possible, when we designed it we want to promote local in all sense of the word,” he said.
The café offers Mati brewed coffee and Hineleban Coffee from Bukidnon for its coffee products, banana chips from Mati producers, Davao Granola (Wits Granola), and Mati homemade cookies. Displays of a local clothing brand – Coast Collective – is also available in the café.
In the future, the café will be using coconut sugar from Lupon, Davao Oriental in all its dishes and desserts. The café is also sensitive to the Islam community as it offers no pork-based dish.
Another plus factor about this first real-deal café in Mati is its eco-friendly features and initiatives.
It uses nothing but bamboo straws for its cold beverages, natural coconut shell bowl for its Adlaw Bowl, and is going paperless by using its counter cement desk for taking customers’ orders.
The owner is currently securing a local supply for paper cups before offering takeout orders.
“If you visit us here, great, but do not just stay here, go around and experience Mati,” the owner said.
Sala Surf Café, located in front Mati Park and Baywalk, Bonifacio Street, Mati City, is open 2 p.m. until 10 p.m. on weekdays and 11 p.m. on weekends.