In recent years, organic ingredients and meals have seen a boost in popularity. The public, and even some celebrities, have jumped on the organic food trend and several organic food establishments have been popping up here and there. Sierreza Zero-waste Store and Artisan Café is one of the few cafes and restaurants that offer food cooked with organic ingredients straight from our indigenous farmers!
Farmers as Business Partners
Sierreza, a community-supported agriculture store and café, partners with indigenous farmers from the areas of Daraitan in Rizal, San Ysiro in Antipolo, and Sitio Masla in Quezon. The store crew personally travels to these provinces every week to purchase fruits and vegetables they would be needing to prepare the meals.
There is no standard menu at the café, since the food they serve depends on what produce is available that week. They don’t force their partner farmers to plant any specific fruits or vegetables; they would purchase whatever is in stock and make something out of it. Most importantly, Sierreza purchases the fresh produce at market price, which helps the farmers earn better.
A Helping Hand
Aside from using it as ingredients for their dishes, Sierreza also sells a portion of the produce they purchase at the store so their customers are also able to buy fresh fruits and vegetables, and even rice, from the farmers through the café. The list of produce available for purchase is posted on their Facebook page every Friday.
Sierreza has also initiated ties between their partner farmers and some commercial brands. These brands have started to partner with the farmers and have made them a source of their fresh produce. In an interview for the Los Baños Times, café owner Che Abrigo sees these partnerships as a win, but hopes for more consistent arrangements between the farmers and commercial brands.
Sierreza also advocates for a zero-waste lifestyle—they use crates to package the produce they purchase from the farm and does not use any single-use plastic inside the café. Instead, the café makes use of metal straws, rattan plates made by partner families from Quezon province, and banana leaves.
Even the unsold produce doesn’t go to waste—they are made into other items such as vinegar and soy sauce—which are available for purchase at the store. Just make sure to bring a container to put it in.
Sierreza is located at Los Baños, Laguna and has recently opened a branch at Maginhawa Street in Quezon City. You can also check their Facebook page to get to know the brand and their partner farmers more.