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Going where the market is

A start-up café makes organic food accessible to the public every day of the week.
By Kristina Mae R. Ombao |

It doesn’t take a genius to understand the benefits of healthy eating. However, the unavailability of healthy food choices and the high cost of organic produce are some reasons that keep stressed-out individuals from paying attention to their body’s needs.


This prompted the owners of Sugarleaf, a café on Wilson Street in San Juan City, to go on a mission: promote healthy eating and provide a one-stop venue of healthy food picks for people from the busy metropolis.

One of the café’s proprietors, Angelo Songco says the strategic location of their café gives their business a competitive advantage. “Other tenants in this building include wellness centers and medical service providers. We want our products to promote wellness, too,” he says.

Business partner, Gina Yambot, who takes care of Sugarleaf’s business operations, says most of their customers are health buffs, people who are trying to lose weight, and cancer patients undergoing treatment.


The quaint café offers a wide range of organic salads, pasta, sandwiches, coffee, healing beverages and kefir (a creamy drink made from fermented cow’s milk) smoothies. In almost every nook, there are shelves full of certified-organic fruits and vegetables from La Trinidad, Benguet.

“There are so many pollutants in our environment that we have no control over. But we can do something about the food we eat,” says Songco, one of the café’s proprietors.

Before the cafe’s launch in 2011, Butchie’s Recipe, a bakeshop run by Songco’s family, occupied Sugarleaf’s space at a health club building in San Juan. The bakeshop sells products from the 70-year-old La Moderna bakery in Pampanga.


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