#CafeAntonioLB

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Enjoying Our 5th Year of Wearing Aprons...and Wiping Tables

Historically, we're not really good at throwing parties and commemorating special occasions or holidays. Due to the F&B industry's repetitive, rountinary, and fast-paced nature, we often lose track of time. "Oh, it's 2013 tomorrow? I thought it was still 2009." When our manager/chef asked me to think of something for our fifth anniversary I told her that I've got nothing on my head at that moment. I'm just that kind of person who believes that ideas fall from the sky while brushing your teeth and not borne out of a brain-storming session inside a conference room.
Two weeks to go before our anniversary, I sat down and tried to come up with some ideas. I came up with 5 promos to commemorate our 5 years of existence. It was great but I knew deep inside that this still wasn't the "idea that fell from the sky." And then an idea hit me out of nowhere: commemorate all the people you've met and worked with for the past 5 years and make a Facebook yearbook. And that was the beginning of my 2-week quest of downloading and researching photos of the people who made Cafe Antonio possible. Thanks to my sister, Grace, for calling it a "virtual yearbook." It's cheap, saves printing, saves lay-outing, and it has amaaazing reach. 

I attempted first to write down a list of significant people who became part of the cafe. Realizing that this approach would be too limiting, I scrapped the idea and decided to cluster people into specific categories: employees and staff, barkadas, musicians, couples, families, etc. Each day our Cafe Antonio Facebook page featured one category of people (without revealing what the next day would feature) and posted individual and group photos of them accompanied with a brief inspirational writeup. After a few days of this "yearbook research routine" from morning until midnight, I realized that I still failed to feature everybody we met and made friends with. But then again, I really didn't expect myself to be a good  nostalgia sleuth so I apologize for that. Anyway, after all the researching, reminiscing, and thanking, the virtual yearbook experience brought me down to my knees and made me want to explode with joy and thanksgiving. As we watched our NHK documentary, "Asian Smile: The Coffee Prince"  with our guests during the anniversary celebration, I remembered the three reasons why I got myself into this business: to create jobs,  make opportunities, and give people a shot at life. The cafe has changed places, faces, phases, and coffee beans for the past five years but I hope and pray, in spite of the many changes, that it would still continue to accomplish those three things.
CAntoneers Jason and Jorge went with me last April 20 to Magnum Opus and Luca & Tosh's Coffee Tasting Event in Paranaque hosted by Jonathan Choi and Roland Rubin of Magnum Opus and JC Martinez of Luca & Tosh. In the event we tasted specialty coffees from Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Sumatra. The baristas showed us how to brew coffees using a siphon, pourover, and espresso machine. In the event we reunited with  PNBC 2013 finalists Andy Luyugoy and Larry "Blend" Andrada. Also, we met former Cafe Antonio workshop attendee, Migs Eslava. Hope to see you guys in Laguna!
The cafe would like to officially welcome our newest barista, Dada! She used to be our OJT from TESDA but after completing her required hours she applied for a spot in the bar. As of now, we're still training her to make drinks. She teams up with Elmer upfront in the dining area.

This is Matt, our Farmer of the Week. He and his friend, Jess, provided organic lettuce for us for a week. Hopefully in the future, we can meet more organic farmers and gardeners and provide them with extra income by supplying organic produce for our cafe. As of this writing we have sourced local organic produce from my small circle of farmer friends: Brian Belen of Ato Belen's Farm (cherry tomatoes); OJ Gomez of Maquiling Hillside Delicacies (feta cheese); Edu Foronda's garden in Jubilieeville (tomato and basil);      Dr. Bes Calub and Hansel Calub's farm in Tarlac (basil and lettuce); Mon Garcia's backyard in Bay (honey); and my personal backyard in Bonita Compound (thai basil).  We're very amped to see local and independent backyard farming getting some buzz here in Laguna!

Meet Chef Marisse! A civil engineer by profession, Ate Marisse, just finished her short course in culinary arts this April at the International School for Culinary Arts and Hotel Management (ISCAHM). Congratulations and continue to cook more awesome stuff!
One of our Chef's Specials for the month of May: Beef Wellington (Puff Pastry stuffed with Beef Tenderloin and Mushroom Duxelle) with Red Wine Sauce served with Blanched Green Asparagus,        Php 289. All Chef's Specials come with a FREE boxing session coupon from Red Gloves Boxing Gym,        Los Banos.











Friday, April 19, 2013

Promoting Good Health to the Community through Physical Fitness and Proper Diet




* THIS SUMMER, ALL RED GLOVES BOXING GYM MEMBERSHIP CARDHOLDERS WILL GET A 10% DISCOUNT ON ALL CAFÉ ANTONIO FOOD AND BEVERAGES FROM APRIL TO MAY (SINGLE RECEIPT PURCHASE ONLY); NON-MEMBERS CAN AVAIL OF A FREE RED GLOVES BOXING SESSION COUPON FOR EVERY PURCHASE OF A CAFÉ ANTONIO CHEF’S SPECIAL MEAL OF THE MONTH.

* Special thanks to Mark Arago of Red Gloves Boxing Gym for partnering with us for this very special summer promo to encourage healthy lifestyles and healthy eating habits. 

See related link: Stay Fit and Eat Right! 

Red Gloves Boxing Gym - Los Banos

Red Gloves Boxing Gym - Calamba

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

FIVE WAYS TO CELEBRATE OUR 5TH ANNIVERSARY ON APRIL 14, SUNDAY

Number 1. Canton Classics: Savor and enjoy once more our classic pastas for one night only! Get a FREE bowl of Pasta Bolognese and/or Pasta Alfredo for every single receipt worth 500 pesos. Or you can order ala carte for the original price of Php 75.



    Number 2. Bring Back the FOM! “Like” the FOM that you want to be available on April 14. We will post photos of our Flavor of the Month Frothiccinos on our Facebook Page this week. The photo with the most “Likes” will be made available on the day of the anniversary from 11 am to 10 pm.* (Final tally will end on April 13, 11:59 pm) 



    Number 3. PAK PAK POOM 2: Missed our famous late night eating challenge? Here’s your chance to try it again! Same rules apply: 300 pesos down, finish the meal in 10 minutes, refund your 300 and win a 150 peso gift certificate from Café Antonio!


Number 4. Really feeling nostalgic? Wear ANY Café Antonio T-shirt and get a 50% discount on any coffee-based beverage!



Number 5. And finally, a contest! Post a photo of your best Café Antonio memory on our Facebook page and tell us why you love the café. The top 5 entrees with the most “Likes” will each win a gift certificate and a fresh bag of our Owltonio Blend coffee to be claimed on April 14.** (Final tally will end on April 13, 11:59 pm)

  


Thank you for your undying love and support for the café all these years. We couldn’t have done it without your help. “Like” our Facebook Page and follow our daily posts as we commemorate and honor the people, places, and events that have been part of the Canton Family. God bless you all!