Malaya Brew: Spreading the Word About Maitum Coffee
Sherri Jane Ines Gacula believes that Sarangani coffee will go out of the region. But, before that happens, she encourages the Sarangans to embrace it, emphasizing the importance of supporting and purchasing local coffee.
"Not only does our coffee taste good. We need to promote it locally so that the Sarangans can appreciate it," Gacula said.
Malaya Brew, Gacula's coffee shop, promotes local coffee, specifically Maitum coffee. She was previously unaware that her town produces coffee. When she found out about it, she tried it and fell in love with its distinct flavor. Gacula promises to offer it in her café so that locals can advocate for it.
“I subtly promote Maitum coffee in our town. We can't just say that our coffee is delicious. It should really be showcased. It's hard to brag about our coffee if it's not proven here in our area.”
Gacula supports and purchases Maitum coffee beans from Datu Kubli Kusin of the Upo Valley Farmers Association in Barangay Upo, as well as other coffee farmers in the municipality, particularly in Barangay Ticulab.
The name 'Malaya' derives from the people's desire to flee during the height of the pandemic. Its definition eventually evolved and is now centered on the value of one's happiness in life and the freedom to express one's feelings.
“It took a while for Malaya Brew to come to fruition. Doing business is difficult. Don't follow the trend. That's why pursue what you like in life,” she explained.
“I’m happy to know that my customers have a good experience in the café,” she added.
Gacula likes her coffee black with no added sugar, creamer or milk. She wants her customers to really taste the coffee to fully appreciate it.
"You can appreciate coffee better when it is brewed without added sugar or milk. The customers who tasted the Maitum coffee would know that we have locally produced coffee. People are slowly informed that Maitum has coffee,” she said
Gacula's interest in coffee grew and she became determined to pursue it as a business. She began as a home-based coffee seller with little knowledge of coffee. But that didn't stop her from doing what she wanted.
“It was a big challenge to connect with the right people in the coffee industry. That time I did not know what to do. I prayed and let God led me to these people. Don't give up just yet,” she said.
“I want to see myself in my work. Malaya Brew is somehow a reflection of me and my passion for coffee. Having a profitable business is a bonus for me. The sense of fulfillment that I felt in my business is priceless.”
Malaya Brew intends to expand its area in order to create a more relaxing environment - a café where people can socialize and be themselves. "There's a reason to visit Maitum," she said, emphasizing the importance of coffee in attracting tourists to her town.
“Try what we have here. We should cherish our own. Let us be proud of our homegrown coffee," Gacula said.
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