Thirsty Tongue Café: Maitum’s place to reconnect
Mervin John Keith Sabarre’s interest in the food industry led him to pursue a coffee shop business in Maitum, Sarangani Province. Thirsty Tongue café allowed guests to socialize with their loved ones in a relaxed setting.
“Since I was a kid, I loved coffee even though I have hyperacidity. I really wanted to have a café that I could be proud of,” said Sabarre.
Sabarre pursued a career in the food industry, specifically in beverages, despite having completed a maritime education. He had a brief career in the maritime industry before working as a head barista in one of the Starbucks locations in the United Arab Emirates.
This opportunity introduced him to the coffee industry. Through research and exposure, he learned new skills and broadened his knowledge of coffee.
Since he came from a business-oriented family, Sabarre decided to start a business with his mother. They opened up a store that focuses on beverages such as soda drinks and liquor. In July 2019, he started his coffee shop business with ice blended coffee(s) and juices. It began as an online business and eventually expanded to a physical location. Thirsty Tongue is Maitum's first café.
When the pandemic hit the Philippines in 2020, they were forced to adapt to changes in the business landscape in order to survive. He is still running his coffee shop thanks to his perseverance, determination, and will to succeed.
Sabarre purchases the Robusta coffee beans from Kublai Kusin (Upo Valley Farmers Association) as one of the strategies to aid the coffee growers in Maitum. He showcases the Maitum beans along with other local beans from Polomolok (Mt. Matutum beans) and Davao (Mt. Apo beans). He is also looking forward to a long-term collaboration with Maitum coffee farmers.
"When you buy a coffee from a café, you wonder who will benefit from your purchase," he remarked.
Sabarre wants people to become more knowledgeable about coffee, especially the customers. In order to support both local coffee shop owners and the coffee growers who provide the beans, he encourages the public to drink locally produced coffee.
Sabarre intends to grow and will relocate to a strategic location. He saw a lot of potential in his town's coffee industry. He also continues to support coffee farmer programs in his municipality.
"At Thirsty Tongue, we provide a pleasant experience. It's a place to reconnect and form meaningful relationships," Sabarre explained.
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