That’s Bea Misa and Rob Crisostomo of “ritual”, a tiny but wonderful gem of a shop located at The Collective (a group of interesting shops, cafes, bars, etc. on Malugay Street near Buendia Ave in Makati). The shop seeks to market eco-friendly products, fair-trade items, sourced directly from producers around the country. I LOVE this shop. I first visited several months ago late one evening, and didn’t have my camera with me, so I returned with camera recently to snap some shots and feature the shop on the blog. The shop is sparse, yet appealing; the inventory is, well, light in volume but totally interesting in concept and presentation. It just so happened when Mrs. MM and I passed by recently, the proprietors were on the premises, and they explained what they were trying to do…
They had me at “finest local products, sourced where they were made”… I was smitten by this chunky rock salt from General Santos that was iodine free, and great for using as a base for cooking things like steaks or maybe even fish. At PHP100 a kilo, their mark-ups are extremely reasonable, and this makes great local products totally accessible for city folks.
They also had a WONDERFUL and incredibly fragrant light muscovado sugar that “Sister” would go nuts over, the perfect and secret ingredient for her fruitcakes and other baked goods. At PHP100 a kilo, I also thought this was very reasonably priced. The fragrance of the muscovado was so intoxicating that I stuck my head into the bin of sugar and inhaled deeply several times… :) All the products are marked with their province of origin and you can bring your own containers if you want to buy in bulk and eschew the use of plastic bags.
The store has an interesting array of environmentally friendly household cleaning products, personal care products, soaps, bottled pickles and fish sauces, a few carefully edited items for the home made from native materials, baskets, etc.
Some of the rather colorful soaps on offer.
Bottled items great for gifts/pasalubongs and some batidors/batirols for making hot chocolate.
Ritual doesn’t serve any food yet, but plans are afoot, so for now, sit down and relax with some “fair-trade” coffee or some refreshing coolers.
Bea and Rob offered us these wonderful juice sodas made with Pelligrino sparkling water and dalandan juice and hibiscus/basil concentrate made from scratch. The hibiscus/basil drink was wonderful, beautifully flavored and very refreshing. It was nice to sit and chat with these young, idealistic and socially aware entrepreneurs. I noticed when they gave me their card that Bea must be one of my relatively active readers and commenters and when I mentioned this, turns out it was indeed her… So we spent a few minutes discussing their sources of food and products, the challenges of starting a business, and the mutual hope that folks start to pay more attention to what they are consuming and where it comes from. If all of the readers of Marketmanila made an effort to shift just 2% more of their food budget to local and artisanally produced items it would go a long way towards encouraging farmers, small producers, etc. Kudos to Bea and Rob for their efforts to bring consumers great local products at great prices… I think Bea and Rob also have a stall at the Sunday Legazpi market but the small shop “ritual” is worth a visit or two or three… :)
7274 Malugay Street
San Antonio, Makati