Dennise Jocel Porca, a licensed architect, started The BrickOven Café in Pila, Laguna last May 2020. According to her, staying at home gave her more time to think and appreciate life in its simplest form. And for her, simple life meant building a brick oven and making use of scrap wood to cook food. That’s how The BrickOven was born.
She had one big problem, though. Because of the lockdown, her Metro Manila-based supplier cannot serve her need for carton boxes.
“Getting supplies in Manila would incur additional expenses and consume time, so we thought that we should find boxes near our area,” Dennise explains.
Dennise decided to look for alternative sources in the nearby area of Cavinti, Laguna. She explains, “Pandan leaves are abundant in the place and Cavinti is known for weaving. According to the locals, they grew up knowing how to weave. Most products of Cavinti locals are hats from pandan leaves which they call sambalilo”.
She then ordered her first tampipi pizza box from a family of weavers. They had never produced a food carrier before but it was easy for them to adjust to her specifications.
By July, the café was already using the tampipi boxes that come in round and rectangular shapes to fit the various pizza sizes.
The ingenious packaging made an impression. Filled with rustic charm, the tampipi pizza box was beautifully woven. Each one has a string made from leaves and adorned with fresh flowers.
Image: Facebook/The BrickOven Cafe
Due to the high demand for the boxes, Dennise had to reach out to other weaving families in Cavinti. “We are glad that the weaving industry in Cavinti is getting attention and they are now weaving other items aside from hats,” she shares.
True enough, The BrickOven Café’s tampipi pizza boxes were featured in local and international media, one of which is a video published by Hongkong-based South China Morning Post, Waste-Ed, and FM 106 in Thailand.