CEBU CITY, Philippines – The Daily Grind’s (TDG) newest branch in the Gaslamp District’s scenic Busay Hills closed only a few days after its grand opening in December 2021, after Typhoon Odette devastated the Central Visayas region and northern Mindanao.
The branch then reopened the first week of January 2022, running only on a generator as the typhoon had taken down electricity across the entire Cebu City.
But owner and founder Mika Caram is no stranger to operating her businesses, which include a chain of hostels, coffee shops, restaurants, and vacation-rentals, in times of crisis.
In fact, one of the main reasons it made sense for the homegrown Cebuano coffee shop to open in Busay was because of another crisis – the COVID-19 pandemic – which has forced many businesses to be conscious of designing their layouts with more open-air spaces for better ventilation, and with more distance between tables.
Busay is known for its scenic hills, trees, and fresh air.
The move is part of TDG’s pivot towards catering to local clientele; prior to the pandemic, most of their customers had been backpackers and foreign tourists.
“We went from having mostly foreigners as customers, to now having almost all local patrons,” Caram said.
TDG opened its first branch in Kasambagan in 2018, followed by a branch in Lapu-Lapu City and then in The Forum on Archbishop Reyes Avenue. TDG was meant to be the coffee shop and restaurant arm of Caram’s hostel business Murals, which has not been operating since the country shut down foreign tourism in 2020.
Caram said they thought of calling it The Daily Grind because the coffee shop is envisioned as a place where one “starts your day, a place where you hustle.”
TDG was able to keep its Kasambagan branch open throughout the pandemic and all of the surges.
The Busay branch has become a favorite for those looking to post IG-worthy photos or TikTok videos, thanks to its lush greenery and relaxing ambiance.
Getting to Gaslamp
Getting to the Gaslamp District would take around 20 minutes from the JY Square Mall in Lahug, Cebu City.
“The market there is usually active people or cyclists and bikers – something you would notice in Busay,” Caram said, noting that this branch was in the mountainous part of the city, away from the hustle and bustle of the business districts.
According to Caram, TDG’s loyal patrons will still find their favorite TDG meals at the new branch.
Their morning bestseller, the TDG Big Breakfast, sells for P250 and allows guests to choose from a selection of eggs, corned beef, Hungarian sausage, bacon, spam, and tocino, among others. Their Breakfast Burger is also a local favorite that costs only P190.
Besides good food, Caram said that guests will also enjoy the view from the mountain food park, and the cool breeze at night.
For now, due to COVID-19 restrictions, establishments like TDG can only accommodate guests at 30% indoor capacity (if they’re fully vaccinated) and 50% outdoor capacity.
TDG at the Gaslamp District is open from 6 am to 9 pm daily. – Rappler.com