By: Shaina Semaña
For some reasons, people’s good food cravings got a lot more evident over the quarantine, which is why a lot of restaurants took their A-game to the next level—from creative menus, smart promos to delivery gimmicks. But one thing that recently caught the public’s attention and hearts are pizza in tampipi boxes.
Tampipi is traditionally a container or chest woven from bamboo, rattan or palm leaves. In the earlier days, travelers use tampipi as a luggage for their journeys. Presently, tampipi is known as an artisan product used as a crafty gift box or home décor. It wasn’t until a few months ago when tampipi entered the mainstream food scene when pizza in tampipi boxes made its way to the social media limelight. Netizens applauded the unique and sustainable way of the pizza packaging making it trend in no time. But it was more than just a quarantine gimmick.
From the start, The BrickOven Café—the restaurant behind the pizza in tampipi boxes—has already vowed to be eco-friendly and pro-sustainability. So, when owner Denise Porca had trouble looking for pizza boxes supplier, she didn’t hesitate to turn to weavers of Cavinti, Laguna for help.
Weaving is one of the most common sources of livelihood in the town of Cavinti in Laugna. Using pandan leaves that they have gathered from all around their neighborhood to the slopes of Mt. Banahaw, they create all sorts of native products such as sambalilo, bags and, of course, tampips. However, when the pandemic hit the country, the weaving industry was also badly affected.
It was then when as if the heavens aligned for Denise and Henry Racoma and his family. Henry, or Kuya Henry, is a local weaver in Cavinti who Denise reached out to order her first tampipi box. Kuya Henry and his family has no experience in crafting tampipi as food containers but it wasn’t difficult to craft one with Denise’s specific instructions. Then, since it became a hit and the demand got higher, Denise was able to reach out and help more local weavers with their livelihood.
Production of tampipi boxes is actually more expensive than carton boxes, which is why the café still gives their customers carton boxes as their packaging option. Still, tampipi boxes is a more sustainable option as the customers themselves can reuse it as container at home. The BrickOven Café also give their customers the option to return the used tampipi boxes in exchange of a 3% discount on their next order.
Right now, at The BrickOven Café, tampipi boxes is not only limited to pizza’s anymore. They only use it as take out boxes for the other items on their menu like their chicken wings, which they fondly call TampiPakpak.
The BrickOven recently just open its doors for deliveries in other municipalities and even in select Metro Manila cities, through different delivery apps and services. You can check their Facebook page to see if you can have pizza in a tampipi box delivered right at your doorstep!