Mika Caram, owner and founder of TDG, is no stranger to operating her businesses in times of crisis
CEBU CITY, Philippines – The new Daily Grind (TDG) branch in the scenic Busay Hills of the Gaslamp District has closed just days after its official 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, operating only with a generator as the typhoon had knocked out power throughout Cebu City.
But owner and founder Mika Caram is no stranger to operating her businesses, which include a chain of hostels, cafes, restaurants and vacation rentals, in times of crisis.
In fact, one of the main reasons it made sense to open the local Cebuano cafe in Busay was because of another crisis – the COVID-19 pandemic – which has forced many businesses to be mindful 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 to catering to local customers; before the pandemic, most of their customers were backpackers and foreign tourists.
“We went from having mostly foreigners as customers to almost all local customers,” Caram said.
TDG opened its first branch in Kasambagan in 2018, followed by a branch in Lapu-Lapu City, then at the Forum on Archbishop Reyes Avenue. TDG was supposed to be the cafe and restaurant arm of Caram’s hostel business, Murals, which has not operated since the country shut down foreign tourism in 2020.
Caram said they thought about calling it The Daily Grind because the café is envisioned as a place to “start your day, a place to hustle”.
TDG was able to keep its Kasambagan branch open throughout the pandemic and all 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 vibe.
Getting to Gaslamp
Getting to the Gaslamp Quarter would take about 20 minutes from JY Square Mall in Lahug, Cebu City.
“The market there is usually made up of active people or cyclists and motorcyclists – something you’ll notice in Busay,” Caram said, noting that this branch is in the hilly part of town, away from the hustle and bustle of the streets. business districts.
According to Caram, loyal TDG customers will still find their favorite TDG dishes at the new branch.
Their morning bestseller, the TDG Big Breakfast, sells for P250 and allows customers 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 which only costs 190P.
Besides the great food, Caram said customers will also enjoy the view from the mountain food park and the cool breeze at night.
At this time, due to COVID-19 restrictions, properties like TDG can only accommodate guests at 30% indoor capacity (if fully immunized) and 50% outdoor capacity.
TDG at the Gaslamp District is open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. – Rappler.com