Library Café by Coop Cups held its grand opening on Wednesday, January 18 at the City Library and Information Center.

With the launch, it will offer local coffee with additional products such as pastries and rice meals for library-goers. The café will also become a venue for coffee appreciation, as well as a space for local cooperatives to promote their products and services.

The grand launch was spearheaded by the City Government of Davao, in collaboration with the Manuel Guianga and Sirib Growers and Employees Multi-purpose Cooperative (Magsige MPC), the Model Cooperative Network (MCN), and the Agricultural Cooperative Development International/Volunteers in Overseas Cooperative Assistance (ACDI/Voca). Guests from national government agencies such as the Department of Agriculture, Cooperative Development Agency, Department of Tourism, Councilors Marissa Abella and Jonard Dayap are also present, as well as other stakeholders.

Magsige MPC CEO Mr. Agripino Torres, in his speech during the launching, said that the purpose of the shop is to showcase the “local flavors of Davao and the taste of the region to library-goers”.

He said that the cafe also showcases the “communities and individuals who would greatly benefit from the cooperative-run coffee shop, such as the men and women cooperative members who will be trained and employed in the coffee shop and the indigenous coffee growers/farmers situated in Marilog and Toril District and near communities who will primarily supply the coffee beans”

Rhoda Ruth Pillerin, MCN CEO, in an interview with the City Information Office, said that currently, the shop sources its coffee beans from local producers such as the Balutakay Coffee Farmers Association (BACOFA)– the producers of the award-winning Arabica coffee grown on the foothills of Mt. Apo in Bansalan, Davao del Sur, one cooperative from New Leyte, Maco and another cooperative from Maragusan.

Torres added that the yield from the Marilog and Toril coffee planted and tilled by the members of Magsige will soon add to the beans used in the shop.

Mayeth Fransisco, a coffee grower from Tungkalan, Toril, in a message during the event, said that she is thankful on behalf of the farmers for MAGSIGE and for having them as one of the tapped farmers.

“As farmers, we are thankful on behalf sa akoang kauban nga farmers kay makita na gyud namo ang good price sa amoang kape.. tungod sa Magsige (As farmers we are thankful in behalf of my fellow farmers because we can already see a good price for our coffee.. through Magsige),” Francisco said.

As the first coop-run coffee shop, not just in Davao City but also the entire Philippines, both Torres and Pillerin mentioned the possibility of Coop Cups opening for a franchising in the near future to other areas, even outside Davao.

Pillerin said that Library Café as it is now known, will not only become an area where local products are sold but also an area for appreciation of the taste of local coffee.

“We will be holding coffee appreciation series.. and also similar events like that and we are also planning to make this as a venue where cooperatives can promote their products and services,” Pillerin said.

She said that aside from library-goers, employees from the nearby establishments are also becoming regulars at the café and with its full operation, she is positive that the café will attract more customers.

Dabawenyos may visit the café at the Davao City Library and Information Center (DCLIC) along Ponciano St., The cafe is open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. CIO