A high-end café built amid a stevia farm in Bocaue, Bulacan recently opened to treat couples and families to a new dining experience.
Customers describe the food, service and ambiance at Karilagan Stevia Farm Café as exceptional. Stevia leaves, one of the healthiest sources of sweeteners in the world and grown inside the farm, are also used as ingredients or flavorings to some of the café’s offerings.
The café consists of a main restaurant, with a heritage home design that provides ample indoor and outdoor dining spaces set in a beautiful landscape. It is complemented by a garden pavilion and another events venue that can accommodate hundreds of people. The café and events venue occupies about 1,700 square meters of dining areas, garden, lawn and cobblestone alleys.
The café is owned by Maura De Leon, the founder of GIDC and dubbed as the Stevia Queen of the Philippines. She is the first Filipino grower and manufacturer of stevia—a plant belonging to the sunflower family that was first cultivated in Paraguay and is now preferred as a healthier alternative to sugar. It is especially helpful to diabetics and those suffering from acid reflux.
It is located in a three-hectare compound that also includes a stevia farm and production facilities of Glorious Industrial and Development Corp., the company behind Sweet & Fit Stevia and Glorious Blend Coffee Mix and Chocolate Mix.
Rocky Espiridion, the new manager of Karilagan Café, says that aside from enjoying sumptuous meals, guests can also tour the stevia farm inside the compound and can pick and sample fresh stevia leaves. In the week around Valentine’s Day, the café was fully booked, with guests coming from Bulacan, Metro Manila and other areas, he says.
“Dining is strictly by reservation,” says Espiridion, to highlight the café’s compliance with health protocols and sense of exclusivity.
Guests were treated to a five-course meal for P1,000 per head, with wine being optional and for additional cost. The café also takes pride of its own sweet bread and other concoctions such as zero-calorie deserts using stevia.
Guests can also book an overnight stay at a specially-designed cabin for P2,500.
Espiridion says to expand the café’s offerings, they launched a heritage menu on Feb. 25 to reflect the place’s heritage architectural design.
The café is near the Tambubong exit of North Luzon Expressway in Bocaue. It is open every day, except Mondays when it undergoes general cleaning and sanitation activities. Espiridion advises guests to make reservations first through the café’s Facebook page where they can find the contact details.