How an Ordinary Cafe Became the Pioneer of the ‘Reusable Pizza Box’

Aug 15, 2020 | BIZ, GREEN, NEWS, Philippines, TASTE

Sustainable Pizza Box Banner ©BrickOven Cafe 

All over the world, more establishments are realizing the need to eliminate disposable packaging. A café in Laguna, Philippines has solved their waste problem in the most amazing way possible by using locally made hand-woven pizza boxes.

If you’ve been spending time on the internet, then you may have seen gruesome photos of animals choking because of straws, or vast patches of the sea fully covered in plastics. There’s no denying that today’s “convenience culture” is taking a toll on the environment. To curb this problem, a Philippine-based café launched a one of a kind packaging that went viral on Facebook. 

Located in Barangay Labuin, Pila, Laguna, the BrickOven Café has become an overnight online sensation thanks to its ingenious local packaging. Due to Covid lockdown, the restaurant ran out of cardboard boxes for deliveries. They quickly came up with a fast solution, by using something that is already widely available in the region – sun-dried Pandan leaves and local weavers. Hats and other craft items are usually woven by these local artisans in the area, but BrickOven had now increased their businesses thanks to their ingenuity. The pizza boxes are now called “Tampipi box”.

According to owner siblings Dennise Jocel and chef Dhon Jhon Porca, they were inspired to build their business during the lockdown. 

“We were inspired by the realization that during these trying times, primitive and basic lifestyle are still important to overcome food needs and other necessities. And with that came our Brick Oven–very basic way of roasting, using old scrap woods as firewood just like what Filipinos are doing in the past,” shared Dennise in an interview with Philippine Inquirer, adding that their café was built with the concept of using recycled or scrap materials during the construction.

BrickOven customers can order the 30-inch “TampiPizza” or pizza in the tampipi box for only Php235 pesos, or just a little over $4. People can also receive a 5% discount if they reuse the woven boxes for their next purchase. The pizza has numerous flavors which include Bacon and Mushrooms, Pepperoni, Hawaiian, Bacon and Fries, and their House Special which is filled with veggies and meat.

The restaurant’s supplier for their woven boxes is currently producing smaller pizza boxes that will be available soon. As of press time, BrickOven still continues to use regular carton pizza boxes for those who cannot reuse their boxes. But instead of securing the carton with disposable plastic, they use leaf fiber straws. 

This is not the first sustainable invention coming from the Philippines, another cafe also came up with an ingenious way to use Coconut leaves as Straws.

If you come by BrickOven, their pizza is not the only thing that’s worth a try on their menu. They also serve delicious Lechon de Pugon, a Filipino pork delicacy that is served on a bilao, a flat and circular handwoven basket traditionally used to prepare rice.