MANILA -- This cafe in Quezon City is proudly owned by and supportive of the LGBTQ+ community.
Located in Cubao, Food for the Gays (FFTG) was opened by culinary student Nariese Giangan and her girlfriend last April 2020.
Coming from the success of their online pastry business, the couple decided to put up a physical store that doubles as a safe space for people who identify as LGBTQ+.
"Iyong name feeling ko lang funny siya, pero 'yun na 'yung pinaka-creative ko. Galing siya sa popular dessert na Food for the Gods, and siyempre I believe na the LGBT folks are -- eto tayo -- supreme beings," Giangan said in jest during Google Philippines' Pride Conversations event.
FFTG specializes in not just pastries, but also savory items like Pesto Pasta with Grilled Cajun Chicken, Meat Lover's Pizza, and Rainbow Grilled Cheesus Sandwich.
A rainbow flag is displayed at the entrance to welcome customers, with one of the cafe's walls bearing the words, "You are valid." Drinks are also served with rainbow straws.
Giangan said they also feature LGBTQ+ artists, with FFTG selling artworks and stationery made by members of the community.
"You have to believe in your product. Paniwalaan mo 'yung produktong sinusubukan mong ibenta, o 'yung services na sinusubukan mong i-offer sa mga tao," she said, when asked to give advice to those who are planning to start a business during the pandemic.
"Know your market para at least maplano mo 'yung business mo, o kung paano mo siya ipo-promote sa tao," she added. "Kami kasi, mas target namin talaga is 'yung community."
As to whether "straight" customers are also welcome at FFTG, Giangan said: "Of course, puwede. Wala tayong discrimination dito."