A social enterprise restaurant initially conceptualized and brought to life by Angsana Laguna Phuket and the Banyan Tree Global Foundation, Seedlings Restaurant aims to empower marginalized local young adults through vocational training.
Located within the Laguna Holiday Club Resort, Seedlings Restaurant is one of Laguna Phuket’s Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives. Through vocational training and job opportunities, the restaurant equips local young adults with the tools needed to grow in a career in the hospitality industry.
The training program facilitated by Seedlings Restaurant is as rigorous as it is rewarding. For 10 months, local young adults undergo food and beverage skills training at both Banyan Tree Phuket and Angsana Laguna Phuket properties. English language training and basic computer skills training are also part of the training program. Once the ten months are complete, the young adults then work in Seedlings Restaurant for two months either as restaurant staff or kitchen workers.
Seedlings Restaurant is a social enterprise concept that works well. The restaurant itself is minimalist – it is a charming open air venue with a splattering of tables that overlook a large swimming pool and the lush, manicured gardens of the golf course. It makes for a wonderful setting to enjoy authentic Thai favorites and local dishes with Phuketian flair.
The food available at Seedlings Restaurant is truly quite exceptional. It is fresh and spicy, and offers diners insight into the intricacies of Thai cuisine. Expect to enjoy classic favorites such as Moo Hong, a southern Thai dish of stewed pork belly and other delicious dishes such as the famous Phuketian Mee Hokkien noodles, Tom Som Pla Krapong clear spicy soup as well as an array of sweet local desserts.
In addition to the menu offerings, Seedlings Restaurant hosts a weekly Phuket Street Food buffet night as well as a hands-on cooking class. For visitors to the island as well as expats with an interest in Thai food, the cooking class presents the opportunity to learn to prepare such dishes as Yam Pak Kood Goong Sod, Paco Fern Salad with Shrimp, and Khua Kling Pla, Stir-fried Minced Fish with Yellow Curry Paste.
Since its inception in October 2014, Seedlings Restaurant, in conjunction with the Phuket campus of Prince of Songkla University and the Phuket office of the Ministry of Social Development & Human Welfare, has seen 75 interns participate in the program. 38 interns have now graduated and 22 of those interns were initially employed at the restaurant and 8 of the local young adults remain as full time staff. Many of the graduates and previously employed students now work in the tourism and hospitality industry in Phuket. Seedlings Restaurant is a great success story, and one that all involved with can be extremely proud of.
Both Banyan Tree Phuket and Angsana Laguna Phuket are members of Phuket Hotels Association. While Seedlings Restaurant has been an exclusive Corporate Social Responsibility program between the two resorts, the program ties into Phuket Hotels Associations ‘People Planet Phuket’ community-driven initiative that the Association endeavors to put back into our island home.
For more information on Seedlings Restaurant, contact Wandi Pattrawee, Director of Marketing Communications at Angsana Laguna Phuket, by email [email protected]