Updated: Aug 2
Located in Thonglor 13 Alley, Homeland Grocery and Café is a conscious establishment that supports local farmers, fisher folks and producers in Thailand. It offers customers high-quality produce and is housed in a colourful small building.
During our visit, we had the pleasure of conversing with one of the co-founders, Pattaraporn "Nat" Salirathavibhaga, who also works closely with the Thai Organic Consumer Association to help drive the organic society in Thailand. She has an admirable dream and ideology. We began with a mundane conversation to ease any tension. It was clear that Pattaraporn was feeling a mixture of excitement and nervousness.
She told Chomp that sustainability had piqued her interest due to various events that had occurred in her life. She didn't have a pivotal point that intrigued her interest in sustainability, but rather it was a gradual accumulation of what she had observed in Thailand and around the globe.
"I've always been a curious person. I consider myself lucky to have been born in a generation before mobile phones had such a great influence. This meant that whenever I travelled, I could observe the world outside the car window," Pattaraporn shared with Chomp. "As a junior tennis athlete, I travelled a lot and saw the development of other countries. I was often curious about how certain countries were able to tackle environmental, economic and social issues that Thailand struggled with, for example, the dirty canals, trash on the pavements in Bangkok and the poverty faced by rice farmers who are considered the backbone of our country. Seeing these issues in my country and others made me question how I could help and make a difference. My curiosity built up, and I eventually pursued International Studies for my undergraduate degree, with a focus on Political Science. I continued my education with a Master's from the Columbia School of International Public Affairs. Additionally, I gained valuable experience by interning with various non-profit organisations to further my understanding of creating positive and sustainable systematic change."
After many years of studying and practising, she had encountered numerous organisations and private sectors that were truly committed to solving important issues, as well as those who engaged in "greenwashing" or "whitewashing" themselves through CSR initiatives. This inspired her to forge her own path towards creating a meaningful and positive impact, so she started Homeland Grocer As one of many specials and seasonal dishes of Homeland Cafe and Grocer amid the pandemic.
"Thailand is a big foodie country. My goal is to contribute to a better food system, both in production and consumption. This is why I created Homeland Grocer, a company that demonstrates the positive impact of responsible practices." Said, Pattaraporn, "I do not view myself as a social entrepreneur, as this should be a common practice. Instead, Homeland is simply a regular business that consciously and mindfully sources high-quality produce from local organic farmers to give them a sustainable income and helps individuals to make conscious choices easier."
Homeland Grocer has undergone a transformation and is now known as Homeland Café & Grocer, offering groceries, food, and beverages because sustainability is a journey.
"Homeland is not perfect. Sustainability for us is a journey. We're still learning." Pattaraporn told us. "Selling farmers' and fisherfolks' produce isn't impactful enough for us, and opening a café is also something that me and my co-founder, Natnicha "Tess" Burapachaisri, have always wanted to do, so we transformed it into a grocery & café."
Homeland Café & Grocer is committed to reducing food waste by using various methods. They follow a nose-to-tail philosophy and implement efficient food waste management practices to ensure every ingredient is prepared in a suitable manner. This enables people to enjoy wholesome and delicious food, regardless of their awareness of sustainability efforts.
Fish Fingers may seem like a basic dish, but they are actually quite fascinating. These thick, breaded fish strips are made using the surplus parts from filleting fish, ensuring that nothing goes to waste. Served with a fresh lemon wedge and house-made spicy mayo, they are a tasty treat.
One of the top-rated hummus dishes in Bangkok, as per Chomp's standards, is Hummus & Eggs. This dish boasts a flawless balance of flavours and highlights the natural taste of each ingredient. The poached organic eggs are perfectly cooked, with a rich, runny yolk and fresh taste. The house-made hummus itself is expertly prepared, with a slightly chunky texture that adds to its appeal. The addition of harissa sauce, made in-house, in the centre of the hummus provides just the right amount of spicy kick. To truly enjoy this dish, be sure to spread the delectable ingredients on toasted sourdough bread slices accompanying it.
Although not a traditional lasagna, Pumpkin Lasagna is a rich and flavourful dish. The pumpkin is expertly pureed and seasoned with Thai basil before being layered between lasagna sheets. The dish is garnished with sunflower sprouts and a generous amount of freshly shredded cheese, and all served on creamy ricotta cheese.
Chomp was lucky to taste Homeland's seasonal dish, Ricotta & Cream Cheese Toast. Customers could choose a topping between House-made pomelo jam or pineapple compôte. Chomp chose the pineapple compôte, and it didn't disappoint. It was sweet, creamy and buttery.
Although the Brioche Honey Toast is out of the season, Watermelon Cheesecake, one of many specials and seasonal dishes of Homeland Cafe and Grocer, is available now and is worth the try.
Whether through their grocery, events, workshops and other activities, Homeland Café & Grocer is also open to working with like-minded individuals and organisations and hosting gastronomic workshops to pass knowledge to interested people. Homeland Café & Grocer Hours: Daily, 08:00 - 18:00
Reserve: +6695 732 1119
Location: 263 Thong Lo 13 Alley, Khwaeng Khlong Tan Nuea, Watthana, Bangkok 10110