By Pauline Evora
Nonie’s only opened in 2017, yet is considered one of the key restaurants on the island. More than a restaurant, Nonie's is a place where social enterprise, sustainability and great food all come together. Beach cleanups, morning runs as a promotion for a healthy lifestyle, Nonie’s has done it all.
In July, they created a Health Program for local children, inspired by Michelle Obama’s public health campaign called “Let's Move.”
Before moving to Boracay, Patrick and Shria Florencio were leading a busy life with high-paced jobs in Singapore. Although dreaming of becoming business owners, they wanted to have a strong community aspect to this one. Emboldened by their project, they set their hearts on Boracay to create their first socially-conscious business. But the owners of a Certificate of Excellence 2018 to 2019 from TripAdvisor, the husband and wife team always try to be the best humans they can be.
Known for its sustainable food, farm-to-table efforts, and locally-sourced products, Nonie's constantly looks for ways to give back to the community in significant ways.
“Sustainability can be achieved in so many different ways,” says Shria with a bright smile. Through their Nonie’s Junior Program, they are welcoming groups of children from local schools once a month. “We could not be doing this without the help of Rona Liza Inocencio’s team from the Red Cross Youth Malay Chapter,” the couple explains. Their one-hour program aims to show the children what a healthy meal looks like.
Patrick, as the facilitator of the program, always breaks the ice in fun ways, before starting the nutritional program. Based on the US National Program for Health, Nonie’s Junior (for short) has adapted to local food the kids can relate to. This is an easier way to explain the food groups’ breakdown to the children. A 20-minute aerobic session follows, held in a space graciously offered by Hue Hotel.
After washing their hands as part of hygiene protocols, the children are invited back to Nonie’s to share a healthy meal. Their plate consists of a protein, some grain, a dairy product, a carbohydrate and fruits. To close the program, the couple came up with educational games, to ensure their understanding of a nutritional and healthy diet. The hour-and-a-half program, held between Station X and Nonie’s, is free and accessible to all children who wish to learn about healthy eating habits.
Nonie’s Junior is ongoing and welcomes small groups of five- to eleven-year-olds, once a month.
In the future, Nonie’s is looking forward to expanding its Junior Program to a wider group of children. They are open to bringing it to schools as well, but not only. And as always, they are thriving with new ideas. One of them would be to creating a meal-prep program for older children. Hoping to inspire more children towards a wholesome lifestyle, the Nonie’s team would love to spread their knowledge so the next generation can share it with the rest of the world!
If you are interested or know a group wishing to join the program, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.