Strawberry muffins & Banana Choco Cookies in oven
Greetings Family, Friends and Supporters,
It has been another productive few months here in Kalaw working on the further development of Sprouting Seeds Learning Centre. We have been able to continue working on product development, setting up our space, and connecting with local groups here in Myanmar for partnerships.
As we have mentioned previously, working in Myanmar is extremely challenging. For the last few months, we have been working with one of our partner organizations based in Mandalay to help support the development of the project here. We are pleased to share that we now have together, with support of our eldest girl, Aye Aung and our partners in Mandalay, have registered The Giving World, which our be our key partner helping to support Sprouting Seeds. With this new registration here in Myanmar, we will be able to reach more youth and provide further opportunities for development work.
Besides our new link with The Giving World, we continue to reach out to other groups to form partnerships. As some of you may remember we had a wonderful exchange with Kachin students from Shalat Education and Resource Centre back in March. Two of the girls who participated in the exchange, Grace and Bawk Mai will be moving here to live and work with us in the coming month. They will stay for several months to learn all they can in order to return to Myitkyina, in Kachin State to open a small café as part of their school to help with skills capacity building and income generation. During their time with us, they will also be sharing more wood working and help getting that project better established, while helping to make all the tables, shelves, chairs that we need for the running of the café and bakery project.
Last month we also had a visit from the staff from a small Buddhist Youth Network based in Nyaung Shwe in Inle Lake. The girls will have been planning to open a small café and coffee shop as part of their youth empowerment work and trainings. We had a wonderful first visit and the girls from their project will be working with us to create a training program to help in the development of their project. We are excited to connect with this group and their large network of youth all over the country and to be able to support them with a variety of trainings over the next several months.
New Product Development
Back in April, we several kind donations, we were able to make our first large purchase of appliances for the Centre here in Kalaw. We were able to purchase a new new bread oven, incredible ice cream maker and a freezer!! This really kicked things into a different gear!
Since that time, we have been experimenting with all new kinds of recipes and products, labels and other product development as well as which markets we will target. The search continues for a small shop front in downtown Kalaw in which we can offer our new line of ice cream and gelato as well as some of our first crafts and baked goods.
Meanwhile, we have signed a 1 year lease on the big house we are staying in and have been prepareing the downstairs and outside to open the first part of the café here within the next few months. Deep cleaning, painting, building tables and chairs, designing products, planning for the introduction of basic cooking classes to foreigners and more have been keeping us extremely busy!
Gelato, Ice Cream & Baked Goodies!
Ice Cream and Gelato have become a new item here at Sprouting Seeds. After roughly two months of trials, we now have several ice cream and gelato flavors which we are selling out to shops around Kalaw, selling in bulk orders for parties and getting ready for the ice cream and gelato bar to open at the café space. Some of our new flavors include:
- Mango-Lime Gelato
- Mango Chocolate Chip Gelato
- Fresh Vegan Coconut Milk Ice Cream
- Fresh Coconut Choco-Chip Ice Cream
- Thai Milk Tea Ice Cream
Some more flavors on the way include: Masala Tea Ice Cream, Strawberry and Passion Fruit Gelato, Jackfruit Ice Cream, Coffe Mocha Ice Cream and many more!!!
We also have been working on several baked goodies to be packed and prepared for easy sales, which include:
- Banana Choco-Chip Cookies
- Oatmeal Raising Cookies
- Strawberry Banana Muffins
- White Chocolate Mango Walnut Oat Cookies
- Pineapple Coconut Muffins
- Pineapple Tea Cake
- Mango Tea Cake
- Apple Tea Cake
- Fresh Coconut Macaroons
- Sprouted Wheat Berry Breads
- Fresh made Bagels and Doughnuts
- Variety of handmade granolas and granola bars (including fresh dried fruit from the project)
- Variety of Pizzas
We have been working hard over the last few months to develop relationships with local suppliers to ensure quality and to support other local merchants. We are very pleased that the majority of our ingredients are all locally sourced and as fresh and natural as possible, including whole grain wheat flours for all our baked goods milled here locally in Kalaw and fresh dairy products from local farmers in the mountains around Kalaw!
With many things in the works at the moment, we are very excited to see how the next few months unfold. We will busy getting things ready for the internships, further development of products and finishing the work on the house we are renting. We are looking forward to sharing all the new developments in the next few months.
With sweet bakery smells from Kalaw!
The Sprouting Seeds Team
Mango-lime gelato going into new ice cream maker
Finished mango-lime & mango choice chip gelato
Homemade bagels for cafe sandwiches
Homemade Walnut Cinnamon Rolls