MANA!

EAT LIKE IT MATTERS

Flipping fast food on its head! We serve raw organic vegan SLOW food, fast! A lifestyle that doesn't cost the Earth.

Serving organically inspired, locally produced, vegan & raw slow food, fast! At the core of MANA! is a handmade brick oven baking wholesome flatbreads we have dubbed “FLATS”.

Wrapped & conveniently served in our signature paper-only Eco- packaging together with a mouthwatering selection of homemade real foods. MANA! introducing a new way of eating healthy wholesome organic fast food on the go.

Food & Lifestyle that doesn’t cost the Earth & certainly inspires Change.

Bobsy Blog 2019 No. 15

COFFEE AS UNUSUAL

V-Coffee, The What, The How & The Why???
“Why isn’t all coffee vegan!?” I am often asked with a surprise look on the face. Well, no not really. All coffees are definitely not created equal. Sure, the coffee bean itself is, it’s the fruit of a plant and is therefore vegan. Most people drink their coffee with cow’s milk to have their latte’s, cappuccino’s & flat white, etc. Black coffee is plant-based of course and people who drink their coffee black are fully vegan yes. But, but the coffee shops they frequent are not, and they consume more cartons of cow’s milk everyday than most supermarkets sell. Not to mention the volume of “fresh milk” they throw away daily due to expiry.

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The Dairy Milk.
With dairy milk having a massive eco-footprint of 1,000 litres of water per 1 litre of milk, one can easily see the problem at hand. Compare that to 40 litres per 1 litre of Oat milk. But the problem of dairy milk (and all other dairy products especially butter) is not just the vast amounts of water wasted, but the devastating impact it has on our natural resources & our environment, from clearing of forest lands to grow crops to feed the cattle, to the run off of waste water from dairy farms & so on and so forth. Not to mention the ethical side of dairy farming and you begin to get the picture.

It’s not a pretty one whichever way you paint it.

The Coffee Cups & Lids.
This is a big one! Coffee cups are coated with 30% plastic inside the cup & therefore cannot be recycled conventionally (certainly not in HK) and cannot biodegrade or be composted. The coffee cup lids are made of hard plastics, and therefore technically can be recycled, but most end up going straight in to rubbish bins together with the cup and the paper jacket. Wasteful little buggers indeed! And as you are aware most coffee shops in HK are still serving their coffees in throw away cups with the lids firmly on, even for stay in customers, as if there was no environmental crisis.

Globally over 1 billion take-away coffee cups are thrown away each day!! A large percentage of the plastic makes its way into our oceans causing havoc on marine life & human life alike.

In Hong Kong we throw away 2 million coffee cups every day!!

Drinking coffee has become a very big problem.

BOYCOTT PLASTIC COFFEE CUPS & LIDS!!

The Coffee Beans.
10 Million tons of coffee are produced each year. Most of it is not organic and is therefore steeped in synthetic fertilisers, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides & insecticides. Conventional intensive farming is wrecking havoc on the soil, the waters & the air to satiate the 2.5 billion cups of coffee consumed each day.

So, as I was saying not all coffees are created equal.

Coffee as Unusual.
V-Coffee is created & designed to be anything but coffee as usual.

Organic Fair-Trade coffee beans of single origin, roasted locally in HK. Blended with a choice of organic plant-based milks, fuelled with high quality plant-based butters & oils & served in an eco friendly, fully compostable & biodegradable coffee cup and lid. MANA! also offers 10% discount to customers who bring their own cup. Voila!

V-Coffee is an original concept that MANA! developed back in 2015 at our charming small coffee shop MANA! PoHo. It took many days of trial and error to find the right formula without compromising quality, taste & ethics to create the puuurfect cuppa in every way possible.

We have since opened our designated V-Coffee Bar at our new MANA! Starstreet location, where you can enjoy our original signatures coffees without trashing our beloved planet.

Now of course I can go on & on about the wonderful concept of coffee & the role it is playing in our culture, and the importance of

“coffee moments” in my daily life… But I will save that for another blog one fine day. Until such time, please bring a level of awareness to your daily habit & the trail of waste you may be leaving behind you for generations to come. The solutions are on hand today, and just require your pro-active participation.

Until soon…
Bobsy Gaia

Bobsy Blog 2019 No. 14

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WORLD PEACE DAY SEPTEMBER 21st 2019…

International Day of Peace is celebrated every year since 1981…And this day also happens to be the Autumn Equinox; where the length of the day & the length of the night are equal, thereby heralding the first day of Autumn.

My beloved city of Hong Kong is going through some challenging & very difficult times these daze, rightly or wrongly so, change is in the air & interesting times are upon us. I understand the demands of the demonstrations & I equally understand the awkward position of the Government. I believe HK is a resilient city & I believe we will all come through this stronger & wiser than ever before. But we must hold Peace in our Hearts & Minds at all times.

How much more effective would we be if we threw Flowers instead of bricks? How much more effective would the demonstrations be if they were totally Peaceful? There is a universal power in Peace that the world listens to. It is addictive & contagious and crosses borders and transcends creeds, religions, political opinions & assumptions. The power of Peace cannot be understated, it just needs to be understood & felt for it to become very, very real.

There is nothing more powerful than the image of hundreds of thousands of people marching in solidarity for a universal cause. An image once glimpsed of people from all ages & all walks of life marching together in silence for a just cause, marching peacefully displaying love & understanding, will haunt our minds & hearts forever, and will therefore have a much more powerful impact, and thereby have much further reaching consequences. This is also true for global public opinion, regardless of ones political orientation & partisan side. Our greatest teachers & visionaries all knew this fundamentally and inherently practiced this against the odds at times and consequently changed the world. Lao Tzu, Gautama Buddha, Jesus of Nazareth, Leo Tolstoy, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Rodney King to name a few.

As the great Mahatma Gandhi famously said: “There is no way to peace, peace is the way“. In other words violence begets violence. If there is something we want in life, we must become it. So if we want peace in our lives we need to become peaceful & live peaceful lives, not just for ourselves & our families but especially for the others, for ALL Life. That means our thoughts, our attitudes & our actions need to embody peace. For example, one can’t be eating animals that were brutally killed and advocate peace. One can’t be investing in a company or stock shares that are directly or indirectly burning down our rainforests, and advocate peace. One can’t be living independent from ones actions, and advocate peace, and increasingly so, from ones lifestyle today without harming others. Be it the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the primates in the forest, the refugees fleeing war or the melting ice sheets in the poles.

As Khalil Gibran said “Pray not in your distress & times of troubles but pray in your times of abundance & peace” (not exact words verbatim)".

Did we as HK people give thanks for our moments of abundance & peaceful lifestyles? Or did we take it all for granted? These are relevant questions to ask in these times and well worth reflecting upon.

Power to the peaceful.

Until soon…
Bobsy Gaia

Bobsy Blog 2019 No. 13

Dear One & All,

As some of you may know by now we opened our 3rd & largest, to date, MANA! Starstreet flagship store on July 22nd. To say we are excited is an understatement, we are delighted!

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Finally a large MANA! with space enough to express & showcase our concept & lifestyle. We have been so used to operating tight small outlets for so long now, that to have a 70 seater or 1600SqFt location, with Aircon, with comfortable seating, tables & chairs & just space to vibe our vibes is so refreshing! The last time I personally had this pleasure was when I was operating the now legendary Life (cafe) in Soho between 2004 & 2009. Space to be able to host & commune, space to be able to play our music, space to be able to weave the community, host events, screenings, documentaries & MANA! happenings & so forth is something I have sorely missed.

A long term HK friend messaged me last week & said “It’s so good to have some positive news in these difficult times & your opening of MANA! Starstreet is uplifting news for HK people.”

Indeed. This got me reflecting on something I hadn’t thought about for some time now and that is that there is a remarkable pattern going on here. Unintentional I can assure you, but serendipitous & subliminal no doubt.

We opened The fabled Bookworm Cafe during those worrying times of the handover back to China in 1997, when HK people were most concerned about their future & during a time when rumours were circulating, not too dissimilar to these daze now. We demonstrated a confidence & a love for HK back then by showcasing that we were not concerned with fear mongering & that personally my love for my chosen home outweighed any fears & that I was here to stay.

Then 7 years later comes SARS, a truly fearful time for HK People. Far more fearful than the political unrest happening today, because SARS spelt death to many people. It’s easy to forget but people were terrified & the majority of people were walking around with masks. So, to have opened the legendary Life in 2003 / 2004, in the heart of SoHo, in a three storey stand alone building with one of the highest rents in the area displayed not only a strong commitment to my beloved chosen home but confidence in the excellent medical system & the resilience of HK.

MANA! Central opened in 2012, granted it wasn’t a troubling time for HK but in an uncanny way it was for many peeps who were concerned about the ”end of the world” & “the end of the Mayan calendar“. I shall not dwell on this one because it seems petty now.

And here & now in July 2019, at the height of the civil unrest & public demonstrations, we so happen to be opening our largest MANA! flagship store right along the path of authorised marches. We have done it once again. Positive news in times of fear, uncertainty & worry.

We love HK & we are here to stay. We believe HK people are resilient & will step up to overcome fear mongering, rumours & the polarity-simplicity of us against them.

We are all one or none.

I don’t believe in Polytricks! (politics) I do believe in a Humanitarian, Ecological & Spiritual Worldview that transcends all political, religious, dogmatic & sectarian divisions.

All is One, One is All. ( M! Mantra No. 18 )

Until soon

Bobsy Gaia

Bobsy Blog 2019 No. 12: World Environment Day

Dear One & All,

It’s World Environment Day 2019 on the 5th of June. You know the one, not Earth Day, the other one, yes, or the other other one these days. Yup, the environment is a hot hot topic, finally!

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My first real awareness of Earth Day was back in 1990, a truly exciting period in modern history and a key period in raising environmental awareness that has helped shape the platform for todays Millennials & Gen.Z to stand upon and raise their voices. The period between 1987 & 1992 was truly epic, with an unprecedented shift in awareness and an awakening of human power & human potential, the like of which the world had not seen since the late 1960’s but with the added momentum of a few dozen million people more. I myself was one of those millions of peeps realising that we only have ONE EARTH and she is in extreme danger.

Historically the first World Environment Day was held in 1972 and was established by the UN General Assembly on the first day of the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment. It’s amazing how far we have come in the last 40 years or so just by looking at the name above ;-).

The host country for this year is China and the theme is Air Pollution.

World Environment Day lacks the sexiness of Earth Day & is not as widely celebrated on street level, but is never the less one of the most important days of the year, for how can we live without the environment!? We can certainly live without Easter or any of our public holidays, but never without The Earth. Yet, somehow in the Materialism Paradigm Worldview non of these days are seen as important enough to warrant a day off. I’m still baffled 30 years later! :-0

Imagine a day in the not-too-distant future where Earth Day (April 22nd), or World Soil Day (December 5th), or World Water Day (March 22nd) is a public holiday, and people are incentivised to go out and make a difference. It’s not hard to do. Can you imagine what an impact such a day would have!? Now compare that to most of our public holidaze, not all by any means, but most, and try to relate to the negative impact a day of taking compared to a day of giving has on our natural resources, our shared commons and what effects every human being alive today.

Sadly what most of us do on standard public holidaze is shop till we drop, eat till we are full, consume like there is no tomorrow, or simply do as little as possible so as to recover from our work & hectic lifestyles. Sound familiar?

However, in the emerging & now exponentially growing Consciousness Paradigm Worldview, any of the truly meaningful days worth celebrating for one & all, will not only be a public holiday acknowledged by the vast majority of Homo sapiens but a day to inspire & proactively implement sustainable change. Imagine that, it’s not hard to do.

In the not-too-distant future, our children will be asking us some very hard questions as to what on Earth were we doing when there was a beautiful chance to not only reverse Climate Change but to build a sustainable social economic model that supported the carrying capacity of life on Earth.

Whether this window remains open long enough to go through remains to be seen. On one hand we have severely & rapidly depleting natural resources, our hard capital, and on the other we have an unprecedented mass awakening of awareness & human potential, our soft capital. Which of the two has a greater view?? This is arguably the hardest question to put forwards to any human being worth their weight in salt or water or gold for that matter.

I will close with these words of wisdom for your scrap book or coffee cup: The most radical act of any generation is to become aware.

Until soon

Bobsy Gaia

Bobsy Blog 2019 No. 11: MANA! is 7 Years Young

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Dear One & All,

On March the 1st 2019 MANA! Turns 7 years young! Quite a milestone in the fickle HK market, but more importantly for us it marks a certain maturity as an innovative & unique BRAND, not only coming out of HK but Globally too.

Our beloved city is not known for its local brands & has had a history of imitating rather than innovating. This is changing with the younger generations now & MANA! Is proud to be one of the strongest, maturest & relevant Brands on the scene. Our clientele base is getting younger & younger as HK’s GenZ is taking responsibility for its own consumption habits & Eco-footprint marking a stronger & clearer deviation from the Millennials and certainly from all generations before them. 

We are proud to take part of the credit for launching our Food Revolution right here in the heart of The HK seven years ago. What distinguishes us from 99% of other F&B operators in the city & 99% of businesses in general is that we have never seen ourselves as F&B operators or business operators. We are change makers pro-actively inspiring CHANGE with every step we take, and no exceptions whatsoever, ever! 

This approach to “Conscious Business” whereby business is seen as an agent for good & of service to the wider community has been slow to take off in our city, but times they are a changin’ and we are happy to be riding the crest of the wave, hell no we are happy to be generating the waves, using solar power of course! ;-)

After 7 years of no compromise with our integrity, it is time we gave ourselves a little pat on the back, and in the same breath we thank you our dear customers & supporters for being with us every step of the way. 

The journey has been a tough one with bumps & pitfalls from day one, but it has been a most rewarding & fun one too. Here is to the next 7 years. 

Until soon 

Bobsy 

Bobsy Blog 2019 No. 10: Ending 2018 & Welcoming 2019

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DEAR ONE & ALL,

2018… Alignment & Sprouting…

So, if 2017 was a year of PATIENCE & 2018 was a year where the fruits of patience were rewarded with a little sprouting, then 2019 is going to be a year of GROWTH.

I can’t help but use farming analogies to capture the essence of these fleeting yet poignant years here. Farming is such a noble vocation, sadly neglected & relegated to poverty in the last 200 years or so, since the ‘industrial revolution’, yet being revived & honoured once again, as we finally wake up to our folly of industrial agriculture, intensive chemical farming, toxic & contaminated food, GMO, GEO & the likes, and bring back the honour once given to noble famers that sustain us & nourish us. Farming teaches us PATIENCE, RESPECT, HUMILITY & WONDER. And so, being an Ecopreneur running an entrepreneurship in this city of ours one can learn a lot from the honourable tradition of farming. 

Hence my use of PATIENCE to sum up 2017… & SPROUTING to sum up 2018…which naturally leads on to GROWTH for 2019…

I am excited about 2019. This is a feeling that has been rather dimmed down in the last 3 years or so, but 2019 promises more optimism & an attitude of “yes let’s make it happen“ & at MANA! we are very excited indeed about this coming year. In 2018 we aligned & invested in new & much needed infrastructure with our 3,000sqft new production kitchen in WCH & a move to our new offices, that is happening as I write, as well as an overall alignment of our operations & team members as we ready for 2019… We have a few surprises up our sleeves for this coming year including an amazing happening on 11th of January at MANA! Central to celebrate our 1 Millionth Flat sold!!, a new large MANA! next Summer with indoor seating somewhere very prominent & accessible, as well as the launch of our new aligned MANA! Logo… So keep a little eye here & enjoy the ride with us as we showcase what building a unique BRAND from scratch in HK, for HK & by HK means. 

URNA! - You Are Not Alone! 

“ There is no culture left in commercial agriculture. “ 

An apt quote from URNA! that snugs in perfectly with this year’s end message above. 

It is high time we brought culture back into our World’s Food Systems for without food we cannot thrive, let alone survive. 

Until soon…

Bobsy

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MANA! CENTRAL

92 Wellington Street, 
Central, Hong Kong

(+852) 2851 1611

10:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m. Weekdays

10:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. Weekends & PH

 
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MANA! POHO

8 Tai On Terrace, 
Poho, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong

(+852) 2347 8555

 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

CLOSED
Tuesdays

 
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MANA! Starstreet

8-10 Queen’s Rd. East, Wan Chai, Hong Kong

(+852) 5501 7591

8:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. Weekdays

10:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Weekends & PH