History

We started as coffee traders in 1978.

Our founder and president, Ernest de Leon Escaler, wanted the best coffee beans from all over the world available for Filipinos to try and enjoy. Similarly, he wanted Philippine coffee beans to be recognized as among the best in the world. He was the first one to successfully accomplish both. We remain among the biggest coffee traders in the country today.

Left with sample sacks of some of the finest coffee beans and not one to waste good products,

Mr. Escaler decided to roast coffee in small batches at first, until he purchased the world-renowned German-made Probat roaster, the rolls Royce of all coffee roasters. Gourmet Farms became the first commercial roasting facility. Today, we have our gourmet blends, single origin arabicas and Philippine specialty coffee available in retail. We likewise customize blends for our food service clients – reputable institutions as well as budding entrepreneurs. Our Probat roaster now stands beside its new computerized Probat counterpart. Profile roasting has become one of our core strengths. We are able to churn out over 150 tons of roasted coffee a month.

During one of his frequent travels, Mr. Escaler noticed small organic farms in the west coast of the United States and was inspired by the concept. He set up the first organic farm in the Philippines back in the 80’s growing several varieties of lettuce and culinary herbs. People did not understand organic then so Mr. Escaler built Gourmet’s Café where the first salad bar was born, alongside the 2-hectare organic farm. A born cook with a fondness for Mediterranean cuisine, the salads were accompanied by his home-made dressings’ recipes with main entrees of pasta and pizza from a wood-burning brick oven from Italy which still stands in The Dining Room at Gourmet Farms today. Gourmet’s Café was an overnight success with people from all over the country queuing for hours outside the 30-seater roadside nipa hut restaurant, including Manila’s elite 400. The beverages served were gourmet’s coffee blends and teas from indigenous Philippine herbs started by Don Ernesto, Mr. Escaler’s father.

The rest is history. The restaurant’s popularity saw the beginning of Gourmet Farms’ Kitchen Exclusives – a line of versatile salad dressings , pasta sauces, spreads and dips. The herbal teas were boxed to market commercially. The organically grown greens have found their way to supermarkets and Gourmet Farms’ coffee is now enjoyed by many through retail or institutional selling. We are present in leading retail chains, known food establishments and business institutions as well as entrepreneurial ventures. We are ISO accredited and HALAL certified.

Gourmet Farms was officially incorporated in 1987. Our story began with one man’s vision, passion and pioneering spirit. Bean-to-Cup and Farm-to-Fork were ideas put to action long before the phrases were coined. We continue today with the same commitment to serve our clients with the freshest and finest products all the time.