Weaving with Mengkuang leaves used to be a leisurely pastime of coastal women in Malaysia. Today, a small Malaysian business is revisiting this craft and selling Mengkuang products in Starbucks® stores.
“Giving back to Malaysian communities is important to our company as well as our partners (employees),” said Sydney Quays, managing director, Starbucks Malaysia. “Featuring products from small villages provides increased exposure and ultimately contributes to the livelihood of local residents.”
Earlier this year, Starbucks Malaysia developed a relationship with Craft CT 01 Enterprise – a small company is located on the east coast of Malaysia. The business develops products made from Mengkuang, a tropical plant with tall, thorny leaves. Their products including hot cup sleeves, coasters and placemats are currently sold in 50 Starbucks locations throughout the country
“We have seen a great deal of interest in the Mengkuang products since we began selling them in our stores,” Quays said.
Sourcing of Mengkuang products is one outcome of Starbucks Malaysia’s Connecting Communities Project, which has helped farmers and their families since 2013. As part of this project, Starbucks also purchased a sizable amount of fresh bananas from small farmers in the Kampung Lubak Jaya village on the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia. The bananas were used to develop the Signature Banana Chocolate Chip Muffin and Banana Chocolate Decadence, offered in West Malaysia Starbucks® stores