Thursday, February 28, 2013

Ritual at the Collective

A food intermission, a place I think is worth taking a look at is Ritual at the Collective.  The funny thing is that I heard about Ritual through a post on the Bespoke Man blog on a Google search for shaving brushes in Metro Manila.  Owing to my somewhat eccentric nature, I recently began shaving with double edged razors - you know, the one your lolo used to use, the one that took razor blades instead of cartridges.  I would tell you why but that is a long story I doubt you really want to hear but if you do post a comment and I will tell a little story.

Back to my point, I have heard about the Collective for some time but I thought it was a collection of hipster bars for some reason because of the weekly events at B-Side.  I never went because that place in Malugay St. Makati was still car parts central in my head - for you youngsters that entire complex used to be the Banawe St of Makati, all the car accessories shops were there.  So my quest for a shaving brush (nobody has these anymore for some reason) took me to the Collective a few Saturdays back.

In case you haven't read the links I placed, Ritual is an organic everything shop that carries food such as the famed Black rice (highest fiber content in rice), red rice, brown rice, coffee, chocolates, craft beer, seasoning and organic soap, moisturizer and so much more.  Organics interest me because I have very sensitive skin and my baby sister had recently suggested that I completely cease using any commercial product to alleviate my allergies.  Interestingly enough, have you ever read what goes into products nowadays?  It looks like you can make high explosives from a shampoo.  Half the stuff I cannot pronounce or determine its use and it cannot possibly do me good to have all those chemicals on my face anymore.

They had shaving soap which is soap infused with clay that foams to a thick lather if you use a shave brush.  However they very sadly for me did not have the shave brushes Mr. Bespoke had found there

 Very nice collection of soaps.  About 150 pesos average for 100 grams vs 250 in Lush, which I hear isn't organic and feels like I will come out of the store with lungs coated in wax

 Shelves stocked with organic food and cosmetics, try the cold pressed Barako Coffee

 They even have hair tonic

I was with my dear and my beloved baby sister.  The women went on a shopping spree, the products at Ritual boast of very impressive packaging and you would swear its imported by looks alone.  Pricing isn't bad, you pay for quality and for the lack of economies of scale.  You really cannot compare the cost of producing soap by hand vs factories of Safeguard.

Heck, I felt like shopping, they even had hair tonic with a bald man on the label.  I didn't know if it would add hair to my head but I tell you, right as I was thinking about it some dude enters the shop and buys one.  Heavenly providence indeed.

Ritual reminds me of those grocery stores you see in the movies and I bet that is what they were going for.  Packaging is simple but beautiful and you feel a tinge of simpler times of a high end sari sari store if you will because Ritual's products are high end versions of your basic necessities.  Stuff like sugar, soap, rice, bottled sardines and even unprocessed salt.  On another odd note, those of you into aquariums that salt is what you need for medicating freshwater tanks, you are not supposed to use iodized salt.

Adding to the feel good atmosphere is knowing that if you buy you are supporting local industries such as small scale coffee, chocolate and rice producers.  It also seems to be a launch pad for new products such as local craft ale.

The rest of the Collective was snoozing, its interesting but a lot of places were closed.  The restaurants do look inviting but we had just had lunch but there is a mochi ice cream place there and it was very good.

A very cool experience but sadly no brush.

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