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Laguna Phuket opens “Seedlings Phuket” the resort’s very first social enterprise restaurant, 9 months after the launch of the initiative that provided training and job opportunities for marginalized local youths.

Seedlings Phuket’s opening marks a significant success of the initiative, comprising 18 months of food and beverage skills training and restaurant career mentorship programme, which targeted to realise the resort’s very first social enterprise restaurant and the second outlet under Banyan Tree’s group-wide mentorship programme, less than two years after the opening of its first “Seedlings Hoi An” by Laguna Lăng Cô, Laguna Phuket’s sister destination resort in Vietnam.

The 2-hour opening event includes programme overview, “Taste of Phuket” showcase, local performances, ceremonial wild rice cutting, and Q&A session.

“Today we gather to celebrate the synergy that is apparent in the opening of Seedlings Phuket restaurant, a social enterprise,” said Mr. Ravi Chandran, Managing Director of Laguna Phuket, at the launch.

“Seedlings Phuket exemplifies how hotel and resort companies can use their resources and commitment to invest back into the sustainable growth of local communities. The interns have overcome so much hardship in their lives to join us in this heart-warming journey. We hope that Seedlings continues to provide a good model for the sustainable growth of our community” he concluded.

Ms. Claire Chiang, Co-Founder of Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts and Chairperson of Banyan Tree Global Foundation, shared the motivation behind the “Plant a Seed, Change a Life” motto, “Laguna and Banyan Tree have abundant resources, and the underprivileged youths of Phuket have their inner potential.”

“Seedlings is a perfect example of using expertise and global resources to generate the seeds of growth for the careers and interests of our local people. Social enterprises should be about those with resources helping those without.”

“From Hoi An to Phuket, and from Thailand to Mexico and China in the coming months, Seedlings fosters the same inspiration, the same purpose, the same use of global resources to help local community.”

To date, 23 local youths from 2 batches have joined the Seedlings training and mentorship programme. The first batch has started 9 months on-the-job training at Seedlings Phuket in July this year.