The COVID-19 pandemic and the necessary lockdowns it prompted caused so many local businesses to shut down, some even permanently. But as 2021 entered, and with the hope of gradually rebuilding the economy and the workforce, several businesses have started to reopen to the public.
One such business that recuperated after being affected by lockdowns is a cafe called Music Wizard Cafe located in Angono. Rizal has since become a hotspot for galleries and cafes, making it a frequent getaway for creatives or anyone who just wants a quick trip to a quiet and relaxing environment out of the metro. Music Wizard is actually one of the OG cafes in the block, but it ~almost~ shut down permanently last year before Aleeza Cruz, currently a BA Speech Communication student at UP Diliman, decided to take responsibility over the cafe.
Here, Aleeza shared with Candy the cafe's background and how it's continuously serving good food and ambience to customers despite the ongoing pandemic.
Music Wizard Cafe and its origin story
The name of the cafe was derived from the Angono School of Music, founded by Mrs. Joy Vocalan-Cruz back in 2002. Mrs. Cruz was a College of Fine Arts and Music graduate from UP Diliman. "The school ran for 18 years, honing the talents of many young aspiring musicians and artists. Music Wizard offered piano, violin, guitar, percussion, voice, ballet and art lessons to students as young as 3 years old until 65-year-olds," shares Aleeza.
In 2014, Allan Cruz, the husband of Joy, decided to pursue his passion for food and opened Music Wizard Coffee & Tea Shop. The coffee shop mainly catered to the students and parents of the school but has since grew and expanded their market. "We are also one of the first of its kind in Angono, Rizal so the word of a new coffee shop in town spread, and slowly, more customers who were not involved with the music school came."
The school and the coffee shop had the opportunity to be moved to a larger and more accessible location in 2017. But when the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020, the school was forced to shut down especially since majority of its students are children. The coffee shop was almost filed for permanent closure until Aleeza decided to take over its management. The only child of Joy and Allan, Aleeza saw potential in the coffee shop, which she eventually considered her creative outlet. Aleeza did a little rebranding and renovating (which involved changing its name from Music Wizard Coffee & Tea Shop to Music Wizard Cafe), and by May 2020, she was able to get the coffee shop up and running again.
Music Wizard Cafe: menu, interior, location
With the cafe's rebranding, Aleeza also introduced new items on the menu. "We served Filipino comfort food, pastas, milkshakes, coffee, milkteas, smoothies, fruitshakes, and tea. Our bakery pioneered in tall cakes here in Angono, Rizal," shares Aleeza. A few of their bestsellers include the Zitighetti (P145) and their Seafood Mix (P270).
Another part of its comeback was the renovation. On its interior and design, Aleeza says, "Given that the building looks like a house and the fact that both the music school and the cafe served as a second home for many, including our small family, we wanted our interiors to channel a 'homey' vibe."
The cafe also houses paintings by famous local artists, including Boy Mata, Cesar Hernandez, and Totong Francisco II, the grandson of National Artist for Visual Arts Maestro Botong Francisco.
The location of the cafe is also not a hassle to find for those who want to plan a quick coffee run or road trip. It's right by the double highway on the way to Binangonan and right beside the stoplight. The team also follows important health protocols and the location was completely disinfected before they even reopened. The entire staff also underwent RT-PCR tests. But if you don't feel like heading out at the moment, the cafe also accepts orders via delivery (Just drop them a DM on their Facebook page).
Music Wizard Cafe is located at CPV Building, Manila East Road Cor. Col. Guido St., Brgy. San Roque, Angono, Rizal and is open every day from 12 n.n. to 9 p.m.
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