Eat and shop to make a difference in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

I don’t have to tell you that Beau and I love food; our past food post say everything. It’s amazing that we are relatively the same size as when we left with what we eat each day.  So when we heard about a place with great food and a store that helps the community, we couldn’t get to Friends fast enough.  Friends is an amazing establishment that is helping kids from the street learn skills to give them a future.  Friends mentors and trains young adults all the basics of serving or working in a kitchen.  Next door they have a fair trade store that sells handmade bags, beach mats, art and toys.

My blue cheese, tomato, walnut, and grape mixed green salad was
wonderful and a taste of home.  The fries with a paprika mayo
disappeared easily.  I justified the fat in the fries because the
money goes to a good cause… so no calories, right?  A high light at
Friends are their smoothies and you can’t leave without having one.  Friends is a wonderful chance to meet some beautiful kind young adults that are getting the chance to change their lives.  Once you visit them you will want to eat all your meals in Phnom Penh at Friends.

Not far from Friends, Beau and I made our way to 240 Street area.  240 Street is known for its growing cluster of great boutique shops and cute cafes.  This area is a hot spot for expats.  Several of the business are own by the expats but there is also a large number of Cambodian owned business as well.  You will notice a common thread between a lot of the shops in this area is a social responsible business format.  Two of our favorites shops are expat owned socially responsible clothing boutiques Wanderlust and Keok’jay.  Both ladies are doing an amazing job designing chic fashionable items and making an effort to improve peoples lives in Cambodia.

Also further down 240 Street is a fair trade organization called Artisans’ Association of Cambodia (AAC).  AAC is working hard to keep the traditional skills alive after they almost disappeared because of the Khmer Rouge.  If you are in the market for a handmade scarf, clutch/bag, or jewelry then AAC is your place.

All in all you can always justify shopping and of course eating when it helps a beautiful community.  Please make an effort to shop and eat responsible when possible!
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