Jars of Clay – Phnom Penh, Cambodia

I’ve started a list of socially good businesses I want to check out during my time here in Cambodia.  A new friend recommended I check out Jars of Clay, near the Russian Market.  Jars of Clay is a family orientated cafe which operates as a social enterprise providing sustainable employment for many disadvantaged and at-risk young Khmer women.

Entrance to Jars of Clay.

Established in 1998 by Barbara Neale, a missionary from the United Kingdom and five young women who were equal shareholders in the business.  Jars of Clay Cafe was founded on Christian values, with a strong social mission to help vulnerable young women from various backgrounds, like needing reintegration into a safe workplace setting after being rescued from human trafficking or prostitution.

Inside the cafe (aka dessert options).

This is the part of the story that I love.  In 2007, Barbara handed the business over to the Khmer staff who were existing share holders in the business.  Since then the business has continued to flourish under the Khmer management team.  They even offer access to educational scholarships to their staff members.  From those humble beginnings, Jars of Clay now has over 20 Khmer staff and two locations.  One in Toul Tom Poung (a one block walk to the Russian Market) and Phnom Penh Thmey (near the airport).

Jars of Clay – easy to find.
Jars of Clay’s motto is, “Always with love.”  And has the following values:
  •  We are: Local Cambodian owned and managed.
  • We offer: Healthy, tasty, and affordable home cooked foods.
  • We employ: Vulnerable and disadvantaged women.
  • We give: 10% of profits to support local NGOs.
  • We exist: To provide great food in a friendly atmosphere – serving their customers always with love.
Roommate selfie in front of Jars of Clay.

We went for brunch.  I had the full American breakfast and a Khmer coffee.  My roommate got the build your own sandwich on a bagel that she said was really good.  I heard that most people come here for the desserts.  So I’ll definitely be back.  Another great thing about Jars of Clay is it’s one block from the Russian Market, a big tourist attraction here in Phnom Penh.  You could easily use Jars of Clay as your pre (or post) meet up spot.

Full (and I mean full) Breakfast

Have you ever been to Cambodia?  What social good places would you recommend to check out?

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