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#RelationshipGoals: These 4 couples are winners in love and business

What do they have in common? They’re all patient, hardworking, and committed in their ventures in love and business.
By Elyssa Christine Lopez |

With all the rom-coms, teleseryes, and hugot lines pop culture sell, #relationshipgoals are now seemed equated to flashy surprises, extravagant performances, and cheesy one-liners.


While all those are great for some dose of kilig, these four couples prove goals can be centered not only in sweet nothings but in long-term plans as well—and doing business together at that.


SWEET ENDING. Voltaire and Cholly Magpayo had to endure countless sleepless nights just to jumpstart the first branch of Sweet Corner. Today, it has over 40 branches nationwide. Photo from Entrepreneur Philippines


CORNy but sweet

Voltaire and Cholly Magpayo relied on their franchised food business for years as their bread and butter. But in 2009, sales started to slump, causing them to lose money fast. Instead of letting themselves crumble, the couple acted quickly and started their own venture, Sweet Corner.


The Magpayos chose to base their venture with corn, as this is their hometown’s (South Cotabato) main food crop and sold them like snacks. This way, they can avail better, competitive prices and help local farmers in the community as well.


The transition was no easy walk. Cholly suffered from two miscarriages, because when they were starting, the couple did all the legwork themselves, from sourcing to packaging.  They also had to run the business with limited financial support as no one wanted to lend them money. 


But the Magpayos’ hard work paid off. Today, Sweet Corner has over 60 branches nationwide and has plans to branch out abroad.



Related: This couple finds the bitter and sweet side of corn




BETTER TOGETHER. Meredith Ngo and Jerome Uy have worked in various parts of the world but always found a way to get back together. Now, they manage Adobo Connection in the Philippines with over 40 branches nationwide. Photo from Entrepreneur Philippines


A taste of home

Adobo always holds a special place in the hearts of married couple Meredith Ngo and Jerome Uy. It was the dish they usually cooked and shared during their time at the Harvard Business School, a sort of bonding, and a reminder of home.

So when they decided to take on a food venture they knew it had to be about adobo. After all, in a local fast food scene amassed by foreign brands, a food concept centered on the Filipino favorite seems a sure hit, and it is. Today, Adobo Connection has over 40 branches nationwide and has successfully launched in California, US.


But before tasting sweet success, the two had to endure long-distance relationship for several years, and learned to agree to disagree in a lot of issues. In an interview with the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the couple shared they worked in various parts of the globe at the course of their relationship but still managed to be together.



They quit their jobs in Singapore because they barely had time to spend together. A few years after, Uy left his job in Japan to settle with Ngo in the Philippines. Today, the couple manages Adobo Connection in the country. Together, they have found the balance in their business and romantic relationship.


Related: Adobo Connection: Serving the national dish to fast food customers




YOUNG START. When Juliet Herrera-Chen and Peter Chen started Serenitea, they were not sharing the same surname. In fact, it was only a year since they graduated from college, brimming with desire to be entrepreneurs. Today, they have over 40 branches of Serenitea nationwide. Photo from Entrepreneur Philippines


Young entrepreneurs

A year after college, Juliet Herrera-Chen and Peter Chen decided they wanted to be entrepreneurs—but selling what?


Fresh from a trip to Taiwan, Peter shared his vision of setting up tea shops in the Philippines with his then girlfriend, Juliet. After loaning some money from their parents, the two launched Serenitea in a corner in San Juan City, pioneering the tea craze in the country.


Trust has played a big part for the couple, if not for their parents’ support they would not have had the business they own today. Since 2008, the couple has managed to expand their business into more than 40 branches nationwide and got married during this period.


Maintaining the balance between work and personal life remains a challenge for the two but Juliet said it has its perks. “The good thing about working with your husband is that you’re very comfortable with each other and you can discuss everything,” she said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal.



Related: Real Tales: Banking on milk tea to start new trend among cafe-goers




SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURS. Reese Fernandez-Ruiz and Mark Ruiz make a power couple as social entrepreneurs. Reese manages Rags 2 Riches, a fashion brand crafted by communities from Payatas. Meanwhile, Mark is a co-founder of a microfinancing institution that aids mothers in communities to start their own businesses. Photo from Reese Fernandez-Ruiz's Instagram account


In a relationship with the country

Reese Fernandez, now Mrs. Ruiz, always had admiration for her now husband, Mark Ruiz even before they were in a relationship. They started as friends when the two was conceptualizing for the now widely-successful social enterprise, Rags 2 Riches.


And by some play of fate, the two hit it off, and has started a relationship not only together but with different communities in the country as well.


Reese has always been a staunch supporter of providing livelihood to impoverished communities in the Payatas, Quezon City (known as a dump site in Metro Manila). Meanwhile, Mark is a co-founder of microfinance institution Hapinoy, which trains mothers in different parts of the country to become a microentrepreneur by setting up sari-sari (variety) stores.


In a love forum during the 3-day Social Entrepreneur Summit in January, the two shared how their partnership has helped them develop their business and keeping their relationship successful as well.



“Having a partner who understands what you do is very important, especially in social entrepreneurship,” Reese shared. “You give so much of your time to others; you need an understanding partner to support you with that.”

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