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5 tips in starting your own coffee brand

From coffeepreneur Chit Juan
By Carlo P. Mallo |

With a large chunk of the country’s ballooning 90-million population drinking coffee at least once a day, it comes as no surprise that a number of aspiring entrepreneurs want to open their own coffee shop. But with often-high franchise fees making it impossible for the regular folks to open a branch of a popular coffee brand, a lot are considering to start their own coffee business from scratch with a ready market in mind--their own local communities.

During the Coffee 101 seminar hosted by the Philippine Coffee Board, asked coffeepreneur Pacita “Chit” Juan for tips on how a startup entrepreneur can succeed with a start-from-scratch coffee shop.

1. Know your community
"It is very important that you know the community that you will be catering to. Know what works and what doesn\\\'t, check on the price range of other coffee shops already operating in the area, and know what you can offer that is not yet being offered," Juan said.

2. Hold coffee events
"One way that you can get people to notice your coffee shop and your brand is by holding coffee events. Do a coffee tasting seminar or coffee sampling," Juan added.

3. Educate
"If more people know about the good benefits of coffee to one’s health, there will be more coffee drinkers in your locality. Education is important in appreciating coffee, there is more to it than being the morning drink," said Juan.

4. Experiment
Unlike in a franchise, starting your own coffee brand entails a lot of decision making--finding your supplier, the food menu that you will offer, the look and feel of your store, and even the names of the coffee blends that you will be selling. "You can experiment with it on how you think it will work best with your market," said Juan.

5. Keep it fresh
"The best coffee is made from freshly-roasted beans. And it can only be freshly roasted if you source it locally," said Juan. To maintain the freshness of coffee beans, it is ideally brewed within 18 days after roasting.

Starting your own brand may not be as easy as franchising, but remember that the brands being put on franchise now also started with just a single store.


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