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For the love of Coke

A uniquely themed diner gives soft drink a whole new meaning
By Portia Silva |

The Coca-Cola company and its anchor product, the beloved soft drink Coke, need little introduction. The global beverage leader has launched some of the most-loved Christmas campaigns and family-themed commercials that generate good recall even years after they first came out.


[related|post]Confident about the enduring and positive branding of Coke, business partners Noelle Cassandra and KV Golamco opened a Coke-inspired diner aptly called The Real Thing, after one of the brand’s most successful marketing campaigns.


Noelle is Asia’s only harpist, singer and songwriter, while Golamco hosts and provides entertainment for events. Before opening The Real Thing in November 2010, the duo experimented with operating a pancake kiosk, a Japanese eatery, and a Chinese restaurant, only to see their concepts flounder. The lessons they learned in two years with these businesses got them motivated to ensure The Real Thing took off successfully, sooner or later.


“Food is something that we both love,” Noelle says. “Personally, I’m passionate about discovering new ways of how different food is done. Selling them was a skill that KV and I had to learn the hard way.”Although The Real Thing is not licensed under the Coca-Cola Company, the local arm of this global firm has supported its campaigns, most notably after the business had received attention from the media.



Noelle admits they initially proposed a partnership between the restaurant and Coca-Cola. After all, Golamco worked with the company for six years, where he was able to build a huge collection of the brand’s memorabilia.


“However, the concept had so much potential that we decided to go for it. Besides, Coke products have been used in many other ways aside from drinking them at their basic, refreshing forms. I asked myself, ‘Wouldn’t it be far more interesting to use Coke in food?’” says Noelle.


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