Sunday, August 23, 2009

Weeds was Entitled Weeds Not Just Because of the Weed

Photo: Our new 12 oz paper cups, yeah!

[Soundtrack: Final Straw - Snow Patrol]

I was about to start this week's blog entry with the word "last" but noticed that I started a bunch of my blog entries with the words "last week". And that's why I started with this notice. Can I use the word "last" now? I think I will...

Last year, we devoted much of our time doing PR work online, making ads (posters and videos), and the works. This year I thought that we'll concentrate more on training our baristas and strengthening ties with our newfound industry friends. More on the technical side this year. I think we've done enough work introducing ourselves to the world (for now) last year. We're happy that as of this entry we already have 1014 friends on Facebook. We may not know them all (some of them I just added on Suggested Friends, some of them invited us) but I'm glad that you guys are part of what's going on in our lives as baristas and young entrepreneurs.

I was deleting emails from our inbox last night and I was surprised to see that we actually receive fan mail! Wow, I can't believe I've been ignoring those because all I see are the words Facebook and Multiply in our inbox. To those people who've been mailing us, thanks for the encouraging words! I hope the advice I'd given you would help you in your own future endeavors. We're not industry experts but we're glad to share our experiences with you. Here's one email:

Subject: Inspired By You
From: Niña Luigi Chua-Cabardo

Hi Joyce and Jabez,

I stumbled upon your cafe in Entrepreneur magazine and I have been thinking about your endeavor ever since. It has truly inspired me to take action on a long-time dream, which is to put up my own cafe. And you guys are so young, too! Congratulations on your success! If you have any tips on how to get started on this (which do I do first?!), please do let me know!

Hope to visit Los Baños one of these days so I can try your concoctions ;) Thanks and more blessings to you!

Inspiring people to actually pursue their dream gives you a warm, fuzzy feeling inside. Whenever I feel I haven't done anything significant, here are some things that really gets me going and also inspire me to do better. I actually already made a sorta template reply for people asking for advice on setting up their own shop. Just a list of some things that I learned from Phil and Cedric Ho at Highlander Coffee Academy and other people I've talked to.

One thing I've learned from those guys is that you don't have to monopolize the industry. It's great that there are many small shops coexisting in one place. It offers variety, hosts different types of people, and also puts less pressure on you to actually accommodate everyone on the planet.

I've been really really busy last week. I have this 8am to 2pm secretarial job for my father at TOPIC Phils. every Monday to Wednesday. I think it's been three weeks now. I drive to San Pablo then back to Los Banos in the afternoon to setup the cafe at 3pm. We open at 4pm then I hangout for awhile then go home to prepare for another day. I still work at the cafe during Thursdays to Saturdays. Oh the things people do to get by.

Last Saturday morning was really very tiring. We were supposed to pickup the paper cups at Cubao at 9am. But then we were bitten by the "lakas trippings" bug. We decided that we take Ramhil home to Tanauan, Batangas after work then head straight to Cubao. We brought our former barista Bessy along too.

So after work we went straight to Tanauan and had "dinner" at Jollibee. Then went to Cubao. Realizing that our meet-up place was still closed, we went to Ortigas to look for a place to chill. We were looking for a Starbucks but unfortunately we got lost. The place really looks different without the light of day. We stopped at a Chowking but there was no CR. So we went to McDo instead, had our pancakes and coffee and stayed their until 7 to 7:30am. Talking about life and all that comedy-drama stuff.

We went back to Cubao at the Navigators building. I toured Manong and Bessy around and then we fell asleep on the couch. Thanks to Noynoy for accommodating us! Then the Primatech people came, did the transaction, and then we're off again. The traffic was horribly amazing, it was freakin' hot inside the multicab, with all the boxes containing the 5000 paper cups inside it. It was hell on earth, the multicab's fans were blowing out demons with pitchforks on our faces. The Creedence Clearwater Revival album I was listening to repeated 3 times and we were still in the same place! We got home at 12:30pm. Then Manong and I overslept, we woke up at 3pm instead of the usual 2pm. We were late. But when we got to the cafe, I decided to take my time and just chill, not worry about anything or panic. I opened the cafe alone at 4pm, customers went in but it was all cool. Iba lang talaga pag laseng sa puyat.

[Soundtrack: Futures - Jimmy Eat World]

After closing that day we went straight to Tagaytay to have bulalo on Dan's birthday. Happy 22nd bday dude! Then we stopped at Petron, SLEX on the way home to have breakfast and coffee. As expected, I woke up at 5pm the next day. I finished season 1 of Weeds. Actually the series inspired me to write today. I don't know why but the inspiration that a comedy-drama series can give me is often unparalleled. Props to My Boys season 1 for inspiring me for our first year at the cafe. Trust me, I learned a lot of things from that series.

Am I stressed? I don't think so, doing nothing stresses me more. I think we will all have cancer in the future anyway. So do what you have to do right now. Very bad advice for those who want to save money. Don't listen to me for financial advice. I don't like money and math.

AND as for this week, we hope that a lot of you would be taking out our hot coffee. The coffee cups really look good (see the picture above). Nice work by the Primatech people (not the Heroes Primatech people, ok? hehe).

Well thanks for reading these things that's been going on in my head. A lot of people won't care but some people just have to do this. They just have to blog. It feels really good.

Okay, I'll see you all at the cafe. I have some errands to do. Earlier this morning I hung out with my tito Ed Cvelich, a long-time family friend. We talked about a lot of stuff and had coffee at the cafe. Yeah, I opened it for him (because Ate Mila was cleaning anyway). He bought a t-shirt and I gave him a bag of beans to take home to the States. Hope you read this Tito Ed!

God bless us all!

May caffeine be the only drug you take.

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