Tea shops create buzz in F&B Industry

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By Mary Rae Floresca | Negosentro.com |

For the past few years, tea has been the main product of different shops in the market. Its benefits drew attention to customers especially those who are health-conscious. Now, there are about more than twenty stores that highlights this antioxidant wonder.

Despite of the many foreign tea brands being sold online and imported markets, Unilever Philippines Inc’s Lipton tea brand still leads in total tea value share of 32%, according to Euromonitor International. Equipment, supplies and research development facilities are also making waves in Manila, one of those is Popular Household Names Inc. who sells ingredients, consumables, and offers training and promotion services for entrepreneurs that likes to start-up their own tea business.

It takes a good concept on how to pull off a successful tea shop and most importantly, audience should be targeted, just like any other businesses. Today, most stores mix milk into the tea, and maximized all the fruits that can be reformulated with tea and many of those are franchised and spread throughout the Philippines. There are more milk teas being sold in the Beverage industry, it became a big craze because of the hot tropical climate of the country, Pinoys naturally like to sip cold drinks and instead of typical cold softdrinks, they go for new cold and flavored milk teas.

In the summer capital of the country, Baguio City, 19Fiftea is a tea shop that is a lot different from other common tea franchises. Since the city is famous because of its cold climate, this shop opened to keep the citizens and tourists warm and comfy on any cold day. Bianca Flormata and Abigail Ofrasio who are cousins started the business, “We’re quite different from those establishments because we don’t serve the usual bobba milk teas. We go for the real tea bags, loose leaf. blooming teas and the like, served in tea pots and french presses. Plus, we’ve got character, because of our vintage theme. We take competition very lightly. We’d like to think that we are never against any establishments”, Abigail Ofrasio shared.

Photo by: 19Fiftea

One of the most important things to put up a business is to represent what you love. The business partners love the 1950’s era and tea. They were able to create a vintage theme which is making a big hit in the city. Aside from coming up with the best concept for the business, also be the master of customer service, just like any other establishments. The challenge is how to gain loyal customers especially when there are a lot of coffee and milk tea shops around the city. They advised to be sincerely nice to your customers. “Expect the worst and adjust to everyone’s mood. Profit is secondary”, Abigail Ofrasio added. Dealing with suppliers should not be overlooked as well or even dealing with other people in general are one of the challenges on managing a business.

If your business is a partnership, no matter the circumstances are, always help each other. Bianca Flormata described their relationship, “We don’t lash out on each other. We’re creative and were very smooth with making decisions.”

The dynamic duo of the tea shop advised, “Don’t take for granted the advice of those who are wiser. Learn from others’ mistakes and take good care of every decision you make. Don’t put too much room for regret.”

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