Millennial turns love for coffee into business
Carlo S. Lorenciana (The Freeman) - January 1, 2018 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines -  Her affinity with coffee shops and coffee itself has led millennial entrepreneur Rejzl Awit to be managing her own coffee business today.

Bicester Café is among the sprouting coffee shops in Cebu City today where there is an increasing fondness for coffee shops among Cebuanos.

"Bicester started as an idea. My dad and I are fond of coffee shops, so we hoped that one of these days we would be able to make our own," the 24-year-old communication graduate from the University of the Philippines-Cebu shared to The FREEMAN.

"It was my love for coffee, and a good place to chill that pushed me to open Bicester," she further shared.

Last August this year, the daughter-father tandem, together with some business partners, finally opened their first coffee shop in Mahogany Place along Pope John Paul II Avenue in Cebu City with an initial investment of P5 million.

"The plan was actually to open one after I finish taking the bar exams in 2018, but we saw the space in Mahogany and we didn't want to miss out on such a great opportunity," she said.

Rejzl, who is in her final year in Law school at the University of San Carlos, said their coffee shop is named after a shopping district in the UK, which is 45 minutes by train from London.

 A place called Bicester Village is an outlet shopping center on the outskirts of Bicester, a town in Oxfordshire, England and is home to the most famous designer fashion and lifestyle brands such as Prada and Gucci.

"We named it after the place because shopping gives me so much relief and somehow I wanted the space to be a 'comfort place' for Cebuanos who want to escape the hustle of the city," the millennial entrepreneur said. 

Aside from specialty coffees, Bicester also offers cocktails, pastries, sandwiches, pasta, and all-day "brunch" rice meals.

"Not many cafes serve cocktails anytime of the day, and this was something we got from the UK," Rejzl said.

Bicester wants to give variety when it comes to its food menu.

Rejzl said managing the coffee business is quite challenging especially that she's studying at the same time.

"It was and it still is very challenging, most especially since I am in my last year in law school, so I have to juggle being a law student and managing Bicester at the same time," she shared.

"But I'm just really grateful to have parents who are not only supportive, but also hands on with the business," she added.

She said they are now looking for another space in Cebu where they can hopefully put up their second shop.

Rejzl's degree in mass communication helped her manage the business in terms of marketing.

"However, the operations of the café is not my strength, so I get guidance from my parents who are entrepreneurs themselves," the 24-year-old Cebuana said.

She's grateful that being a newbie in the coffee shop business, Bicester has noted good sales since it opened, in fact exceeding their expectations.

Being a student and an entrepreneur at the same time, time management is very important for Rejzl.

With this, she advised other millennials like her to always keep their composure while under stress.

"However, do not always give in to stress, learn to relax once in a while. Lastly, love what you're doing and enjoy the ride," she shared.  (FREEMANNEWS)


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