From selling coffee on bike to opening a proper cafe: How BlackStem did it – GMA News Online

What was once a pop-up coffee joint on bike, BlackStem Tea & Coffee has finally opened their first physical store on J.P. Rizal in Makati.
In an interview with GMA News Online, owner Aya Pajimola said this development came months after they invested on a bike to help increase their revenue.
“Since we cannot afford to rent a space yet, we ventured out into the streets,” she said. “Nag-offer sa streets, mas mabilis yung transaction, kaliwaan, pedal agad kapag may pumito na.”
Pajimola said offering coffee on bike definitely helped up their game. From 15 to 20 orders a day, it went up to 35. But it did not take them long to realize how unsafe this was in the long run.
“Even though may progress with what we’ve been doing so far, nakakatakot bumyahe sa kalsada ‘pag inaabot ng gabi nang naka-bike. Ang dami mo kalaban kahit naka full gear ka na at may lights.”
As such, they were forced to look for another strategy. Fortunately, they were able to find a place in a subdivision that wouldn’t kick them out. And from there, they found their niche: coffee bars at events.
“Na-invite kami sa company event (nung April). Nag-order sila 100 cups for that day but we ended up doing 135 cups since nag-request pa yung ibang employees na dagdagan,” Pajimola said.
From their pop-up store inside the Alabang subdivision to continuously accepting event bookings, the team was able to save up for a proper brick & mortar store. 
For less than P200, you’ll get your daily caffeine fix. They offer a variety of drinks from coffee, tea, and even non-caffeinated ones.
 
BlackStem Tea & Coffee uses three different types of beans: Arabica, Italiano, and French Roast. They are locally sourced from the Cordilleras as the store also calls for local support.
Their bestsellers include the Spanish Latte and the Hazelnut Latte. And have we mentioned that you can also get the best of both worlds with the Matcha X Coffee Fusion?
Apart from sharing their love for coffee with their customers, BlackStem Tea & Coffee also aims for its store to serve as a safe space for everyone.
“We also make sure that aside from the quality drinks that we serve, we make our customers feel loved, taken care of, and belong – just like in a home.”
 
BlackStem Tea & Coffee is located at 901 J.P. Rizal St. They are also available on Grab, FoodPanda, and Viber through 09912130672.
For event bookings as low as P3,900, meanwhile, you may contact them through their Facebook page. — LA, GMA News 

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