Former Barista Converts Sari-Sari Store into a Neighborhood Café

One thing that aspiring entrepreneur must learn is to spot and identify opportunities which are just waiting to be discovered.

Just like this former Starbucks barista who was able to see the potential of converting a sari-sari store into a coffee shop. Who wouldn’t want to have a place which is just a stone’s throw away from his house where he could get a cup of steaming, brewed coffee paired with a nice pastry?

Drew Magana is the founder of the online retail store, Typica Coffee, which sells coffee beans. The store was named after a sub-variety of the Arabica family of coffees, a more specific division of what is generally considered high-quality coffee beans. Earlier this year, he opened a coffee shop in Antipolo. However, the pandemic happened and Drew’s coffee shop had to be closed down because of financial difficulties.

Typica Coffee

Image: Facebook/Typica Coffee

Not a time to back off

“During ECQ, I continued studying everything about coffee and was inspired by the little café’s in Japan,” Drew shares. To test his product knowledge, he concocted different cold brew recipes and sold them online. He saved the money that he earned since he was looking forward to creating a new shop.

Since his online store is doing good, Drew pursued his plans of building a coffee shop. He converted a sari-sari store in Taytay into a Japanese-inspired café’.

Typica Coffee

Image: Facebook/Typica Coffee

“It took me a month to reconstruct a sari-sari store into a coffee shop. I would personally go to different suppliers for secondhand woods, metals, etc., just to save money since I have a limited budget. My inspiration is the minimalist café’ in Japan. I asked my architect friends for tips and advice. This is totally a team effort,” he said.

Typica Coffee offers brewed drinks with a price that starts at P60. These drinks are made from local beans from Benguet and from other countries such as Vietnam and Brazil. They also offer artisanal cakes and pastries such as Hokkaido Cheese Tart and Basque Burnt Cheesecake.