Fragrance mogul Joel Cruz heeded the call of the times and expanded into the food and beverage business.
Following the pandemic, the ‘Lord of Scents’ didn’t think about adapting to the new normal. He decided to open a takoyaki and milk tea store named Takoyatea and opened it for franchising. Joel saw how the takoyaki and milk tea business was a hit during the lockdown. He was impressed at how much sales the store owned by his sister-in-law and niece earned daily.
Cruz told Karen Davila in an interview, “Nag-start lang sila diyan sa garahe. From 1-6 p.m. they were selling and nakaka-P15,000 sila. Sabi ko, five hours lang P15,000 na… magandang negosyo ‘yan lalo ngayong pandemic,” he recalled.
“So sabi ko, if they will allow me to join them, papasok ako na ipapa-franchise ko,” he added.
Joel’s Aficionado closes over 50 stores
Just like many businesses, Joel’s original business, perfume brand Aficionado, has also been hit by store closures. It saddened him that he had to let go of many workers. So, he took the opportunity to open a new business so he could provide more jobs.
“With Aficionado, may stores din kami na nag-close during the pandemic. Siguro around 50 stores,” he said. “So ang ginawa ko, nag-open ako ng isang business na swak sa pandemic, which is food and beverages.”
“Alam mo kasi maraming nawalan ng trabaho during the pandemic. Dito ako pumasok na mabigyan ulit sila ng trabaho ‘yung mga tao,” he added.
Father of eight children
In the same vlog, Joel also opened up about being a single father of eight children all born through surrogacy. He earlier revealed that he didn’t mind spending over P52 million for all the procedures, treatments, and incidental costs to become a father.
When asked if his children are beginning to ask about their mother, Joel admitted that he always tried to be honest. He would always explain that their mother has her own family.
“Nagtatanong na sila… but I’m telling them also na their mom, she has a family, she has a daughter,” Joel said.
He shared that he had no plans of hiding anything to his children because they will still know the truth eventually. “I have to be honest. Ako, definitely wala akong itatago sa kanila. Sasabihin ko lahat kasi alam mo naman, lahat naman ng lihim nabubunyag din,” Joel added.
Joel welcomed his eighth child last November 2018, who was born in St. Petersburg, Russia. His seventh child, Zeid, was born in Moscow. He also has three sets of twins. All his children were born via five surrogate mothers but only one biological mother.