From one to 51 branches: Entrepreneur grows coffee business in the middle of pandemic  


This millennial from Makati City found her business success with her favorite hobby: drinking coffee!

In 2020, 26-year-old Anna Herman Magalona started her home-based business inside her rented condominium with a capital of P6,000.

“No’ng pandemic, when I had the time to pursue this coffee business, sabi ko, “Sige ito na lang ‘yung coffee.” Kasi first, it’s very affordable. Second, mabilis siya i-prepare. And then third, parang you don’t need to shell out a huge amount of cash. Kasi I can start, technically, online,” Magalona told The Philippine STAR.

During that time, she was still crafting her recipe for her business while working at a software company.

“Nasisiyahan lang ako na I have this side business, at the same time, kasi continuous pa ‘yung job ko hindi pa ako nag-resign no’n. I tried balancing my work,” she said.

A few weeks after she started her business, Magalona was forced to halt her business operations after testing positive for COVID-19.

“I resigned to pursue my business because no’ng around pandemic, parang medyo hindi na kami sure kung may trabaho ba ‘ko the next day or not. So nagkataon lang din na ginrab ko ‘yung opportunity to create my own blends at home. Nag-start ako mag post online to personal, ano muna, personal Facebook. Mga family and friends,” she shared.

From a home-based business, Magalona decided to open a co-lease at the ground floor of her condominium building in October 2020, making it her first physical branch.

“Nakakatuwa lang na kahit bago ka pa lang, bigla kang nag pop-up online. Marami na ring nagme-message from time to time,” Magalona noted.

According to Magalona, the local coffeeshops in her province in Bacolod inspired her to start her own business.

“Ever since, I was really a coffee lover. Tapos sa province namin sa Bacolod, medyo parang maraming coffee shops do’n. And then super mura pa ng coffee and super sulit ‘diba? So no’ng pumunta ako dito, even before pandemic, even before BFC, parang naghahanap ako ng, “Bakit wala ditong mura na kape sa Manila?” she recalled.

“Sabi ko, ‘Tapos, ano pa ba ‘yung wala dito sa Manila?’ Sabi ko maybe I can put that concept here in Manila na affordable coffee. At the same time, I can offer free delivery,” Magalona added.

Magalona started franchising in May 2021. Even in her wildest dreams, Magalona said she did not expect that her business would become as big as it is now. Her business now has 51 branches nationwide.

“Parang who would’ve thought na ‘yung blend that was just made at the comfort of my home, parang aabot na siya sa other regions, nationwide,” Magalona emotionally looked back on her journey.

“Five to ten cups a day, sobrang saya ko na no’n. Ngayon, we are selling around 150 to 200 cups a day per branch,” she said.

In the future, Magalona plans to introduce her brand internationally.

“Kahit ga’no kalaki ‘yung business mo, ga’no kaliit, there will always be downfalls. Just keep going. Don’t let doubts, discouragements, get in your way. So as long as you do everything that you can,” she stressed.

Janelle Lorzano
Janelle Lorzano
Janelle Lorzano likes long walks on the seaside and listening to people about their lives. When she isn't writing, she travels and discover new places.