#CoupleGoals: Power couple levels up Cebu’s drinking experience

·3 min read

There’s an old cliché that you are not supposed to mix business and pleasure, but this power couple who has been wine and spirits purveyor in Cebu for 11 years and counting, proves this hackneyed phrase wrong.

Mr. and Mrs. Charlton and Catherine Seniedo gave up their nursing careers abroad 12 years ago to settle in the Philippines, and the registered nurses became entrepreneurs and business owners. Their love for wines, spirits, travel and trading inspired them to open a trading company called Charlton Trade and Enterprise for wines, spirits, liqueurs and ethyl alcohol with a goal of upscaling the wine and spirits experience of Cebuanos, and brush up on their wine-tasting skills and knowledge.

The Seniedos started their journey by attending international wine and spirits fairs, joining winery and distillery tours in order for them to get to know more about their products, and received their Level 2 certification for wines and spirits by Wines Spirits Education Trust (West) in August 2019.

Their first product was Tiger Beer from Singapore. “We were the sole importer of Tiger Beer and the marketing arm of Asia Pacific Brewery, PTE. LTD. (APB). We have carried almost 1,000 SKUs on our product list,” Catherine shared. The rest is history.

When Covid-19 pandemic hit the country last 2020, Charlton Trade and Enterprise launched Defend 70% Ethyl Alcohol, and its online liquor store called Sugbo Wine Online Liquor Store.

“When the pandemic hit the country, it caused a huge demand for alcohol-based hand rubs, disinfectants, and other similar essentials that led to alcohol shortage in the province, Visayan Wine Factory Inc., our mother company began manufacturing [its] ethyl alcohol formula for...personal consumption. Family and friends began to take notice, and inquiries for orders came pouring in. And, that’s how Defend 70% Ethyl Alcohol came to be,” Catherine said.

As for Sugbo Wine Online Liquor Store, it was born with a mission of supplying wines, liquors, snacks, spirits, and other daily essentials to every household in a very safe and convenient way.

Achieving its mission of upscaling Cebuanos’ wine and spirits experience, the duo through its brands have organized private wine tastings, rare whiskey dinners, wine and whiskey 101, and even making rare and limited edition bottles of the brands it carries such as Johnnie Walker, Singleton, Macallan and Yamazaki.

The Seniedos brought their dream of having a Johnnie Walker Bespoke Bottle featuring Cebu to life. On Dec. 14 of last year, together with Johnnie Walker, they were able to launch the Johnnie Walker Blue Label Cebu Limited Edition Bottle that showcased recognizable elements that are uniquely and truly Cebuano—the prominent Sinulog Festival, a queen patterned after Miss Universe Philippines 2021 Beatrice Luigi Gomez, Cebu’s sweet yellow mangoes, the CCLEX bridge, the butanding (whale shark), and tourist spots Magellan’s Cross and Lapu-Lapu Shrine.

On Aug. 4, Sugbo Wine Online Liquor Store had an exclusive tasting of Moët Hennessy’s new portfolio: Chandon Brut Argentina, Chandon Rosé Argentina, and Chandon Delice Argentina.

Cebuanos should look forward to an elevated nightlife and entertainment as Catherine and Charlton, through their brands, will be collaborating on a series of nightlife events.

A living example to all couples—with Charlton and Catherine’s mutual interest, goals, passion, dedication, and perseverance, they beat the odds and successfully ran a business together.