Leap of faith leads to brewing success

Carlo Lorenciana

LOVE for craft.

For Cebuano barista Gio Visitacion, this is what keeps him focused on he what he does as an entrepreneur and his love for coffee.

And his dedication indeed paid off.

Reeling from a traumatic experience more than a year ago, triumph found its way to Visitacion, who co-owns The Good Cup Coffee Co.

On April 11, 2019, one of the store’s owners, John Michael Hermoso and cashier Kis Ramos were gunned down inside their shop along F. Ramos St. in Cebu City.

While this bad experience still lingers, Visitacion has held on to the business’ survival.

“We’ve had a numerous amount of challenges and obstacles when our business started last 2018 and we continue to persevere to every challenge. These are the values that I live up with and that has been helping me in my journey,” the young coffee entrepreneur told SunStar Cebu, as he shared his experience in recently winning The Philippine Brewers Cup Competition on March 9 to 11, 2020 at the SM Megamall in Metro Manila.

He was declared this year’s champion for the same competition that was won by Hermoso last year.

SunStar: Tell us about the award you have just won?

Visitacion: The Philippines Brewers Cup 2020 is one the competitions of the Philippine Coffee Championships. In 10 minutes, we are tasked to brew and serve our chosen coffee to three judges while explaining the background and the characteristics of the coffee that we are serving. The best tasting coffee with the best customer service and best spiel wins. The winner gets to represent the country at the World Brewers Cup that will take place in Melbourne this November 2020.

SunStar: What does this mean to your craft as a coffee enthusiast and to your business?

Visitacion: As a coffee professional, it is one of the best ways to learn and progress. Joining a coffee competition is never easy at all. Hard work is the key to win the coffee competition. It requires a lot of mental preparation, passion and love for the craft, gut instinct, practice and patience. I spent a considerable time practicing my routine over and over to get it just right. Winning is a result of endless practices and hard work and that means a lot to me.

Coffee competitions can be a start of something truly relevant and rewarding; it is also a great way to build and strengthen our brand. We see ourselves joining more competitions in the future. This helps us to constantly improve and create new concepts, new recipes and new methods that can help elevate the customer experience for our brand.

SunStar: Can you share some values that have brought you to where you are right now?

Visitacion: Being passionate and aligning myself with my purpose by doing what I love and what I feel is meaningful. Being accountable for my actions or mistakes and taking responsibility for every decision I make. Praising people and celebrating their success. Continuously looking for ways to innovate our process, products, services and most importantly our customer experience. Being persistent about what you believe and what you want to achieve despite the challenges.

When the new management started to lead the company, my philosophy as a business owner is always to balance sustainability, humanity, profit and values while demonstrating that success is best when it’s shared with everyone. When the company grows, everyone also grows. Since day one, our top priority has always been our customers and employees.

SunStar: How’s the business doing now? Any plans for the future?

Visitacion: Business has been amazing despite the challenging times that we’re currently all experiencing because of the novel coronavirus because the team has definitely become a lot closer to each other. Everyone is more aligned with our vision and our direction is a lot clearer now on what are the things that we want to execute as a team. Our family is also getting bigger because of our business expansion plans.

We are expanding our coffee roastery while importing a bigger volume of good quality coffees to roast and distribute to more clients. We are also opening our new branch within the year. It will be our first concept store that will soon open in Banilad. (S)