Buen Café de Vida:
Muntinlupa’s Coffee Connoisseur
Coffee is arguably the country’s most popular beverage drank across all age brackets, genders and social classes. But just like other consumer products, not all coffee beans are created equal.
Buen Café de Vida which literally means “good life coffee” was introduced in 2017 by Leilanie Salonga to elevate the drinking experience of the city’s residents by offering the choicest varieties harvested from various farms across the archipelago.
With only a P 50,000 capital, she immediately worked her way into the market with her signature barako brew, as well as other blends like arabica, mountain blend, home blend, and rice coffee. The latter is a healthy variant which is popular in upland regions in the country for its healing properties.
She was soon supplying hospitals, coffee shops, car dealer showrooms, restaurants, offices, and household consumers with her aromatic coffee beans.
Just a few months into the business, an uncle’s friend from California flew to Manila to request for a presentation, cupping and sealed the deal for a 1-ton coffee supply to the United States, which has become her single biggest client. With the bulk order, she requested entrepreneur friends to join her to handle quality assurance, sales and marketing, to assure the foreign market that the best-tasting beans are delivered efficiently.
Because of Buen Café de Vida’s superb taste, she oftentimes encounters the “happy problem” of running out of inventory, and had to source supply from farms of other partners.
Just like other pandemic-hit enterprises, Salonga had to improvise and shift to other fast-moving food products. But with the slow reboot of the economy and a harvest coming up in November, she is poised to recover lost ground, create new blends, innovate with sachet-style drip, rice and corn coffee, and tickle again the palate of the coffee-drinking crowd, as she makes her to journey to being Muntinlupa’s coffee connoisseur.