From mixing drinks for the call center crowd in Cagayan de Oro City, Ruggiero "Cocoy" Rubio now makes lattes to perk them up, the pandemic forcing him to shift gears and set up a coffee shop on two wheels.
Bike Coffee, which was set up with P700 capital, brews coffee at the parking area in Rodesla Circle, a growing BPO hub in the southern Philippine city. It was a hard start because the crowd was unfamiliar with mobile cafes.
"I'm a bartender by profession and over the years, i've met baristas who taught me about coffee. Eventually, I became passionate about it," he said, sharing how the tools and materials he had came in handy. He only had money for the beans to worry about.
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"For the first two weeks, no one seemed to care about the coffee shop. Many were doubtful of the coffee: 'What is that coffee? You can do it that way? Is it clean?' They were hesitant to try it," he said in Bisaya.
Drawing from his experience as a bartender for six years, he explained to them how well-versed he is with food hygiene. From there, his mobile coffee shop graduated to a rented stall.
"Like they say, it's hard when you're starting. If it weren't for the pandemic, I wouldn't have pursued this. I told myself I started it already so I just need to persevere more because I have no job," he said, recalling how grateful he was for having developed a side passion that he ended up relying on.
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Now, Cocoy operates his coffee shop from 8 am to 12 p.m. In the afternoon, he shifts to his mobile cafe from 3 pm to 6:30 pm.
"It's so hard to be jobless. When you want to eat something, or start a capital for something, you have nothing. The savings, they will slowly run out. It was my first time to lose a job in all the years i've been working..So I just continued until where I am today...Right now, it's really all I have. It's where I get my strength," he added.
Know more about his story in this #SummitOriginals video: