Sadly, global coffee brands are getting a huge chunk of the market in the country, with Filipino brands ranking far behind. However, Bo’s Coffee, the leading local coffee brand, continues to push forward, taking up the challenge of advocating our homegrown brew with the hopes that more Filipinos will patronize local coffee.
Bo’s Coffee recently expanded its operations in Iloilo City by opening a full store at the Lower Ground Floor of SM City Iloilo Northwing. With this development, Ilonggos get to enjoy more comfort as they sip their favorite brew, munch on delectable cakes or pastries while catching up with friends or simply reading the latest news on the papers. The new store has also more offerings in the menu, including breakfast, gelato and sandwiches.
Philippine’s Best Coffee Beans
Bo’s Coffee prides itself of serving five local Arabica beans that are considered the best in the country. These are found in the verdant highlands of Kitanglad, Sagada, Benguet, Matutum and Mt. Apo, the highest peak in the Philippines. It is said that the higher the elevation, the better is the quality and taste of the coffee beans.
“We are advocating the Philippine beans since these are truly ours, and I am proud to say that we have found and serve five of the best Arabica beans. Our plan is to make the world appreciate these beans, which are far better than the Antiguan and Columbian beans. If you have tasted international beans, you will realize that indeed Bo’s Coffee has the best beans,” said Ivy Benatiro, the company’s national operations manager.
A Social Enterprise
For every cup of coffee you order at Bo’s Coffee, you also get to help the hundreds of local coffee farmers and create a positive social impact. Go into their stores and you will see evidence of Filipino ingenuity, from their staff’s uniform to their decors and furniture.
“We have two different portals of advocacy and one of them is to ensure that we put in the map the ingenuity of the Filipinos through their talents. Last year, when we opened Bo’s Coffee Atria, we showcased what Kenneth Cobonpue has done. He has been in partnership with Bo’s Coffee since 1996, the time that we opened,” said Benatiro.
At the new store at SM City Iloilo, Bo’s Coffee chose to highlight the works of Vito Selma who won in the acclaimed French Open for Furniture. Another Philippine pride, he is a master of a whole lot of craftsmanship on wood.
“We are also utilizing the fabrics of the different weaves of the Philippines. We have represented also our five different coffee origin beans with different fabric patches, which are worn by our very friendly baristas.
“Our second advocacy is our social enterprise. We are partners with Rags2Riches, which provides livelihood to the less-privileged women. They are helping single mothers to weave beautiful bags and other stuff, and they have partnered with us to create cozy cups,” Benatiro added.
Bo’s Coffee is celebrating its 20th anniversary come June 28 and this is the first time that a Filipino coffee shop was able to make it in the market in spite of the stiff competition with global brands. At present, there are 91 stores nationwide and the company is targeting a total of 120 stores by the end of the year. Expansions are also set internationally, with two branches to open in Qatar within the year.