From coffee enthusiast to franchise cafe owner
While many coffee shops are popping all across major metros in the Philippines, for James Michael Go, Figaro Coffee has always caught his eye and palette. As a regular customer of the brand for several years already, he has always enjoyed Figaro’s products, especially their House Blend brewed coffee which he savored on a daily basis.
As a businessman and investor, he was always on the lookout for new business ventures when he thought of franchising his favorite coffee brand. As any businessman would attest to, profitability and long-term growth is very important in business viability. Aside from financial considerations though, it is most important for one to have love for the brand and product. This is what sealed the deal for James when he decided to franchise his first branch of Figaro Coffee in Ayala Center Cebu.
“Since the Figaro Coffee Group (FCG) already had the foundation and franchise system, it made sense for me to franchise compared to starting things from scratch without brand equity or a system of my own,” said Go. “Since they have been in the business since 1993, I was confident to move forward with their franchise model.”
“Operating a cafe or a restaurant sounds easy but it is definitely not a walk in the park in reality,” said FCG’s Chief Operating Officer, Mike Barrett. “That is where we come in. With FCG’s technical expertise and decades of experience through all the challenging times, we are able to shorten the learning curve for franchise partners.”
Apart from being backboned by TFG’s strong support system, James was impressed by the quality of the products the brand offered, most especially, their coffee.
“I’ve tried many different coffee brands and I always keep coming back to Figaro,” he admits. “I truly believe that their coffee is the best coffee in taste and value for money in the Philippines and that was the main reason I chose to franchise Figaro.”
This is exhibited in Figaro’s focus on quality in their manufacturing process. As explained by FCG’s Chairman, Justin Liu, quality and value-for-money is their focus.
“We pride ourselves in roasting our coffee fresh every week before these are delivered to the stores, to ensure our customers have the best and freshest coffee all the time. We don’t import already-roasted coffee and store them for a long time in warehouses because this changes the flavor. You can taste the quality of our coffee because of its full and bold flavor without being too strong on the sour aftertaste and most especially, customers don’t experience headaches or heavy palpitations because our coffee is always fresh,” says Justin.
As the years have gone by, James Michael Go continues to go strong with the brand and has also opened his second Figaro Coffee branch in the Horizon 101 hotel in Cebu City.
“Through my experience with Figaro and FCG’s professionalism, I not only run my cafe of a brand I love, but I have also learned a lot of skills which continue to help me become a better entrepreneur”, says James.