Something inside me was telling me to meet the person behind an email inquiry. So even on a Saturday morning, when I would usually go to the farm, I cancelled all plans to meet this lady in our Serendra store. As I walked in, I saw a couple of guests having their cappuccino—a foreigner gentleman and a lady seated at different spots.
I went about my store inspection rounds and finally settled to wait for the appointed time, which was 10:30 a.m. Then our staff showed this lady towards where I was seated. I was about to meet Jessica Sanchez! The singer? Nope. She is Jessica Sanchez of London but after getting married to Julian Krause. She now calls herself Jena Krause. No more mistakes of association with the popular Filipino-American singer of American Idol fame.
Jena emailed our ECHOstore mailbox because she was looking for Philippine coffee. The grand plan is to open a café in London, serving the Philippines’ best—from coffee to herbal teas, chocolates and more. And she and Julian have set their minds on calling it Pamana. Heritage coffee.
Julian and Jena are avid coffee drinkers and it also helps that Julian is of German ancestry because Germans are at the top of “most coffee drank per capita” all over the world. It also might interest you that Germans make the best coffee roasting machines, the best coffee processing machines and they have been to organic coffee farms in Mexico even before we knew there was a niche for organic coffee. So German technology meets Filipino heirloom coffee. That is Pamana Coffee.
So Jena and I talked at length about coffee origins and coffee stories. And she will be back in May to take whatever coffee she can find from our high mountains where specialty coffee comes from—highgrown Arabica, Civet coffee and even Washed Robusta from Sulu.
Jena’s dream reminds me of Lakwatsa’s owner, a Filipina who grew up in London and put up a store right on the famous Notting Hill area. Lakwatsa has become a hangout for expats, Filipinos working in London and Britons as well. It showcases Asian bites like Sate, to lumpia and puto, done in a very hip fashion.
Julian and Jena are planning to complement what Lakwatsa has already done in London. They will be serving Philippine coffee, hot tablea chocolate, herbal teas and even sell Philippine curio and gifts. And all of these from social entrepreneurs who are only 25 years of age. It brings me to think: “What did I do when I was 25?” Oh well, I did open a café near Katipunan when I was their age and founded quite a number of businesses after that.
So, what made these couple meet? They both enrolled in Social Entrepreneurship at Hult Business School. Though Jena had visited Germany before meeting Julian and Julian had been to Boracay once before meeting Jena, the universe has a way of making two like minds meet and meet they did at Hult in London, which was capped by a wedding two years after.
Julian works with a Christian church group and Jena is a Christian as well. What else do they share in common besides coffee and religion? They both want to make a difference in farmers’ lives while founding a social enterprise. And Pamana is their answer.
Both just 25 years of age this couple is out to make a difference in the way people perceive the Philippines and our Philippine products. Jena already is thinking of doing food distribution to organic stores in the UK while operating her café. There are also plans of opening an online store because in the UK everyone shops online and it would give them a steady flow of income while the café is in its growing stage.
It is a refreshing thought that many young graduates are now thinking of social enterprise. And in other shores, too. More and more young people want to make a difference and do not need to wait to first make money then give back..the usual route for Corporate Social Responsibility of Philanthropy. In Social Enterprise, the social good is immediately part of the formula. And that is what will change the world. When people think of good at the onset. And not as a “pay it forward” or as a “payback”.
I wish you well, Julian and Jena Krause. I already know you will succeed.
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Chit Juan is a founder and owner of ECHOStore sustainable lifestyle, ECHOmarket sustainable farms and ECHOcafe in Serendra , Podium and Centris QC malls. She also is President of the Women’s Business Council of the Philippines and President of the Philippine Coffee Board Inc., two non-profits close to her heart. She often speaks to corporates, youth and NGOs on social entrepreneurship, women empowerment, and coffee. You can follow her on twitter.com/chitjuan or find her on facebook:Pacita “Chit” Juan. Email her at email@example.com.