Student applies classroom lessons through milkshakes

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Very few college students would dare venture out into the business world, because that would mean taking risks that they may not be prepared for.

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But Mapua Institute of Technology encourages who enroll in its entrepreneurship course to take the plunge, or try their hand in business.

On such student, Miro Avena, just did that and established just four months ago a milkshake kiosk at the heart of the Katipunan area in Quezon City to tap the market that is also made up of students from Ateneo de Manila, Miriam College, Kostka School, among others.

While milkshakes are served in some restaurants and fastfoods, Neptune’s Milkshake specializes by serving various flavors of the beverage with a backdrop dating back to the 1950s.

Avena tapped capital from his parents and his brother who is a Food Technology graduate from the University of Santo Tomas. He developed the milk-shakes to the desired quality in terms of taste, consistency and color. His younger brother Gino is the co-owner and as the chief milk-shake “scientist.”

“We had board meetings’ every single night prior to the establishment of Neptune’s. The board is comprised of Manny Avena, our father, which is also our investor. Me the CEO [chief executive officer]and Gino Avena the COO [chief operating officer]. Thank God my dad had the resources to fund this project, and now after the months after opening, we’re breaking even on the weekdays and making profit toward the weekends.

In addition, putting up the second store is now in the blueprint,” Avena said.

“With coffee and milkteas already popular in the market, we’ve ventured in a road which has not yet been taken: milk-shakes. Our market are students to young professionals but we aim to reach the older ones, that’s why the store is themed in the 50’s,” he added.

Neptune’s Milkshake, which opened on July 24, 2013, already has a bestseller: Nutella Milk-shake—a creamy concoction of milk, vanilla ice cream and hazelnut chocolate.

It also holds events for its customers. For example on October 3, Neptune’s Milkshake held its “Throwback Thursday,” where the regular customers were asked to bring their oldest picture with the one with the most dated winning prizes. And during “Flashback Friday,” visitors are serenaded by a singer who belts out classics.

Mapua has taken notice of Avena’s business venture, and has used it as a model for real-world application of the knowledge and skills its students learn from the school’s entrepreneurial course.

Conrad M. Cariño

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