There's one thing you have to know about me: I am careless.
No, really. I am one of the most careless people you would know in your life. I am clumsy, forget easily, and could casually destroy material possessions.
This trait frustrates my friends a lot. However, I was able to maximize my carelessness into an entrepreneurial identity. What do I mean by this? Let me tell your a story.
It's 9:15 A.M.
We are on our way to the North.
By we, I meant Ad and me.
This is Ad, a good buddy of mine. He is two years younger than me who is in his Senior Year of an Undergraduate Degree. But both of us attend the same business training, so I guess we share the same entrepreneurial mindset.
The travel plan was to visit a famous ship on top of the hill. We'll get to that later. It has been weeks of wanting to do this, but it was made spontaneously final the day before.
While driving, Ad wanted to catch some morning coffee, so we took a quick stop at Ceferino Park Cafe.
I've never heard about Ceferino Park Cafe before.
All I know is that Ad said it's relatively newer, but it's already popular. It was near the road, with an ample parking space, so we had no problem stopping by the cafe.
The main structure of the cafe was made of wood that contributed to the aesthetics of the place. The "interior" design focused on being an outdoor-kind-of-thing, which was a weird concept for a city cafe near the highway. It was pretty windy as well, but not humid despite the vehicles passing by.
At the back, there's a more prominent place to chill. It has a beautiful landscape architecture - a pond, some carefully placed footpaths, and well-grown bermudagrasses that added to the place's ambiance. There were umbrellas in each table, clear mirrors mounted on the wooden walls, and small nipa trees.
It was my first time seeing a cafe like this in the city.
Ad and I spent a good time walking around the place - taking photos, estimating the measure of the lot, and dissecting how much is spent for the monthly maintenance of the site.
After a while, Ad and I ordered a simple Cafe Latte. The girl in the photo below took our orders. I believe her name is Eden. (How do I know? We'll get to that later.) Eden was kind enough to talk to us about the place and accommodate a casual chit-chat while waiting for the coffee.
As we talked, we noticed that there were only a few displayed pastries. Ad's cousin was a baker, and they were looking for a cafe to supply their cookies. We decided maybe we could pitch his cousin's cookies to be displayed on the counter, and they could resell it at a price. We also wanted to keep in touch with the owner for a further possible partnership.
We asked Eden if we could keep in contact with the cafe, so she asked for our number. We didn't have any calling cards with us, and it would be a bad impression to leave a number written on a random paper. So we didn't give any at all.
When our orders were done, we grabbed our coffee and decided to leave the place feeling disheartened. Our mentors taught us that we should start talking to business owners and make connections with them - since it's a significant asset for young entrepreneurs like us. This was our first chance to do so, but we failed to do such.
Around 9:50 A.M. or so
Ad and I continued our drive with Cafe Latte in our hands. The taste was good - creamy with a caffeine punch. I paired it with puto maya, a type of rice cake delicacy in Cebu.
After passing three towns, we decided to do a quick stop to buy roasted chicken for lunch. I grabbed my bag to get some cash. "One sec," I told Ad as I looked for my wallet. I checked the bigger pouch, the smaller pocket, my seat, my jeans. Where is my wallet?
Ad's face started to look frustrated. Typical Eu, I could read it in his expression.
Where is my wallet?
I looked everywhere in the car, in my pockets, in my ridiculously stacked gray bag and black duffel.
Where is my wallet?
Ad looked more stressed than me. I was casually laughing at the incident and was full of denial. I believed it was just around.
Where is my wallet?
Where is it, indeed?
I tried to remember where was the last time I had it. I traced it in my mind until Ceferino's came up. I did have it when I paid for my coffee. But where is it now?
I took my phone, scrolled over the photos...
And boom! There it was. I left my wallet on one of the tables near the pond.
It's now 11:10 A.M.
The signal was terrible. We were in Carmen, and I was kind of stressed out with my lost wallet. Five months before this, I lost my wallet. I couldn't believe I'd lost another one. I went around to look for a signal. I took my phone, searched for Ceferino's page until I received a random chat.
It was from a girl named "Eden." Hmmm.
If you don't understand the chat, the gist is that she told me I left my wallet and that they would close at 10 pm. I was beyond grateful. I thanked Eden for keeping it and assured her that we'd come back before they closed.
Then it's 12:00 NN
We arrived in Sugod, where Ad's relatives reside. We ate our lunch, spent time catching up, and did a quick nap.
I looked back at what happened.
Yes, I know I was careless...again. But look on the brighter side! We were able to come up with two grand opportunities! The thing we wanted to do a while ago can now be realized because of the incident.
For one, we are getting closer to the owner's contact details.
We're in touch with Eden! Now that we got her personally chatting with me, it was an excellent opportunity for us to be in touch with the cafe. This could lead us to contact the owner—an excellent first step.
Second, we can pitch to supply cookies for the Cafe from Ad's cousin!
Fun fact, his cousin was in Sugod. She had her ingredients ready. There was enough time for her to bake. The universe aligned for us to bring some freshly-baked cookies and display them to the counter when we come back to get my wallet. Maybe, just maybe, the owner would love it, and Ad's cousin could supply the cookies.
This ladies and gentlemen, was my mindset as a careless guy.
By 3:00 PM
We went on our way to Borbon, our original destination, where the ship on the top of the hill is located. It was such a crazy adventure going there, but it's a story for another time. I'll probably write a travel blog on it.
We spent few hours at the place, ate dinner, and took photos. Here is a picture of us with Zaria, the girl whose blood runs with coffee, whose uncle runs the place.
After the short trip, we went back to Sugod. It was starting to get dark, and we were afraid we couldn't make it in time if the city traffic caught us. The cookies were finally done. Ad grabbed them, drove fast until we arrived at Ceferino's an hour before 10 pm.
It was raining when we traveled back to the city, but it stopped when we reached Ceferino's. We were told that there were several customers right before we arrived, so we were pretty lucky that we got to have most of the place on our own. This was perfect for our negotiation.
Eden was not there anymore, but she told us that my wallet was on the counter - I just had to mention my name and her name. So I did.
And there you go, my wallet!
I thanked the guy who gave it to me, though I didn't get the chance to ask his name.
After returning my wallet, we decided to execute our first goal: pitch the cookies.
We casually befriended the guy at the counter, asked him about where they got the pastries. We talked about our cookies, how they should get more suppliers for their pastries, and informed him of the contact details of Ad's cousins.
There were some minor hesitations, so Ad and I did our negotiation skills. We tried to connect with him, complimented their coffee (which was genuine), and casually dropped the idea of putting cookies for display. For some reason, it worked, and so our cookies were displayed!
On to our next goal: get the contact details of the owner.
We talked to the guy once more, but there was a hint given that we wouldn't be able to get the owner's contact details out from him. Beside the counter was a girl busy with a pizza oven. This was new. This girl seemed friendly, and probably we could befriend her and get to know more about the place. So we did.
She was one of the two staff who was in charge of the pizza. They were trained by the owner, which we learned is named Gerardo. Gerardo learned culinary during the pandemic, so they decided to build Ceferino's (in honor of his father or grandfather, I forgot). He was into fashion cause he also has a clothing line, but he explored the coffee business because of his newfound love for culinary. I'm not sure if I could verify the fact, but this was the information I got from the girl. Needless to say, we were impressed by Gerardo.
The place was built in March of the same year, but it had gone to be popular already for roadside coffee-goers. They open the homemade pizza station on late afternoons, where you can watch the staff making the pizza themselves. They use a pizza oven that produces much heat - so they can only do thick-crust pizza.
Ad and I decided to order their homemade pizza. We had Pepperoni and Hazelnut (Nutella's) pizza. The girl was kind enough to show her process and allowed us to take photos.
When we paid for the pizza, we asked if we could pay through Gcash, a Philippine mobile wallet that can pay online. In Gcash, you need to connect it with your mobile number to do transactions. Eventually, we learned that Gcash is available in Ceferino's. Guess what? The number that was given for us to pay through Gcash belonged to the owner!
What a turn of event.
The second goal - accomplished.
Ad and I still have a Gender Reveal party to attend. So we took our pizza boxes and drove. We eventually texted the number, explaining that we had left the cookies on the counter. Regardless of whether he accepts the cookies, it was a sure way for us to connect with this guy. For sure, we will learn a lot from him.
Whatever happens? We'll see...
I've been working on my careless trait for quite some time now. It has caused me quite many losses. This incident was just funny to me because I was able to take it as a driving force to apply our entrepreneurial knowledge. I initially just wanted to blog about Ceferino Park Cafe because of how pretty it looked, but it turned out I had an exciting experience - a better way to describe the cafe.
I know this is quite a lengthy post, so I am grateful if you reached this part. I had fun writing about it, and I hope you enjoyed reading too.
Oh, by the way, just a few days ago, I left my tumbler when I bought rice bowls in this small food house for Ad and me. I realized it when I left the place. I was freaking out because I loved that tumbler. Then I remembered I paid through Gcash, and I screenshotted the mobile number of the owner.
Oh well, let's connect with another business owner once again...
Thank you for taking a peek at my entrepreneurial insights. My name is Eu, and I am happy to have known you spent a little bit of your time reading my journey to become business savvy. I also do blogs on volunteerism, teaching, travel, self-improvement, literature, and personal contemplations. If you like this, do check my other posts.