Bea Binene was 6 when she joined Starstruck Kids in 2004.
Already a go-getter way back then, she went on to become a Kapuso star and, at 21 today, the young achiever is venturing outside showbiz.
She opened her own business, Mix and Brew Coffee, in a rented stall on June 16, 2019.
In an Instagram post uploaded on the same day, Bea narrated how setting up her first brick-and-mortar store was "no joke," but definitely an "achievement."
And during her exclusive interview with PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal), she details her journey as an entrepreneur.
BEA BINENE LURED TO OWN A CAFÉ BY AMBIENCE
Every coffee lover would know how gratifying it is to hear a barista call your name to get your favorite brew at the counter.
Bea not only could relate to that, the whole café ambience also inspired her to put up one herself.
She recalls, "Ito, actually nag-start siya dahil gusto ko yoong parang, sa mga coffee shop iyong, 'one iced latte for ganito' saka iyong paggagamit ng coffee machine.
"Ganyan. Sobrang nafa-fascinate ako sa kanya."
She adds, "Ako kasi yoong tipong taong ang rami kong gustong gawin," which again tells something about the young actress—she's always on the move.
She decided to enroll in a one-on-one workshop to learn the skills of a barista.
Not long afterwards, the budding entrepreneur kickstarted her business by setting up coffee bars in bazaars.
She narrates, "Nag-start kami bazaars lang, then we had an opportunity to be part of the mall that we're in right now, of Megamall, of SM actually.
"And then we saw that it's an opportunity rin for the business then tuluy-tuloy na."
BEA BINENE: BUILDING MIX & BREW FROM START TO FINISH
A newbie in the Philippine Food & Beverages (F&B) industry, Bea describes the initial stages of setting up her own stall as "draining" and "nakakapgod."
But the driven actress-entrepreneur finds all the hard work worth it.
"It was very tiring, very stressful, but it's very fulfilling as well," she tells PEP.ph at GMA Network's All-New September Primetime event at the Shangri-La Plaza on September 10,
Bea says her short break from showbiz projects had allowed her to get down to the brass tacks of building a business—quite literally.
"During that time, kumbaga yoong setting up process po, wala pa naman akong soap noon... Nakakapagod siya kasi ako po lahat ang gumawa."
She was hands-on in executing her business blueprint—from conceptualization to the details of plumbing and electrical works.
She recounts, "From pag-aano ng concept to the pag-aayos ng permits, iyong pagpapagawa ng architectural, electrical, and plumbing plans to the products, paghahanap ng supplier, as in i-goo-Google ko lahat ng suppliers ng gatas, tatawagan ko sila isa-isa while nasa traffic ako.
"So iyon, marketing, lahat. Ako po mismo yoong nakikipag-meet sa SM."
Bea's mother and aunt have been supportive of her venture since day one, and are now taking some load off her shoulders.
She says, ""Kapag hindi ako makapunta, sila iyong nagpupunta. My tita is my accounting and operations manager."
Aside from her family, Bea also draws strength and inspiration from her customers and fans who send her encouraging messages that help her business journey easier.
She says their tweets and shout-outs push her to make her drinks even more flavorful.
"So iyon, very stressful, but when you see it finished na, very fulfilling," she exclaims.
"And kapag nakikita mo iyong comments ng mga tao, pagbili nila, 'Uy, ang sarap,' tweet ka nila.
"Kahit hindi mo hiningi iyong tweet nila, iyong post nila, ine-encourage nila to try our drinks, it's really fulfilling."
BEA BINENE: frugal entrepreneur
Despite being a neophyte in the F&B industry, Bea already knows how to put her brand on a par with other coffee shops.
To make her products new and lasting to the taste, she blends each of them using healthy ingredients that are imported from Indonesia and Brazil or sourced from Benguet, Cavite, and Batangas.
The taste, according to her, is uniquely Mix and Brew's.
She expounds, "Kasi we mix our own beans to have our own flavor. our own blend of coffee mix.
"Para kapag ginawa namin iyong drinks, talagang different rin iyong lasa.
"'Tapos medyo healthy kasi we have drinks, coffee na may activated charcoal, so medyo cleansing."
Bea also believes that enjoying a cup of coffee doesn't have to be costly.
So, she has made sure that her products are accessible to the market and light on the budget.
"We just make sure that we're doing our best. And our goal is to give you a one of a kind coffee experience.
"And without breaking the bank and too much effort kasi food court lang kami," she quips.
"Puwedeng bili ka lang, alis ka na. And soon it will be available sa Grab, FoodPanda and, hopefully, Lalamove.
"We want to give you talaga a one-of-a-kind coffee experience."
BEA BINENE: "BE CONSISTENT SA GOALS MO"
Although her hard work has started paying off, Bea continues with her search to make her coffee even more flavorful.
Like showbiz, running a business gets tougher every time, she continues, "It will not get easy even if open ka na.
"Akala ko kasi kapag nag-open ka na, para ka nang mabubunutan ng tinik sa lalamunan kasi bukas na siya, wala ka nang iisipin.
"Pero hindi pala. Mali ako. Kasi ang dami pang kailangan.
"Doon palang mag-start talaga ang challenge mo kasi ang challenge is to maintain and be consistent sa goals and wants mo, sa mission-vision mo."
She also advises budding entrepreneurs to always be on their A-game when it comes to honing their craft.
The rewards, she says, are priceless.
"You always have to do your best," Bea affirms.
"Talagang effort kasi, kelangan mong magustuhan ng mga tao. And kapag nagustuhan ka na nila, talagang very fulfilling naman ang babalik sa iyo."
The go-getting millennial maintains an energetic and a driven mindset to achieve her long-term business goals.
One, to open a stand-alone café and, two, open Mix and Brew for franchise.
She proclaims, "Hopefully, we'll be open for franchise. Sana we'll have our own coffee shop.
"Like legit, legit coffee shop, not a coffee counter inside the mall.
"We all have big dreams. So siyempre, iyong pangarap natin for the business, hopefully, more branches."