Prince of RnB Jay-R believes that celebrities can also shine outside showbiz.
He was busy talking to his staff when PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) arrived at his convenience store on Wilson Street in San Juan City. Jay-R celebrated the first anniversary of his Mini Stop last September 25. His non-showbiz friends and fellow musician Kris Lawrence dropped by to cheer for the success of his franchise.
Why did he choose to invest on a convenience store?
"Napansin ko, when I got here sa Pilipinas seven years ago, konti lang ang Mini Stop, e. 'Tapos all of a sudden dumami siya at saka ang daming tao palagi, naggro-grocery, kumakain," he told PEP.
His friend Katya Santos, who has two branches of Mini Stop, told him that it's a lucrative venture. "Actually, si Katya Santos ang nag-recommend sa akin, dalawa na sa kanya, e. She's doing really well with the Mini Stop, her mom is managing it," the SOP mainstay said.
But before he made the decision, Jay-R also did a bit of research, which turned out to be "profitable."
He related, "I wanted to jump on the wagon kasi it's like a booming business, e. So, ayun, gumawa ako ng research sa Mini Stop. Maganda naman ang sales and it's doing really well. Everyday naman we're generating a lot of sales."
HANDS-ON BUSINESSMAN. Despite his busy schedule in showbiz, Jay-R visits his store as often as he can. Being visible helps build a good relationship with the members of his staff, and he gains better control of operations.
He explained, "Very hands on [ako]. Kailangan, e, or else if you're out of control, your employees will just do whatever. Dapat kontrolado lahat, updated palagi, 'tapos nandito ka palagi para makita.
"I try to visit twice a week. Pero with my schedule, busy din sa showbiz side, so I can't make it a lot, e. But when I don't have work, pumupunta ako dito."
MORE BUSINESS PLANS. Jay-R's convenience store is not his first venture outside show business.
He once partnered with a friend to form a cozy bar in Glorietta 2 called Rockcandy. But it had to shut down because of the mall blast that happened in the last quarter of 2007.
Since then, he's ben on the look-out. After a convenience store, he's now planning to have his own water refilling station.
"This is where I wanna go in," he told PEP. "Gusto ko 'yong booming talaga na kailangan ng tao.... Tulad ng tubig, we need water to live. Parang it's a necessity and feeling ko parang it's a business that's gonna boom and people are gonna need it."
As of now, everything is still on the planning stage. Jay-R also wanted to have a franchise of Mang Inasal, but it costs a lot so he did not pursue it.
Aside from his business concerns, Jay-R is preoccupied with his own record label called Homeworkz Records. Through this project, he was able to produce his 2008 Christmas album Holidays of Love, which will be redistributed this month by Universal Records.
He's also busy taping for the Sunday afternoon series Dear Friend, where he plays leading man to fellow singer Kyla. Both will be featured in the show's October offering titled "Three Bachelors."