Justy Rhea Go Gesalem concocts a healthy mix of life and business
By Jessica Servande Losorata
JUSTY Rhea Go Gesalem has been working since grade one. Growing up in a business-oriented family means delivering service crew duties at a young age to obligations at the office in her teens. But when she got the hang of it, things didn’t seem so bad after all.
Justy’s early exposure to business stems from being the daughter of a Cebuano businessman, the force behind major donut and fireworks brands, among many other established local ventures. When they were capable enough, she and her three other siblings started training for rotational jobs for the family businesses. Summers and semestral breaks would usually translate to job opportunities, from basic cashier roles to more advance descriptions like document control.
In essence, Justy is just like any regular girl. She attends school, plays volleyball, bakes for fun and reads a lot of Nicholas Sparks. But unlike many kids, she’s fascinated by scientific experiments. “It’s interesting to discover new things,” she beamed.
At third year high school, Justy turned watermelon seeds to “coffee.” The investigatory project hinted a potential from the then junior. Her father was impressed. By then, Justy was already introduced to two Canadian nutritionists — family friends John and Muna — whom she would work with later for the formula behind a business she would soon be significantly part of.
The nutritionists influenced the Gesalems in going “green.” Justy took the cue in summer of last year. For a month and a half, she worked with the couple in creating, concocting and proportioning healthy drinks. The initiative inspired the realization of Toniq Juice Bar, a juicing business where Justy’s dad is a key owner. A kiosk opened in SM City Cebu last March.
“Dad called me to do Toniq,” Justy related on how she became involved with the business. And it’s all up to her, as her two older siblings are now in based in Manila, while her younger brother is only in high school.
Shifting from political science to her current degree in business administration at the University of San Carlos was a major choice for Justy. She had wanted to pursue law but her parents are prepping her up for something else — a calling in the business industry.
Justy was appointed as one of the officers to look after how things are doing at Toniq. She’s becoming attached, actually. She confessed she gets uneasy if she’s not updated with what’s going on. If she has not to many assignments at her dad’s office, she lingers at Toniq.
“I didn’t expect it to become my main focus now. I’m having fun. Also, if a new company doesn’t get hands-on attention, success would not be a guarantee,” Justy shared.
For good health
Not only does it prepare for a future career, Toniq brings many good things to Justy.
“Toniq is something I want to do every day. It’s accessible, easy to make. At present, a lot of people are becoming conscious with what they eat. I’m happy to advocate a campaign of sorts that educates the community on the benefits of a healthy lifestyle,” Justy said.
Justy always includes a Toniq drink in her daily meal. Her favorite product is the “Body Builder,” a powerful fusion of plant-based protein and superfoods to speed up muscle recovery. The drink is also appropriate for her gym sessions, which she does almost every day.
Seeing her parents’ devotion to business is both challenging and encouraging for Justy. She wanted to spare herself all the trouble but is challenged at the same time. She just wanted to be a regular individual, but then again, everything happens for a reason.
“I just let God maneuver me. The way I see it, there’s more potential for me in business. Actually, it’s something that is not hard to love. No regrets at all,” said Justy. And the 18-year-old apprentice couldn’t be any happier.
Photos: Alfred Gregory E. Bartolome