Trishia Rose Lim brews own brand of running a coffee enterprise
By Deneb Batucan
GOING after one’s dream while still helping out one’s family is a balancing act. Though it could be tough, it is never impossible. And Trishia Rose Lim is proof that this feat isn’t tough to beat.
A graduate of management accounting from the University of San Carlos, Trishia didn’t want to stop learning after college. Since her family was in the real estate business, she decided to take a summer program on architecture at Harvard. After that, she took up a short post-graduate course on entrepreneurship in London. It was there that she discovered her distinct liking for coffee. “When I came back from London, I wanted to open my own cafe,” shared Trishia. “Everyone loves coffee. Everyone bonds over coffee. I’ve always had a thing for cafes and everything that goes on in it.”
The opportunity to own a coffee shop came when Degree 9 was for sale. The coffee shop was formerly owned by Koreans when they opened in February 2014. A deal was made and Trishia took over management by October. Since then, she has been running Degree 9 Coffee and Roasting.
She decided not to build on too much out of the original concept of the cafe. “A lot of people already knew about it and I really like the interiors and the ambiance,” Trishia said. Degree 9, which is open from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. at the ground floor of Gagfa IT Tower, has a cozy, laid-back feel. “It’s somewhere you can study or stay for a while.”
Degree 9’s house blend is a mixture of imported coffee beans from Columbia, Ethiopia, Indonesia and Brazil. Every week, they roast the mixture once or twice, depending on the demand. “The quality of the coffee is important to us,” said Trishia.
Freshly roasted coffee and good-quality food as well as superb customer service is what Degree 9 is all about. “I like seeing people appreciating the food and liking the place and making their moments here,” Trishia mused.
Even when she is managing her own business, Trishia works full time at her family’s real estate business, Limbros Realty and Development. “I handle the marketing, costing and operations,” said Trishia. “I’m actually helping out my brother. He’s the head director. We’re hands-on — we visit the sites, oversee the planning, everything.”
Trishia had always been interested in architecture and construction. “It’s very interesting to learn the ropes, from structural design and all the nitty-gritty details,” said Trishia.
Limbros Realty and Development has just finished their first project called Happy Homes in Basak, Lapu-Lapu City. They have an ongoing Happy Homes project in Soong, Lapu-Lapu City, while a development project in Talisay City is in the works. “It’s a nice feeling to see that we’re giving people homes,” Trishia said of how Limbros offers low-cost housing perfect for every Filipino family.
With a lot on her plate, Trishia shared the differences between the two businesses she currently delves into. “In the cafe, you give people experiences. In real estate, you give someone a home. Business-wise, mas personal gyud ang cafe. You have to interact and listen to the comments of the people. With real estate, the development stage takes a while and you get to work with a lot of people. It’s less personal but it’s on a bigger scale.”
Bound for business
Serendipity isn’t the reason Trishia is successful in her businesses. It was bound to happen sooner or later, since her father has always pushed them to become business-minded. Trishia shared her dad’s advices on setting up a business that she holds close to her heart.
“He keeps saying we should always be hands on and talk to our people and never stop innovating. Like, keep innovating, never stay stagnant and always find ways to improve,” she said of her dad. “And he’s always taught us to stay humble. Never think you know everything and always be open to learning.”
So much is in store for Trishia. Degree 9 will be opening a new branch later this year on A.S. Fortuna St. and she’s looking forward to finishing their project with Limbros in Soong, Lapu-Lapu City. But personally, she’s looking forward to some rest and relaxation and traveling with family and friends. “I would love to travel and to learn more,” said Trishia.
Photos: Alfred Gregory E. Bartolome
Make-up Artist: Carlo Damolo
Hair Stylist: Jerwin Bastatas
Locale: Degree 9 Coffee and Roasting