IF IT is not the multi-cab ride around the city at an hour past 7 pm, the fun could probably depend on a case of beer delivered right at your doorstep by three lovely ladies.
They usually call a rare dinner together as “catching up with the girls”, so understandably, business is clearly out of context. But sometimes, when good times are not enough, ideas come into view – say for example, future entrepreneurial investment. How about that?
Best friends Pia Mercado and Valeza de Vera were just on that casual dinner in December 2009 when Jewel Chiongbian – ironically, a non-drinker – thought up Beer Run, a “one-call-away” station that delivers beer, soft drinks, chips, energy drinks, and vodka.
“I was thinking of those people who don’t want to go out but would like to have fun,” says Jewel, 22, who graduated Bachelor of Science in Entrepreneurship at the University of San Carlos . “So the girls were interested because it’s something new to the Cebuanos.”
Two weeks later, the triumvirate started their service. They bought a delivery vehicle, hired utility people to assist them with job orders, and found a stock room for the products. But when times got tough, they’d take orders and knock on the customer’s door.
“Once, she was almost bitten by a dog,” Valeza, 24, smiled, pointing to Jewel. “Our driver had to go somewhere else, so we just delivered it ourselves.”
“I pressed the doorbell, only to find out that there was a guard dog. It did not bite me, though, but I was really scared,” recalled Jewel about their delivery in Busay.
Meanwhile, Pia, who graduated from Advertising at the University of Santo Tomas is in charge of marketing and promotions.
“Starting the business, we thought it would be hard to penetrate the market. But since this is something that Cebuanos haven’t experienced before, novelty has become our edge,” she says.
“And we always see to it that the products we deliver are chilled.”
Of course, liquor is not served to minors; thus, customers will sign a waiver just to make sure that the guests are of legal age. “We first consulted lawyers before the operation. We don’t want to cause trouble among the young crowd,” shares Valeza.
“So far, we’ve never had prank callers. But I don’t think that would be a problem. We’re using our mobile phones, so it’s easy to track this kind of caller,” she continues.
Maintaining two jobs in a day requires agility. During the daytime, these girls have their day jobs: Pia works in a hotel while Valeza supervises a construction site in Mandaue. Jewel, married to entrepreneur JP Chiongbian, is a full-time mom.
It is impossible not to be more than a little anxious about their investment, but when all else fails, these girls have something to fall back on – a genuine friendship among themselves. (CPP)