Theatre and the performing arts is an industry that relies so much on the physicality of things—from rehearsals to live performances. Faced with the uncertainty of when live theatre would ever be able to make a comeback, two theatre artists found themselves paying an homage to their craft in the most unlikely way—by making milk tea.
Like many people this year, theatre director Miren Jordana and stage actor Stephen Ramirez had many of their plans postponed indefinitely when the lockdowns and community quarantine came into the picture. This sudden change of plans left the two with some free time so they decided to make the most out of it. In an episode of Quaranwins, they shared their story.
“We thought, maybe we should start a business,” the 27-year-old Miren said. “A friend of mine in Manila started her milk tea shop from home. I got inspired by her. Initially, she trained us and helped us find suppliers, then we built on that and created Teatricha.”
Teatricha is one of the newest milk tea shops that popped up during the quarantine period. It stands out among its competitors for its unique concept, catchy names, and upbeat approach in advertising. It also has a very straight-to-the-point logo that sticks—the happy and sad masks of theatre incorporated into the shape of boba drinks.
“We have a lot of repeat customers. When we have ads where the theatre kids from Cebu sing and share it with their friends, we get new customers who are curious about the product,” she said as she explained that many ends up getting curious because of the central theme.
Known for the sip and sing challenges on their Facebook page, the two recently just wrapped up their Miss Chaigon Challenge where the prize involved being able to sing with two professional actors who have performed in the UK and Germany.
“(In the beginning), it was definitely difficult. The challenge was that people weren’t concerned about buying milk tea. They were concerned about buying sanitizers and other necessities,” Stephen, Miren’s 22-years-old business partner, said as he shared the challenges the duo faced in putting up their shop.
The weather when they first started operating had not helped either. “We opened during the typhoon season and deliveries were a challenge,” he said.
According to the two, it was difficult in the beginning to get orders but now that the orders have started coming in, the challenge lies in catching up with all the orders because they make the milk tea themselves.
What sets the brand apart from others is not just the concept, the names, nor the fact that they only use natural sweeteners. It’s that the milk tea they sell is also for a cause.
Miren added, “A portion of our proceeds is used to aid special needs students in adapting to the new normal. It’s already difficult for them in the regular set-up, even before Covid-19 happened. Now it’s become much more of a challenge for the teachers and for them to do their lessons.“
In the future, the two hope to open an actual shop where anyone is welcome to chill and express their creativity in a safe and creative space.
As for advice to budding entrepreneurs, Miren said, “Just go for it. Your biggest challenge, or enemy, is time. It’s not even the amount of money you have in your bank account because that will just come back to you.”
She added that if one keeps putting off something that they want to do and something that they’re passionate about then nothing is going to happen.
“Just go for it and you’ll be surprised at how much support your gonna get from the people that see how passionate you are about the project,” she said. “Just do it!”
To learn more about their story, watch their feature out now on Quaranwins.
Also, if you’re interested in ordering but not sure which delicious flavor to get, Stephen suggests their best-seller: Tea Opera Ghost, which is a bamboo charcoal flavored milk tea named after the hit musical “The Phantom of the Opera”.