Jelly Citea lands in Davao

EVER since milk tea rose to popularity a few years back, multiple shops have risen in Davao to offer their own brand of the drink.

Although a large number of shops have already found their way to all the malls in Davao, this didn't stop Alexis Layug from bringing Jelly Citea to Davao.

Originally from Manila, Jelly Citea opened other branches in the country. In an interview with Sun.Star Davao, Layug narrated how they came to franchise it, saying, "One of the franchisees was my mom's classmate in Zamboanga. She has three branches in Cebu so when my mom and my brother went there, they tasted the Paris variant tapos parang naenganyo sila kasi one taste pa lang, malaman mo na different talaga siya compared sa mga other mga milk teas. So we decided na mag-open dito sa Davao."

On January 25 of this year, Jelly Citea's first branch in Davao finally opened on Juan Luna Street.

Given the location of the branch, Jelly Citea quickly found a stable market in students. "From the start okay siya kasi meron kaming customer base which is the Ateneo students. Then for the past three months it's been going well naman kasi we have regulars na. We have students who come here three times a day. Yung iba rin everyday so familiar faces na sila and nagspread na rin yung word sa mga friends nila. Popular na kami sa Ateneo," Layug said.

Adding to the quick spread of their influence, Layug shared that they are also accepting reservations for tickets for Hereafter party at Bluejaz on April 11, since their shop caters to the same market as those who are to attend the party.

Aside from students, Jelly Citea also has customers from different walks of life. "Usually families (visit), aside from that meron din from yung mga surrounding offices, kasi ang target naming na mga tao are in this area," she added.

With the large amount of milk tea shops already in the city, each must have something that set themselves apart from the rest. Layug shared her confidence in the taste of their product, saying, "pagtaste mo pa lang, different na talaga siya."

She added the fact that their drinks are affordable compared to other, as she shared, "our prices are affordable, all are prices are below 100 pesos. Our cheapest is 50 pesos and if you want higher-end (drinks) we have some that cost 125 pero that is cheaper compared sa mga iba na nasa malls. We also have hot teas and coffee series, chocolate series and Yakult series."

Jelly Citea also prides itself on their ingredients, all greenlit by the owner of the franchise. "All our ingredients are natural and shipped from Taiwan. Kasi ang creator ng whole enterprise is a tea aficionado, so nagresearch talaga siya sa lahat ng mga flavors, and nagtaste test siya. So yung mga ingredients ngayon, yun yung mga nakita niya na best talaga," Layug shared.

As for their menu, their rock salt and cheese topped drinks are inspired by cities, most notable with their best seller, the Paris.

Layug explained, "Paris is wintermelon, it has rock salt and cheese tapos kung i-taste mo siya, our rock salt and cheese is medyo creamy. Maraming nagsasabi na different talaga siya from others. For some it's too sweet but for those na may sweet tooth, it's perfect lang. Pero if it's too sweet for them we can adjust the sugar level."

Other bestsellers po namin are the New York, which is chocolate based, and we also have Tokyo which is Matcha. For kids, the bestseller is strawberry fresh tea, and then for our milk tea is our Oreo Blast.

Surprisingly, mataas din ang sales naming sa coffee, so ang best namin dun is yung coffee hazelnut. Then for yung Yakult, sellable talaga sa amin yung green apple."

Food is also available at Jelly Citea, and according to Layug they are all homemade by a friend of hers. Jelly Citea standards such as popcorn are also available.

With the steady popularity of milk tea and ever growing economy in Davao, expansion is well within the plans for Jelly Citea. Layug shared her plans for her shop, saying, "we're looking for other locations na malapit lang sa amin dito."

She also added that another branch may be opened in Matina Town Square soon, albeit under a different owner, probably sometime in May. She also said that she had heard of many people wanting to franchise Jelly Citea as well.

With a steady market for milk tea and a fortunate first outing in Davao, things are looking up for Jelly Citea's place in the city.


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