True to her royal name, actress Empress Schuck now runs a business empire - a beverage company offering a wide selection of milk tea and frappe products.
Co-owned by one of her boyfriend Vino Guingona's closest friends Andrei Lim, Empress shared how her business venture came to reality in an exclusive interview with PUSH during the grand opening of their flagship store located in Farmer’s Plaza.
“Si Andrei, friend [at] schoolmate siya nung boyfriend ko si Vino sa La Salle. Eh ako, matagal na akong naghahanap ng business and then suddenly itong si Andrei may pinitch siya sakin na business, which is this one ‘yung King’s Cup. Matagal na talaga naming pinag-aralan so pinitch niya lang sa akin baka magustuhan ko. So sabi ko ‘Why not?’ kasi mag su-summer din naman sobrang init sa Pilipinas,” Schuck said.
“So wala pa rin namang gumagawa ng ganitong klaseng concept na may milk tea, may frappe, tapos ‘yung parang sikat ngayon na parang Mango Graham. So we have it everything all in one in cart na. So, I like the concept so syempre originally in both concept, siya nagsimula so parang naging interested lang ako so sabi ko ‘Sige sige, let’s do this,’” she added.
Empress' business partner Andrei then shared why he chose to pair up with the former for the business he conceptualized himself.
“Maganda din kay Empress, she believes in the product talaga. So when we taste test, nagustuhan niya, nagustuhan ng family nila Vino. Even si Athalia nagustuhan niya,” Lim said.
“So after that, we pushed through with the business so we started you know marketing and then we got the branch is doing good so we’re looking for more franchisees and get bigger in the near future,” he added.
Apparently, Empress’ name, which has an affinity to royalty, also played a big part in choosing to have her onboard the business.
“Number one, the connection of the brand to her name King’s Cup. Royalty because King’s Cup wants to have this ‘royalty feel,’” Andrei Lim said.
“It’s or everyone. Not just for kings, not just for boys,” Empress added.
Having invested in a salon business in the past, which her mom managed, Empress shared why it was only now that she decided to venture full-time in entrepreneurship.
“Well kasi, kapag nag iisip ka ng business lalo na ‘di naman ako laki sa business family - so wala naman akong alam, wala akong mentor, wala namang nag ga-guide sa'kin in terms of this. Although, may business na ako before ‘yung salon but my mom managed that. Pero the money, sa'kin ‘yan. Hindi ako tutok, alam mo yun? So, I want something naman na yung ako yung may hands-on, ganyan,” she shared.
“So wala, dumating din lang. Nagkataon din talaga na biglang may pinitch si Andrei sakin sabi ko ‘Oh sakto! May naisip ako.’ And, at least, ‘di din akong mag-isa. Partner kaming dalawa so sige magtutulungan naman tayo so go na ako diyan,” the 26-year-old said.
Set to open their next branch somewhere around Taft Avenue, Empress and Andrei are aiming to open at least 20 stores locally this year and hopefully globally in the coming months - a step closer to building a business empire.
“Right now, we are looking this year sana makaabot tayo ng 20 franchisees kasi King’s Cup serves cold at a super low price so parang masaya lang lahat ng mga tao,” Lim stated.
“We want to be present sa lahat ng places na available and sana sa future makaabot tayo sa ibang bansa that’s our goal here in the Philippines and outside,” he added.
While she's focused on her newfound career as an entrepreneur, Empress is not showing any signs of slowing down as she has three upcoming movies this year alone.
“Hindi naman. I can do both naman pwede namang pagsabayin, marami namang gumagawa nun and this is just the first, marami pa tayong pwedeng gawin na business,” she said.