It’s so nice to see and reunite with friends. A few days ago, I met up with a friend whom I haven’t seen for the longest time. I think the last time we saw each other (but didn’t really get to talk) was when he and his wife attended our homeschooling conference in 2016. So when I found out that he had a new coffee business, I took the opportunity to catch up and interview him for my blog!
Today, i’ll be featuring Richard Torres, one of the owners/founders of Nitro 7 Coffee.
I’m a family man. Nothing helps me de-stress more than spending time with my beautiful wife, whom I’ve been married to for 5 years, and our 2 boys.
I love business, coffee, arts and design, and just finding ways to make things work. Many describe me as a handyman, a fixer-upper. And I think I have a pretty good eye for design.
I started out as a small-time salesman in college, selling real estate, pagers, mobile phones and odds and ends. After university, I worked as business development manager for a mobile content provider company, and then later on built my own ad agency and production house. On the side, I did take on some marketing consultancy jobs. Eventually, I tried out designing, building and selling condo units and houses. Nitro 7 is my newest venture.
My goal is really to build a global brand!
Nitro 7 Coffee’s Story
Ginger: Hi Richard! Can you tell our readers what your startup or brand is?
Richard: It’s called Nitro 7 Coffee and Tea Bar! 🙂
Ginger: What is it about?
Richard: Nitro 7 is a coffee retail brand that serves nitrogen-infused coffee and tea products. #Nitrocoffee is an 18-hour cold brew coffee that’s later on infused with nitrogen gas. It has a full-bodied flavor with very low acidity. Nitrogen gives our drinks their added sweetness without the sugar, and a thicker, creamier mouthfeel without the milk.
Ginger: How long have you been in business?
Richard: I’ve been in business since college, but Nitro 7, which is my first retail startup, has been operational for 9 months now.
Ginger: Who is your target market? Why did you choose this market?
Richard: So far, our patrons are from a broad demographic. Each bar seems to have a different market. But generally speaking, millennials love us, and we love them back. We’re a delicious cup of coffee that’s very reasonably priced. The drama of our nitro coffee, it’s cascade and crema, and our whole setup is very visually appealing and attracts a lot of active social media users as well.
Ginger: How did you come up with this idea? What made you decide to start this kind of business?
Richard: Both my partners and I are actually bible-study group mates. We’re all businessmen and coffee aficionados. We wanted to create something that would be pleasing to God, and that we could personally patronize because we loved the product so much!
Initially, we considered putting up a regular coffee shop, but there were so many of those in the market already. So after extensive research and product testing, we came across Nitro coffee, which is huge in the US.
Today, our 9-month old baby, is the first Nitro Coffee and Tea bar in the Philippines, and has 12 branches strong.
Ginger: Were there any obstacles that you faced when you decided to pursue becoming an Entrepreneur? What are these?
Richard: Too many to mention! Haha. Retail was new for me, and I had no technical know-how in terms of the draft system or using nitrogen. I had to learn along the way. But like I said, I enjoy making things work, and this is what I did for our setup and system.
Other obstacles are being overly dependent on third-party suppliers, and having to manage different kinds of people.
In a start-up business, you really have to step up and learn how to do everything yourself.
Ginger: What are the greatest challenges in putting up and maintaining a business in your country?
Richard: Innovating– creating new products. Engaging trial. Encouraging loyalty. You have to open-minded and be willing to wear many hats.
Ginger: What are three traits that you think an Entrepreneur/Startup Founder should have when starting their own business?
Richard: Creativity, perseverance, and a willingness to go the extra mile.
Ginger: What advice can you give to other Entrepreneurs?
Richard: I try my best to live by these 4 P’s:
- Give Praise – Praise God and have a thankful spirit. Remember that you are one of the blessed ones who’s given the opportunity to have a business to bless others.
- Be Persistent – Believe you can do it! Be determined to make things work. You have to have that drive and dedication to your business so it overflows and motivates your team. You have to learn how to do everything yourself, especially in the beginning. Be willing to get your hands dirty!
- Pray – and then pray some more! You can never pray too much. Ask for the guidance and the wisdom to get you through you day to day. Lift everything up, and remember that ultimately, your business belongs to Him.
- Be Patient – Learn how to wait and how to endure. There will be a lot of obstacles swinging at you from left and right, from top and bottom. Patience and endurance will build you character and entrepreneurial spirit.
Ginger: Do you believe that everyone should become entrepreneurs?
Richard: As an advocate for entrepreneurship, I’d like to say yes, but the truth is, no, it’s not for everyone. There are a lot of brilliant people who aren’t wired to be entrepreneurs, and that’s okay.
Ginger: What are ways that you can do to raise capital?
Richard: You’d be surprised by how many of the people you know are looking to invest in something. Just share your concept to people who you think might be able to help you.
Ginger: How do you market your products? Growth strategy?
Richard: We consider our bars as our billboards, but social media is our friend. We also intend on maintaining a product that is consistently high-quality and delicious. We’ve also been getting a ton of franchise inquiries and are looking at this as a logical next step.
Ginger: What are tech tools that you use for your business?
Richard: We have a POS system and inventory management system. But in general, we have not maximized tech tools at all. All of our activity online is organic.
Ginger: Other things that you want to mention which you think are important
Richard: I said it before, I’ll say it again. Business can be overwhelming, and PRAYER is so important.
Ginger: Keep the faith, dude! There you have it, readers! Wise words from Richard Torres of Nitro 7. Hope you can visit their branches! Thank you again, Richard, for sharing your experiences!
Contact information about your business: