Young entrepreneurs boost city tourism, coffee

THE 2400 COLD BREW AT TONDALIGAN

THE Bonuan Tondaligan beachline used to be a vibrant spot for both Dagupan locals and visitors — a hub for entertainment, bonding, and enjoyment… until the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country with a crippling blow.

But with the easing of community lockdown restrictions, an enthusiastic community of young entrepreneurs began coming together weekly, trying to reinvigorate Dagupan’s top destination.

In the uneven, sandy lot across the city’s beachfront, 2400 Cold Brew, a startup coffee brewing business was formed by skimboarders Karlo Mencias, Ian Carpio, and Romanoff Carandang, all in their early 20s.

“We used to hang out in La Union, go skimboarding, and drink brewed coffee afterwards”, said Karlo who was set to work in Baguio last March but the lockdown kept him in Dagupan.

“I used to brew coffee when I was younger. I really love coffee”, said Karlo. It was Carandang and Mencias who decided to start initially selling their coffee online.

Their desire to further promote their product while trying to boost the city’s tourism industry at the same time, launched 2400 Cold Brew, a pop-up coffee shop in Bonuan.

They invited friends and young entrepreneurs in the city – from food, clothing and apparel, arts – to join their venture. The bazaar is now promoted by ten local businesses and counting.

The 2400 Cold Brew not only promotes young entrepreneurs, but also supports pro-environment businesses. They have recently added edible straws in their pop-up store. Said straws – made from rice, are being sourced from Alaminos City.

Nathaniel Jovero, a radio station technician, is part of the team.

“This is a good thing, people make communities, communities grow larger, and the support of local products and entrepreneurs is overwhelming. This is what we need to cope up with the pandemic”, said Jovero.

The bazaar also gained the support of shop owners’ families, among them Manny Mencias, Karlo’s father. “Many people lost jobs. If these young ones are already engaging in entrepreneurship at this young age, then I know that we are doing something good”, said Tatay Manny.

The bazaar is open on weekends, depending on the weather outlook. Visitors and customers are advised to wear face masks, face shields, and to observe physical distancing. (Ahikam Pasion)

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