Joyce Yu, President and CEO of True Blends Tea & Coffee, was announced as one of two winners of a business mentorship under Lark at the end of the Lark Your Way to Success webinar series last year,. Get to know more about the brand, the woman behind it, and how a cafeteria coffee cart in Katipunan turned into a nationwide franchise.

The Early Years

With no formal background in entrepreneurship, Joyce Yu was able to launch a small cafe of her own, and grow it into a successful multi-branch business over the course of 12 years. Joyce worked as a medical technologist prior to starting True Blends with her brother and husband in 2009. Their first branch was a cozy cafe located in the Ateneo de Manila High School cafeteria, which served hot and cold coffee-based drinks, pastries, and desserts.

Known back then as True Brew, the cafe quickly gained popularity among the Ateneo students, faculty, and parents. They would come for the food and drinks, relaxing ambiance, and personalized service. The company soon expanded with branches in key cities around the country. At present, you can find True Blends Tea & Coffee shops in Manila, Makati, Cavite, Nueva Ecija, Cebu, and Cotabato.
Delicious Food and Must-Try Drinks

One of the must-order menu items at True Blends is their Chicken Chops, a consistent favorite among their customers. But what truly sets this cafe apart from their competitors is their milk tea. Joyce, who studied tea brewing in Taiwan, makes sure to use freshly brewed tea from carefully selected suppliers to create this delicious beverage. The whole family can enjoy True Blends’ milk tea, which is safe even for children to consume. Among the cafe’s latest offerings are their new Milk Tea by the Gallon, priced at P600, and new 1-Liter Iced Tea sold at P150.

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A Successful Business By An Accomplished Entrepreneur
Along with growing the company, Joyce also made an effort to expand her business knowledge, and establish the right connections over the years. She became a member, and served as former president of the Association of Filipino Franchisers, Inc. (AFFI), and is a Go-Negosyo and DTI mentor. In 2019, she became one of the finalists for Franchise Business of the Year at the Asia Business Awards.

Looking towards the future, Joyce has started exploring digitization for True Blends in order to keep up with the evolving landscape of business. By employing solutions such as Lark, she is able to equip her company to adapt well to digital change. Apart from holding meetings with her franchisees, and connecting with fellow members of AFFI over Lark, Joyce has also started looking into using the platform as a tool for inventory management, in the hopes of streamlining this process for her business.

Joyce, who is admittedly not a very tech-savvy person, finds that Lark is easy to use. She shares, “Whenever I’m gonna have franchise inquiry meeting, I would just schedule it in the calendar and then there would be a link for our conference call. It saves time for me because I don’t need to open another app to make a meeting link and then open another app to make a schedule. It is really an all-in-one app and super user-friendly.”

For anyone who is interested in putting up their own business, True Blends Tea & Coffee offers an affordable P365,000 franchise package, complete with strategic marketing support. This standard franchise fee is an offer to businesses that were affected by the pandemic, as a means to help fellow Filipino entrepreneurs bounce back. An advantage of choosing True Blends is that it is a sustainable business, not simply a fad, with a feasible and attainable return on investment.

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Find out more about True Blends Tea & Coffee at https://trueblendsph.com. To learn more about Lark, visit www.larksuite.com.
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