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Mother-Son Trio brews Quality Coffee for Filipino Commuters on the Go

As they say, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” With a passion for serving busy Filipinos, this mother-son trio brings their entrepreneurial experience to the table with a new coffee concept that aims for a familiar Filipino experience – the long wait at transportation hubs.


For almost 25 years, Oyette Santiago has been building snack empires alongside her two sons, Dean and Giann. Their hearts go out to the tireless Filipino commuters, a cause that's fueled their creative snack innovations over the years. From juicy chicken bites and flavorful hotdog buns to the comfort of Champorado in chocolate and ube flavors, they keep delighting busy taste buds. Now, their family passion extends further with Take O Coffee, offering high-quality, affordable brews to fuel every commuter's journey.

What inspired the creation of Take O Coffee?

Oyette: We already operate several food concepts in transportation hubs within major malls. We've witnessed firsthand the daily hustle of Filipino commuters, often waiting for hours. Many grab quick bites or even dinner from nearby stalls to cope. As a business owner, I felt compelled to offer them something more – a quality food break amidst their busy day.

At our stores located at SM North Edsa (Quezon City) and SM Mall of Asia (Pasay City), we saw firsthand the challenges commuters faced. Often stuck waiting in long lines, their options for a pick-me-up were limited. They could either pay a premium for a quality coffee or settle for something less satisfying just to quench their thirst. I know something can be done to meet that half-way. We wanted to offer them a welcome oasis, a delicious and affordable coffee that could be a quick break from the daily grind. It was a simple desire – to give hardworking commuters a little luxury amid their busy day.


How did you plan for your coffee offerings?

Dean:  Extensive research and financial planning were crucial. Finding the right beans, equipment, and packaging partners – doing it right with these fundamentals allowed us to reach our target price points starting at Php 50 without compromising the quality we’re aiming for.

Sure, some affordable coffee places might cut corners, but not us. We believe in quality, even for a grab-and-go concept. That's why we invest in top-of-the-line espresso machines – Nuovo Simonelli and Allegro brands. They might seem like a big investment for a kiosk, but they're the secret behind the consistently delicious coffee that keeps our customers coming back for more.


The initial response seems positive. Tell us about the early success.

Giann: We were thrilled! Currently, we average around Php 40k to 70k daily. This validates our concept and fuels our desire to do more for our hardworking commuters and we’re even expanding Take O Coffee to other in-mall locations with high foot traffic, making it even easier for everyone to grab their perfect cup on the go! The goal is to really give that little luxury that we all deserve, at any time of the day.


What can customers expect beyond coffee?

Giann: We know coffee isn't everyone's cup of tea (pun intended!), so we've designed a menu that caters to all taste buds. Beyond our coffee options, we offer budget-friendly delights that are perfect for a quick pick-me-up. Think refreshing fruit teas to quench your thirst, creamy indulgences for a decadent treat, and even innovative beverage creations that will keep you guessing and coming back for more.


Take O Coffee serves as a testament to Filipino entrepreneurial spirit and a commitment to serving every hardworking Filipino. By offering quality coffee at accessible prices, Take O Coffee provides a welcome break in the daily hustle, one satisfying cup at a time.

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