In an effort to provide support for Filipino entrepreneurs, Lark launched its New Normal Business Council and Mentorship Program with a webinar series called Lark Your Way to Success. The program aims to equip business owners with knowledge and know-how vital to success in the new work landscape. The webinar series, which took place throughout November and early December, featured talks by industry experts and key opinion leaders on how to adapt to the new ways of work, evolve for the future, and innovate with technology.
As the webinars have officially concluded, Lark announces the CEOs and businesses who have been selected as mentees for the New Normal Business Council and Mentorship Program. They are Joyce Yu, CEO of True Blends Tea & Coffee; and Mark Joseph David, CEO of Pal Maritime Corporation. Both mentees will be granted private coaching sessions with Lark’s resource speakers, training sessions with the Lark team, as well as an additional 100GB Lark cloud storage for one year, and PHP300,000 worth of PR support.
In order to qualify as mentees, the business’ CEO should have attended all three tracks of the series. The company must also have been operating for at least one year, and should have at least 10 employees. The CEO’s response to the question “Why should you and your company be the beneficiary of the mentorship program?” was also evaluated, as part of the shortlisting process.
Introducing business mentee Joyce Yu, CEO of True Blends Tea and Coffee
From its humble beginnings as a cozy cafe cart in the Ateneo de Manila High School cafeteria, Joyce Yu has grown True Blends Tea and Coffee into a multi-branch coffee shop, with stores in key cities across the country. True Blends is now a top of mind destination for those in search of honest-to-goodness tea and coffee concoctions, and tasty snacks.
Joyce, who is a registered Medical Technologist, shares that she relied on her favorite Mocha Frap to keep her awake while reviewing for her board exams. When she decided to put up a business instead of pursuing medicine, it was this experience that inspired her to put up a coffee shop of her own. Using their wedding angpao as capital, she and her husband started True Blends in 2009 with just coffee on the menu.
2020 was pegged to be a year of aggressive expansion for True Blends, but their plans had to be put on hold when the pandemic hit. Instead of being discouraged, Joyce saw the need to adapt, and find opportunities amidst this crisis. One thing she did to help build resiliency among her team, whom she credits as essential factors in her 11 years of business success, was to allow them to open up their own satellite branches of True Blends in their communities.
Moving forward into a new work normal, Joyce is excited to use Lark as an all-in-one solution for her business. Admittedly not very techie, Joyce is also looking forward to learning more about the app and its features. From what she has seen and heard about Lark so far, a feature that she appreciates is the cloud storage, which can conveniently hold all their franchise-related documents in one place. By onboarding all of True Blends’ franchisees into the app, their virtual collaboration can improve as well.
At the awarding event for the selected mentees, Joyce shared this piece of advice with aspiring business owners.
“Dream big and start small. Use your skills and resources. Plan, focus, start doing it, and most importantly, pray, ask for guidance all the time.”
To fellow business leaders, Joyce shared this message.
“This may be a very difficult time for all of us, but it is a time to pivot, find more opportunities, not just to earn but also to help each other as a nation.”