“Joel Cruz of Aficionado Diversifies His Business”

Joel Cruz, president, and CEO of Aficionado perfume and personal care was poised to celebrate his company’s 20th anniversary and was faced with the challenging year 2020.  

They forged ahead to face the challenges and made a pivot from perfume to essentials offering 70% ethyl alcohol, alcohol-based hand sanitizer, and liquid hand soap. In spite of the mall closures, they were able to provide essentials to the LGUs and the national government with respective programs in the fight of COVID 19. Moreover, they were able to start their online selling with Shopee and Lazada as well as Mercury Drugstore branches.

Takoyatea partners, Maridol Cruz and Avic Cruz.

With the continued crisis, his niece and sister-in-law started a home-based food business selling the Japanese snack takoyaki and a variety of flavors of the famous Taiwanese drink milk tea. Joel saw the opportunity to make this micro-business into a new business venture and invested to launch it as Takoyatea by Joel Cruz brand. 

Lambert Lopez, General Manager of Aficionado, Ma Joon.

This is to benchmark the Franchising success Aficionado perfume has achieved.  The brand offers quality food at affordable prices. It offers savory and sweet flavors that are wholesome, nutritious, and truly satisfying.

Joel, Prince Sean, Prince Harvey, Joel, Prince Harry and Charles Cruz

They opened the flagship store last October 2020 right next to the Aficionado Head Office in Manila to cater to the community and the adjacent Quezon City residents.  It started with a very good trajectory and attracted interested Franchisees who are existing franchise owners of Aficionado. The business is now operating on both offline, the brick-and-mortar store open for dine-in customers while online orders also contribute to a sizeable chunk of the sales like a partnership with Food Panda.  What started as a home-based business is now growing and opening in malls live Ever Commonwealth, Target Mall in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, home-based stores in North Caloocan, Balintawak, Antipolo, Lucena, Atimonan, Quezon; Naic, Cavite, Marikina; soon in Fisher Mall, Quezon City; SM Rosales in Pangasinan, Malate, Manila, Tacloban, and Cebu.

Joel’s friends and business partners lauded him for being a “fearless entrepreneur” during these challenging times. This was indeed proof of experience being in business for 20 years. This may be operated as a home-based business that provides an opportunity for start-up or micro-entrepreneurs

For more information on Aficionado Essentials, check Facebook aficionado.ph and Facebook Takoyatea by Joel Cruz.

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