As a young boy from Silang, Cavite, Michael Poblete Asuncion watched his father Enrile sell freshly roasted coffee to cafés, restaurants, and offices. His father, who made the brand Silcafe in the 1990s, served as his inspiration early on. Like Enrile, he has always believed in the potential of Philippine coffee.
In their years of living in the United States, they continued to offer their products. But that took the backseat for Michael as he started a career in investment banking, working in the US and in Hong Kong.
Losing his job due to the global financial crisis in 2008, Michael returned to the Philippines in search for a restart. This path led him to an old love—coffee.
“I had to kick-start something, and coffee was the impetus. Coffee was the fuel that literally and figuratively started me on a new path of entrepreneurship,” shares Michael.
Learning the ropes from his father, Michael built his own coffee brand aptly called Kick-Start in 2009, and launched it to the market in 2013. He made sure that Kick-Start would stand out from the market because of its strong brand and consistent quality.
As his father got sick, Michael became more determined to take their brands to the next level and make them more accessible to a wider market. This led to a partnership with Kultura.
“Kultura is a great place to have a presence to show to the international market the best products in the Philippines. As we grew with Kultura, we were able to introduce more coffee brands and grow the brewed coffee category,” Michael says.
Now that their brands are sold at Kultura and various SM Supermarket and SM Hypermarket branches and even at Seafood City in the US, Michael beams with fulfillment of the dream he and his father built over the years and a testament to not letting setbacks get in the way.
“We continue to build our coffee brands and caffeinate the Filipino with consistent, quality coffee, freshly roasted coffee,” Michael says.
Silcafe and Kick-Start products are available in Kultura stores located inside SM Malls. You may also order them and other uniquely Filipino products online at www.kulturafilipino.com launching soon.
Kultura is a specialty store of SM Retail that offers all things uniquely Filipino—from food, beauty and wellness products to fashion, home decor and souvenirs. Behind every product is a story of community, support and identity.
[Photos from Silca Coffee]