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Brand small story

No dream, no future, I dare to dream, thus I work hard, what about you?

At the Siwei Market in Taipei County's Xinzhuang City, there stood a corrugated iron house with no address and two young men from Penghu with NT$600,000 savings. Although they were not eloquent or persuasive, their gleaming eyes were the most adequate expression of their dream and ambition towards tea beverages. However, such dream was almost cut short due to the fact that water and electricity could not be supplied to the unregistered corrugated iron house. Fortunately, the landlady at the time appreciated the young men's entrepreneurial spirit and lent them water and electricity. The small touching gesture resulted in the future of COMEBUY, therefore landlady Granny Wang is certainly the number one benefactor of COMEBUY's tea beverage empire.

Founder Chen Kun-chi once said: "I am not an articulate person, however I do know how to serve customers; I will remember the touching moment when I served my first customer with the first cup of beverage for the rest of my life." Armed with such passion and foolhardy enthusiasm, the young men began their empire with their first smile, welcome greeting, first cup of tea and first store in this less than 5 Ping (15.5 m2) space. It is also from here that the operating model of all COMEBUY staff's diligent drink preparation such as stocking of merchandise, preparing materials, shaking, cashier, drink delivery, training, R&D, promotion, operation and store expansion is devised. The global operating model of COMEBUY is the result of accumulation of years of sweat and experience of the two founders while they strived tirelessly in the small and narrow storefront. "It is because we have a dream, it's as simple as that."

Each employee is my family, treating people with a sincere heart is my persistent belief!

The founder believes in the importance of serving with one's heart, thus he demands of himself to treat every person with sincerity, he even treats the employees like family or friends, and "Each employee is the number two benefactor in my life!" The founder is able to quickly memorize each new employee's name and writes down words of encouragement at the back of every employee's salary envelop each month; every month, employees celebrating birthday also receive birthday wishes and surprise birthday cake from the two founders. Even the red pockets for Chinese New Year are written with words of encouragement from the founders. The practices have been carried on for a decade, "I like doing them, because I believe there is affection among people, only those with affection are able to treat others sincerely, and if you can do so, you can treat customers with sincerity, I really do believe."

Aside from birthdays, the founders greet and care about the employees on a daily basis, they even visit employees who are ill and treat them as their own family. It is such a sense of caring that has brought all the employees of COMEBUY together like a big family; everyone is focused and act in the best interest of the big family.

I want people from my hometown to lead better lives, every time I think about the day of the store opening, it still brings tears to my eyes

The two founders regard promoting Taiwan's tea culture as their lifelong responsibilities!

"Initially, when I thought about entrepreneurship, aside from my own aspirations, I also wanted the people from my hometown to lead better lives," recollected founder Chen He-lu. After leaving home to work for numerous years, he has not forgotten to contribute back to his hometown, just as his promise when he left home in search of his dream: "I will bring home success." In 2005, he personally brought COMEBUY to his hometown Penghu. "I cried on the opening day of the store." Now, COMEBUY's prevalence in Penghu has surpassed that of convenient stores, not only did they make the folks of Penghu Township proud and happy, they also generated ideal opportunities for tourists on vacation in Penghu to become familiar with COMEBUY.

In addition, COMBUY launched the Penghu-exclusive Fongru Tea in 2009, where several hundred thousand cups were sold instantly and 20 tons of Fongru grass (Glossogyne tenuifolia, the ingredient used for producing Fongru tea) were used. This has not only culminated in COMEBUY's legendary drink, but also helped to solve Penghu's economic problem of abandoned farmland.

Sincere gratitude is extended to all friends in Hong Kong, your support is the biggest driving force for our progress

After in-depth development in Macau in three years, the decision was made to enter Hong Kong, where fierce competition exists in the catering industry. In fact, during the initial stages, the progress was not as smooth due to rental and language problems, and the appropriate storefront could not be located.

Three months after seeing the first storefront, more than three months of negotiations and searching went by, and the satisfactory location still could not be found. Later, through a friend in Hong Kong, the landlord of the first storefront we inspected was impressed with the relentless spirit of the founder, and his confidence for COMEBUY was greatly boosted; therefore, he not only automatically lowered the rent, but also kept the storefront under reservation for COMEBUY. During the process, he turned down several high offers from other competitive brands and indirectly contributed to the establishment of the first COMEBUY store in Hong Kong: the Zhong An store. Such an opportunity also paved the way for COMEBUY’s prosperous developments in Hong Kong’s future.

After opening, the store immediately became a local favorite, regardless of when you visit the store, waiting for more than 20 minutes to enjoy the authentic Taiwanese bubble tea has become a standard waiting time; this serves as a testament to its huge popularity. Thereafter, COMEBUY has searched high and low in Hong Kong for storefronts, where each inch of land space is as valuable as gold. Furthermore, COMEBUY’s excellent performance has also attracted many franchises in Taiwan to open up stores in Hong Kong. Thanks to COMEBUY’s initiative in creating the tea drink trend, the rental and employment problems plaguing Hong Kong’s economy have been alleviated.

I want to conquer the world with the friendliness of Taiwanese people, I often contemplate with the idea of taking the traditional gourmet from Taiwan on an expedition to the end of the world

In 2009, COMEBUY decided to venture into Shanghai, China with the wealth of experience accumulated in Macau, Zhuhai and Hong Kong.

Chinese labor is significantly cheaper than Taiwan’s, however, in order to present COMEBUY’s Taiwanese style management and service experience, we have spared no expense and dispatched the best store managers from Taiwan to Shanghai, because we want to serve all Chinese consumers with the friendliness of the Taiwanese people. Local residents who have patronized the Shanghai store complimented the Taiwanese accent, friendliness and attitude of the Taiwanese staff. Of course, many business people from Taiwan always come and buy a cup of bubble tea whenever they are homesick, and chat with one another in the familiar Taiwanese accent: “When I took the first sip, I could not control myself, this is truely the most traditional flavor from Taiwan!”

Indeed, Taiwan’s COMEBUY has begun to venture to all parts of the world. Aside from promoting tea culture, it also serves to provide encouragement to those from Taiwan working in an alien place, as well as enhance COMEBUY’s courage in challenging the world.

Never give up, get up by yourself when you fall down. The road will not remain smooth forever, children who have not fallen down will not learn how to walk.

COMEBUY’s store expansion strategy has always been more discreet, hence in Taiwan, most of our stores are centralized in the central and northern regions. In terms of strategic alliance’s scale and method, there is still room for growth.

 

Consequently, the founder once personally visited the Kaohsiung County Government Tourism and Traffic Bureau, seeking for cooperative opportunities; however, since COMEBUY’s store quantity was significantly less than that of the competitors, he was given the cold shoulder by the section chief at the time. Such circumstance of being looked down is common routine for entrepreneurs; nevertheless, thanks to such negativity, the founders were determined more than ever to strive towards their goal and never give in.

 

Later, COMEBUY cooperated with the Tourism Bureau, MOTC, R.O.C., which hired Jolin and Wu Nian-Chen as the spokespersons for the Tour Taiwan Year to contribute towards the beauty of Taiwan; COMEBUY also forged a strategic alliance with Vic Chou’s film Love You 10,000 Years. These were accomplished with determination and faith, one step at a time. According to the founder: “Persist in doing the right things and the good deeds, wonderful results will ultimately present themselves!”



Three major philosophies of passion, persistence and transformation. One cannot stop advancing forward, if you do, it will be more excruciating than death.

“Friends used to taunt us that what we were doing had no future.” The two handsome-looking founders who have accumulated a wealth of expertise in the business of tea beverages told the journalist from a TV station during an interview. Through words and expression on their faces, they have described the joys, sorrows, courage, determination and passion of the path to entrepreneurship.

With such boldness, persistence and passion, the business which had no future as perceived by everyone was gradually transformed by the two founders while working assiduously for the past decade; they have not only managed to combine the latest fashion topics with the most up to date arts and cultural events (film, online game, new book etc.), moreover, they have managed to close the distance between tea drinks, which are laden with the burden of history, and the younger generation through brick and mortar stores or on the Internet, thus making it more acceptable to the young people. The storefront, which undergoes transformation every two years, now enters its fifth generation, presenting a simple, clean and trendy visual aesthetics, so as to allow COMEBUY to act as a medium between the icon of traditional Taiwanese beverages and the promotion of Chinese tea culture. “We are very thankful towards everyone for willing to wait in the queue voluntarily, because each cup is made-to-order, thus everyone is able to appreciate our commitment and persistence after taking a sip of our product. This is what supported us over the past decade, it is about passion; persistence is made possible through passion, thanks to persistence, we believe the uplifting strength created when change is introduced constantly.” said the founder.

The historic responsibility of entering Japan. Only by challenging the strong will one be able to surpass them

In December 2009, Japan’s Kenja TV arrived in Taiwan to cover a story and selected ten burgeoning Taiwanese enterprises as interviewees; COMEBUY was the only representative from the international catering industry in Taiwan. During the interview, the founder spoke of his responsibility and expectation towards COMEBUY: “To be able to open a store in Japan is one of our most important dreams, if our products and testing standards are accepted by the Japanese market, this indicates that the expertise and style of the tea beverage which we represent are also recognized. I feel like crying whenever I speak about the day of official opening of our store in Japan, because the sense of achievement signifies that Taiwanese culture has once again been promoted.”

In September 2010, an agreement was signed with our Japanese representative, and this symbolized the arrival of a historic moment; all of COMEBUY’s employees were ecstatic about the news, just as what the founder told all the managerial staff in an internal meeting: “I created COMEBUY with a lifelong ambition, it is the days working with everyone that drives me forward and encourages me. Now, we are about to venture into unchartered territory in Japan, this historic responsibility, will be accepted by COMEBUY with the utmost honor.” The two young men who searched everywhere for a storefront and sold beverages in the tiny store now shoulder heavy burdens much more than the eyes can see.

Opportunities are reserved for those who are prepared. I have always been preparing for a more fantastic tomorrow

In 2010, during the tenth year of COMEBUY’s establishment, the founder Chen Kun-chi was selected by The Japan Times as the next era top 100 CEO in Asia; during the interview, the founder mentioned: “Compared to many other successful individuals, my business cannot be described as successful, only by being more modest and careful in assisting willing entrepreneurs to attain success will we accomplish true success. Since, as far as I am concerned, the key to success lies in 120% hard work, resolute determination and willingness to show gratitude towards those who have lent a helping hand to you. There may not be too many entrepreneurial opportunities in a lifetime, if you discover a great opportunity, please do not hesitate, grab onto it with both hands and complete your goal.”

In September of the same year, COMEBUY was selected as one of the most iconic stores and products in Hong Kong by the Hong Kong Catering Industry Yearbook. These countless affirmations serve to propel us to prepare for the next market, to be always ready for a brighter tomorrow.

We hope to change the world for the better, protect and help those in need is my biggest hope

“Can COMEBUY do something for society?” The founder said to himself in a meeting. Consequently, as of 2007, COMEBUY became a member of the Eden Social Welfare Foundation’s guardian store, where a loose change box is installed in every store to promote charitable donation and contribute towards public welfare. When the loose change boxes were installed in the stores, the employees became very excited, some store managers even deliberately gave the customers additional loose change or donated their loose change from buying breakfast, hoping to encourage more people to reach out and help the disadvantaged communities.

Since then, COMEBUY gradually increased donations towards charitable organizations; in 2008, we assisted Caritas Macau with donation for disaster relief of the Sichuan Earthquake. When Typhoon Morakot struck Taiwan in 2009, COMEBUY stores throughout Taiwan helped with donations for the August 8 flood disaster. In 2010, we assisted the Huikuang Guide Dog Centre with the placement of loose change boxes and event promotion; recently, the La Fee Verte product charity bazaar was organized and all incomes were donated to purchase breakfasts for elementary students living in remote regions; in total, one week’s worth of nutritious breakfasts for 150 students were raised. I believe that COMEBUY will never contribute enough, and I wish that one day, all of us will care more about others, let us accumulate the little efforts, perhaps we might just be able to change the world to make everything that much more magnificent!”