The launching of the 14th branch of Ceres Mart at Lacson Street, Bacolod City, yesterday is historic because this is their first branch outside the bus terminal, Jerina Louise Yanson Ramos, chief executive officer of Ceres Premium Food Production Inc., said.
She said they have several branches in other areas of the country but most are in Negros.
“What makes us different is that Ceres Mart-Lacson is an all-in-one convenience store concept where we put all together the pasalubongs, the diner and also provide coffee, juices and fruitees, and the newest addition to the place is the co-working space (Co-create) on the second floor,” Ramos said.
The co-working space is a positive impact venue for young entrepreneurs or freelancers, who are looking for spaces to work if they want a nice environment. At the same time, it is complementary to their convenience store model on the ground floor, she said.
Ramos said she wants monthly events held at their co-working space where they can bring in speakers and host seminars. The second floor has three rentable areas - the focus desk, the fixed desk, and the corporate rooms - and can accommodate about 60 persons.
“I think it’s a new addition to Bacolod. The city deserves something like this,” she said.
They have fixed rates that are monthly and their prices are affordable. They start off with P120 for students and this covers two hours, and P150 for professionals. They also have rates for four hours, eight hours, weekly and monthly, as well as for memberships, Ramos said.
“Instead of renting out an office space, you are renting your kind of office space here which is cheaper and you will also get to know more people,” she said.
Ramos said they brought in this concept of co-working because they believe that it will help Bacoleños, especially for first startups and freelancers.
They also plan to expand their business, especially in the Visayas, because that is the only way to grow, she said.
Ceres Mart started five years ago and this branch is her baby, Ramos said.
Her mother’s concept before was having pasalubongs only in the Ceres terminals. But when she returned for her master’s degree, she decided to innovate and try something more than just a pasalubong center and put up a convenience store in the bus terminal for the necessities of the riding public, she said.
Ramos said Ceres Mart-Lacson will be open from 6 a.m. until midnight all days of the week. They may also consider operating for 24 hours.*
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