At just 17 years old, Jose Guillermo González is possibly the youngest entrepreneur in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.
“My career as a businessman began at the age 8. I would buy stickers, pencils and albums and sell them in school. Today, I own and manage Teteteria Te Invito, my tea house.”
Today, the Teteria Te Invito team totals 8 people including Jose Guillermo. His staff comprises of accountants, legal representation, suppliers and an Asian broker who looks for the best tea suppliers in Asia. Jose samples and chooses the best teas for his business, and the broker exports them to Jose Guillermo’s Teteria in the capital of Honduras.
Amidst Honduras’ economic crisis the young entrepreneur credits the success of his company, first, to God, second, to the power of marketing and mass media’s positive response to the story of a young entrepreneur, striving and succeeding against all odds.
“My story shocked a lot of people and attracted visitors, customers and attention to the shop. People were curious.”
Along the first year in business, Jose Guillermo realized that he could fill a need that was missing in the neighborhood: “We could cater to tea lovers who craved worldly, high quality tea not found in Honduras.”
Currently, Teteria Te Invito is undergoing a two-phase expansion, which includes wholesale in other cafes and restaurants and retail sales.
“We want to cater to clients who want to brew our tea at home with the same quality and taste that they would enjoy in our shop,” added Jose Guillermo.
Reflecting over the first year in business, the entrepreneur shared what he has learned: “As a manager I have to be conscientious. There are things that affect the company and affect the customer. I strive for balance, and to keep calm in stressful times. I also educate my staff on all I know, and help them to handle stress. Every day I learn something new.”
The young business owner will turn 18 in a couple of months.
“This whole process has helped me to grow as a person, to believe in myself. I have a spirit that drives me to be different. I am like oil in water, and I would say that so is my company. As an individual I know I am different, and so is my Teteria,” explained Jose.
“Each of my teas is a work of art with a unique history, style and preparation. I have created each to give your palate a unique experience. When I reflect on what I have accomplished so far, I think about how my experience could motivate someone else to follow in the same path. Maybe not the same way, but I hope that others will embrace their difference, whatever that gift may be. We survived the challenging first year in business. Thank God for that. Unfortunately, we have seen companies open and close. It is sad to see that because you get to know your neighbors and it is sad to see them leave, but at the same time it is also gratifying to see our shop is still standing, stable, and growing into a bright future.”
On October 9th Jose will start his university studies in marketing, technology and international business:”I want to develop the type of knowledge that will give me a much stronger learning base. I like to study, investigate and manage empirically.”
Jose plans on applying macro and micro economics to flourish his business, learn to negotiate and understand business from an educated perspective.
“I want to specialize my knowledge and build a strong foundation. We always to stay updated and never stop learning.”
Among its many popular teas, Teteria Te Invito offers a variety of world-class drinks, including te macha, green tea with papaya and strawberries, black tea with strawberry bits, black tea mango passion and the popular, Witches of Eastwick tea, with red apples, pineapple and raspberry, which can be served hot, cold or with orange juice. The prices range from 6 cents to $3.
“Being an entrepreneur is very gratifying,” shared Jose with Latina Republic, adding, “even with all the challenges we face here in Honduras, yes, you can be entrepreneurial in Honduras. Follow the laws of life: “If you want, you can and if you can, you will.”
If you are visiting Tegucigalpa, stop by, and try one of Jose’s original teas.
The Teteria Te Invito is located in the Casa Quinchon , 2 blocks from Tegucigalpa’s Central Park, right across from the Financial district.
You are invited