From Barista to Coffee Shop Owner at 24


Who didn’t dream of reaching their goal at a young age? Surely, almost everyone has.


AJ Padilla, co-owner/head barista of Momento Coffee Bar had his success at the age of 24. But if you guys think that his success is a one day process, then you’ve only seen/heard the good part.


How did I know? Well, we’ve been friends since High School until today. And luckily I’m a firsthand witness of his coffee journey.


AJ’s love for coffee began when he’s still young. He’ll gladly buy and prepare instant coffees for his family and friends, and have a little chit-chat about random things.


Come college, he decided to take BS HRM and graduated at STI Las Piñas in 2015. His first job was at Yardstick and started as a Technical/Service Barista, it’s his first time to be introduced to specialty coffee. And this is also the time when he dreamt of having his own coffee shop.

  Specialty Coffee  

After a while, a new door opened unexpectedly. He was given the opportunity to work in Dubai as a server/barista. Tough decision to make but AJ decided to step out from his comfort zone and improve himself.


Young as it seems, but his 21-year-old self didn’t let anything hinder him. In 2016, he competed for the first time and won third place at MENA Cezve/Ibrik Championship, organized by the Speciality Coffee Association of Europe (SCAE).


MENA Cezve/Ibrik Championship 2016


When he returned to the Philippines, he worked again as a server/barista at Harlan+Holden. Little did he know that this will be the last time that he will work for someone.


Because of his hard work and passion for coffee, his aunt and uncle offered him for a partnership for a Coffee Shop business. And after months of planning and preparing, Momento Coffee Bar was born.


Momento Coffee Bar


Momento Coffee Bar is a specialty coffee shop that serves quality coffee drinks with quality service. Their goal is to connect to their customers through coffee. Momento also wants to establish a ‘drinking while learning concept’ to introduce the specialty coffee shop to Las Piñeros.


A place where college students & young professionals can feel comfortable while enjoying a cup of coffee. And a place where people can create new moments.


Interview with AJ Padilla


Interview with AJ Padilla


Why Coffee?


“Coffee is a language itself. No matter where you are, what language you speak, and what race you are, coffee will always connect us to each other.”


Now that you’ve reached your ultimate goal, what’s your new goal?


“As the head barista of Momento Coffee Bar, I want to give my costumers some positive vibes and influence them to be positive in life. Giving a smile and being nice won’t hurt you, so why not smile at someone to brighten their day.”


What is your message to people who are still striving to reach their goals?


“Passion, happiness, and goal. Find your passion first for you to find happiness, set your goal and get out from your comfort zone. You’ll encounter challenges, doubts, and sacrifices but it’s all part of the process.”


Reading all his experience and interview, you might think that everything was flawless and planned. Of course, I’ve only written all the good parts, nobody wants to hear the faulty parts.


In life, there will be flaws. People will doubt your ability, people will spread rumors about you, people will stab you in the back, people will drag you down and will say, “you cannot do it”. The real world is cruel, it can turn everything into nothing.


Perspective is important. Always choose to look at the brighter side of life. Surround yourself with people who will support you even when you’re at your lowest. Learn to work in silence and let your success be your noise.


AJ Padilla’s success story is a roller coaster ride. He became a server, a barista, and an OFW before being a co-owner of the coffee shop that he dreamt. ‘Fall down seven times, stand up eight” as they say.


It doesn’t matter if only a few people believe in you, what matters is that you believe in yourself too. Success is not just about following your passion, it’s about making sacrifices and living your passion.


Follow and support his coffee journey on Momento Coffee Bar’s social media accounts:




Instagram: @momentocoffeebar

Samantha Baluyot

Sam joined Remit this 2018. She is a Journalism graduate who loves to see the world in different point of views. Her goal in writing is to inspire her readers to have a better perspective and to live a meaningful life. She may look aloof but she’s a very friendly and a happy-go-lucky person.


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