Restaurateur at 22: Grapevine’s Tiffany Roque

June 06, 2024 – Alike Editorial

While one shouldn’t feel the pressure to become an early success story, this young entrepreneur is already laying the groundwork and foundation for her own business.

Tiffany Roque at 22 built her vision with her first solo F&B venture, Grapevine.

Planting the Seed for Grapevine

The idea for the restaurant was born during the challenging and uncertain times of the pandemic. Tiffany, driven by her youth, intelligence, and vision, saw an opportunity to create a space where people could connect and escape the stress.

“Grapevine signifies chit chat and relaxation, and that’s exactly what I envisioned,” Tiffany explains. “Grapevine is more than just a restaurant; it’s a haven designed to offer a cozy, continental ambiance, perfect for catching up with friends, hosting events, or unwinding after a long day.”

Inspired by her love for patterns that exuded a cozy atmosphere, Tiffany took a risk, believing that if something resonated with her, others would love it, too. Above all, she has a strong support system from her family. She learned a lot growing up in a family of entrepreneurs. “My parents inspire me. I grew up in a family business. So, being inspired into creating a business of my own felt like second nature to me,” she shares. Tiffany Roque’s family also runs Vanilla Cafe with branches in Mother Ignacia, Fairview, and Baguio. The brand is also known for their pastries and unique interiors.

What motivates her, Tiffany says, is heeding these cornerstones of her journey, focusing on “sacrifice, hard work, and passion.” Ever since she was a child, she wanted to create a business of her own — a business that she’s passionate about, and to have that business come to life after she graduated from college.

“Additionally, just like every child, I believe it's also something that you would want to give back to your parents,” Tiffany relates. “Knowing how hard they worked in raising me to who I am now, I use that as motivation to show gratitude and honor them through (hopefully) making them proud with this business.”

Reflecting on her early days as an entrepreneur, she recalls, “Back in 2020, many college seniors felt pressured as graduation approached. I felt that pressure at 18 and wanted to prepare myself. I asked, ‘What can I do? How quickly can I do it?’”

Not Always Sunshine and Rainbows

Being a young entrepreneur, Tiffany encounters a lot of challenges. But she sees them as opportunities to level up.

Between balancing school and her goals, Tiffany ensured Grapevine’s smooth operation by heading straight to the restaurant after classes. Despite her academic commitments as a college senior, she dedicated herself to her new venture. Juggling her studies and the demands of a new business required immense discipline and dedication. Tiffany often found herself working late into the night, planning menus, managing staff, and ensuring that every detail met her high standards.

She’s aware that there will always be challenges, “especially when trying to start a business, the finished result is almost unclear to you. So, I wasn’t entirely sure how things would turn out — and I think that’s already a major challenge in itself: uncertainty. But, if you keep achieving little tasks every day, sooner or later, you’ll see how your puzzles fit into your masterpiece,” Tiffany explains. She believes that “growth never happens when you’re comfortable.”

When she first launched Grapevine, she was confronted with challenges that forced her to think on her feet and acted under pressure. She learned how to adapt in order to improve for the happiness and satisfaction of her customers. “As long as the customers are happy, I’m happy, Grapevine’s happy,” she smiles.

When asked if she experiences fear of missing out (FOMO) due to her early entrepreneurial journey, Tiffany acknowledges the sentiment but emphasizes that Grapevine has always been her dream. “If you truly enjoy what you do, no matter how exhausted you are, you’ll always find time for it,” she asserts.

Building and Growing Grapevine

Looking forward to the future, Tiffany has ambitious plans for Grapevine. She hopes to expand and introduce new concepts that will further enhance and refine the dining experience.

Tiffany also enthusiastically shared some of her most favorite dishes from Grapevine’s selection — the Spicy Vodka Rigatoni and the Prime Wagyu Burger. “I love these two dishes because they are part of the new additions to our menu. Also, the flavors never disappoint — a real go-to order for me! For drinks, I love a classic caramel macchiato or a lotus biscoff espresso. I’m just a girl, so I love sipping some simple sweet delights!”

When asked about her advice for young entrepreneurs like herself, Tiffany answered,

“just keep doing what you’re doing, and things will fall into place…” She also adds that, “as long as you know that you’re surrounded with people and a God who loves and truly wants the best for you, you’ll be just fine, I promise!”

Tiffany’s commitment to Grapevine is evident in how she speaks about her restaurant, with a blend of pride and unwavering dedication. As she continues to inspire others with her story, one thing is certain: Tiffany Roque proves that you can achieve what you want when you set your mind to it with action and perseverance, no matter what age.

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