Do you all know about this new business in town? It’s called Refresh Frozen Desserts & Espresso on Broadway across the street from Seattle Central College. Emma Catague and I were there at their opening last September.
Refresh Frozen Desserts & Espresso is independently owned by Bobby Aseoche Gaon and his wife, Judith Franada Panlasigui, who partnered with Judith’s brother, Ricky, and his wife, Mary. Because Refresh is independently-owned, they have control over how it is operated. While business success is their priority, their vision is not just about making a profit but to also use their location as a community space for young and old alike to meet and/or have fundraisers.
Entrepreneurship is not new to either Bobby or Judith. Both are inspired by their parents who became entrepreneurs themselves to provide their children with better opportunities. In 1993, when Bobby was 16 years old, his dad opened up Roger’s Espresso. His dad is one of the first Filipinos to open an espresso stand in East Bremerton area. He operated the stand for 20 years, outlasting most of the other espresso stands that opened around the same time. Judith’s dad had a landscaping business, MJR Landscaping, for over 15 years. He held contracts with the City of Seattle and the City of Kent. Both are also cognizant of the fact that both their fathers would not have been as successful without the love and support of their loving mothers.
Since their opening, Bobby and Judith have collaborated with other local businesses and organizations, such Northwest Filipino American Student Alliance (NWFASA), Pi Nu Iota (Filipina Sorority), Kraken Congee, AnakBayan Seattle, Logic Amen, Ian’s Pizza on the Hill, and Still Liqour.
Refresh is a member of the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce. They are also part of the Capitol Hill Art Walk, which occurs every second Thursday of each month. Featured artists have included James Ardeña, a self-taught artist often exploring notions of the state of Filipino America, the effects of colonization; Rolo Mapalo, illustrator and designer; Award winning portrait artist Adream Dè Valdivia; Lee Schlosser, an artist inspired by, among other things, worldwide street art; and Jacob Wayne Bryner, painter, artist, and musician.
Refresh will have a launch party with Kalsada Coffee, a direct trade Philippine specialty coffee. Kalsada’s top priority is to support Filipino coffee producers and their dedicated efforts to bring quality coffee to market. Refresh will be the first business in the West Coast to use their product.
Refresh Frozen Desserts and Espresso has become a gathering place where you can meet friends, explore the arts, have coffee and dessert, and enjoy life. Come to the launch party on April 3 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.!