Kennon-Green & Co. Fiduciary Financial Advisor, Wealth Management, Global Value Investing

I’m In Love with the Millionaire South Korean Coffee Goddess Grandma

Whenever we have a major project, there is always a television series or movie playing in the office.  It sort of serves as a deadline (e.g., “We need to get this launched by the end of the first three seasons of Friday Night Lights“).  For us, it works amazingly well.

Right now, we are watching a South Korean series that translates as “The First Shop of Coffee Prince”, which is  a modern Victor/Victoria where a hardworking young girl is mistaken for a boy because she dresses in jeans and is the family’s breadwinner.  Anyway, the boy that she seems to be in love with is the heir to a coffee fortune.

My favorite reason for this show is the grandma, the founder of the original empire, the CEO of the family foods business, and the one with the money.  I swear, this woman answers almost exactly as I would in a lot of situations.

For example, she tests her grandson (the coffee heir) by making him take over a failing coffee house she owns.  She demands he triple sales in a short period to return a satisfactory return on investments.  If he can prove he is capable, he will receive his inheritance, while she is still alive.  She uses incentives.  Otherwise, he will lose the trust fund, house, car, etc.

Anyway, one of her grandson’s employees (her grandson is, effectively, the “coffee prince” for which the store is named) accidentally orders $30,000 worth of coffee and they don’t have the money in the budget that his grandma gave him.  He calls her for help.  Instead of buying the coffee from him, she offers to loan him capital!  At 10%, which is 5x the rate on South Korean government bonds.

Do You Want a Loan Coffee Prince

Buy the Coffee From Me - You Won't Lose Money Coffee Prince

Why Would I Buy Coffee When I Sell It Coffee Prince?

So coffee prince says, “Never mind!  I don’t need your loan.  I’ll do it myself.”  Grandma hangs up the phone, and very, very pleased remarks …

He Sounds Very Determined Grandma Coffee Prince

It was part of her grand plan!  You see, grandma is really dying of cancer and wants to make sure he is responsible enough to take part in what she has built.  Coffee prince originally demanded $150,000 for capital expenditures but she only gave him $50,000 to teach him the value of money and how it can be scarce.  Coffee Prince doesn’t know about grandma’s health condition.  She says she has lived a good life and now that it’s time to fall off the mortal coil, she will put everything in order and play video games on the computer.

Seriously, Coffee Grandma, you are awesome.