Journal Staff


The island’s economy continues to show signs of its entrepreneurial spirit, even nine months into the COVID-19 pandemic. Two more businesses are in the works, bringing more Filipino-inspired food and drinks to Guam, as well as an addition to a familiar chain.

Selfpix Café, owned by Mary Joyce Agravante Pulmano, opened in Mangilao on Nov. 2. The new coffee and milk-tea café uses a printer to transfer photos onto the foam of drinks. Anything can be printed, Pulmano said, from a selfie or picture of a celebrity to a business logo or friendly message like “Happy Birthday.”

To pick a photo to be printed, the customers scan a barcode at the restaurant, which will pop up a window on their smartphone and prompt them to choose their photo.

She said the personalized drinks “make customers happy” and that’s the fun of serving them.

Max’s Chicken in Micronesia Mall is slated to open in early 2021.
Photo by Morgan Legel

Pulmano grew up in the Philipines and got the idea from a lot of coffee shops there. “I’m a coffee lover myself,” she said. “I was always buying coffee. I thought, why not open my own, and then I was trying to think what I can do that’s unique and innovative.” She does have previous experience working her way through college as a barrista at a coffee shop and co-owning other businesses on island.


For the menu, she wanted to bring “all of her favorites” into one place, in her new business. The menu consists of coffee, tea, milk tea, juice and snacks.

The café will be open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day, boasting about five employees, not including Pulmano.

Another business is slated to open its doors in early 2020, this one directly from the Philippines, Max’s Restaurant, is slated to open its doors in early 2020.

The new restaurant will be located in concourse one of Micronesia Mall between GAP and Vitamin World and will also offer access directly from the parking lot, similar to Denny’s.

A new Subway restaurant will be opening in Dededo in January.
Photo courtesy of Subway Restaurants Guam

“The base of our products are really home-cooked meals being served amongst family and friends. Dining in is a big part of our service — we are not a fast-food company,” said Eleanor Alinas, CEO of KI Group International, which does business as Max’s Restaurant Guam.

She said, “We can enhance the local culture, and we feel the Guam community can embrace Max’s as well.”

Alinas said if dine-in options are not allowed by the time the restaurant is ready to open, Max’s will “definitely” have curbside pick-up and “almost definitely” have delivery, either through a third-party group or through Max’s itself.

In terms of an exact opening date, Alinas said the brand is still unsure. “We don’t want to disappoint the loyal Max’s fans by having to move any dates.

“COVID has affected us 100%. Construction is delayed, all the offices were closed. We’ve also had issues with freight and our equipment coming in.

“But we’re grateful to be given this opportunity and to be able to open in a difficult time like this. We have had tremendous support from the community. This is a long time in the making, and we’re excited and ready to roll,” she said.

The Micronesia Mall location will share all the well-known menu items from Max’s, such as its fried chicken, rice bowls, various sandwiches and desserts. In time, Alinas said, the location will branch out and introduce new items, like new spins on Chamorro favorites.


In addition, a new Subway restaurant will open at the Naval Communications Station in Dededo. Since it is not inside the military property, it will be accessible to both military and civilian guests, according to Gary Schiff, director of brand management for Chili’s and Subway Guam. This 1,500 square foot location is scheduled to open Jan. 27 and will be the 16th Subway restaurant in Guam.

On Nov. 14 GTA also opened its 1,800-foot Experience Center at the Micronesia Mall theater wing.  GTA previously had a store adjacent to the Pay-less Supermarket

In addition, Ate Sue’s Store opened on Fatima Road in Dededo on Nov. 16. Owner Susan Fryer, former shopping center manager of Tumon Sands Plaza told the Journal stock will include fresh items imported from the Philippines such as sea food, as well as premium items. Betterday Guam, a furniture store specializing in IKEA resale items, opened in the Oka Commercial Center on Oct. 30. mbj