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Chicharrón (chicharon in Filipino), a dish made of fried pork skin, is popular in Spain and in Latin American countries. Part of the traditional cuisines of of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guam, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Puerto Rico and Venezuela—this tasty snack food has become a Pinoy favorite and a source of livelihood for many enterprising Filipinos like Rey Lapid.
One of the biggest names in the local chicharon industry is Rey C. Lapid who founded R. Lapid’s Chicharon and Barbecue back in 1974.
Lapid started earning from chicharon when he was just nine. He would accompany his father to their stall at a market in Quiapo, where he noticed customers would often ask for the skin of pork to be removed.
Rey thought of bringing the pork skin home and have his father deep-fry it. Rey eventually sold his chicharon and people liked it. Business started in a small stall along R. Hidalgo street in Quiapo, Manila. At the age of 23, Lapid was on his way to success selling chicharon and, later on, barbecue, longganisa and tocino.
Lapid’s goal was to sell his products to retail stores, moviehouses, supermarkets, office canteens and bars in Manila. He registered with the NACIDA (National Cottage Industries Development Authority) as a food processor with shop address at 485 Verdad st., Sampaloc, Manila.
Soon, Lapid’s Quiapo stall started gaining patrons and from one shop he expanded into over a hundred branches all over the Philippines.
‘Laging Bagong Luto’
In 1996, Lapid registered the slogan “Laging Bagong Luto” for his brand of chicharon. As the slogan suggests, Lapid makes sure that his chicharon is always freshly cooked to maintain its crispiness and delicious flavor. The company mission practically reads the same: “To provide our customers with freshly-cooked, clean, delicious, and reasonably-priced food in a quick and friendly manner.”
Lapid also experimented with a new vinegar mix—flavored with more chili and garlic— to add to the experience of eating his chicharon.
To further improve product quality and to complete in the global market Lapid began importing raw materials from the United States and Europe in 1996. In the same year, R. Lapid’s opened its first branch at G. Tuazon Sampaloc, Manila followed by 10 more outlets within Metro Manila, to serve the increasing number of chicharon lovers.
To handle ever-increasing demand, Lapid put up a two-story building in Valenzuela City to handle his cold storage, warehouse, and food processing requirements. The site also serves as Lapid’s main business administration office.
The Valenzuela plant manages the company’s total chain process: from planning and acquisition of raw materials and ingredients, warehousing, manufacturing of processed food for the stores and wholesale clients, physical distribution and logistics.
The facility also received a GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) Certification from the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS)—the first-ever chicharon processor in the country to be GMP certified.
A great opportunity was gained by R. Lapid’s when it received the “Gintong Sikap Award” from the Federation of Filipino Consumers, Inc., in recognition of its remarkable increase of sales in its first mall outlet at SM South Mall, Las Piñas.
The award was the key in the development of good relationship with the management of the SM malls which eventually led to the establishment of ten (10) more additional SM outlets by the end of 1998.
In 1998, SM awarded R. Lapid’s with a Certificate of Recognition from the SM Management for Consistent Observance of Cleanliness, Safety and Sanitation.
The first Provincial outlet located in Calamba, Laguna was opened on January of 1999 followed by an outlet in San Fernando Pampanga, Baguio City, Tagaytay and Lipa, Batangas. In the same year, Lapid introduced the Free Delivery Service to extend its customer reach.
A genuine Filipino entrepreneur, with passion to deliver to its customers high-quality products, R. Lapid’s has passed with flying colors the test brought about by stiff competitions, great sacrifices and hardships. However, after seven years, it has outlets serving not only its loyal customers but, in its modest way, contributing to the improvement of the country’s economy.
R. Lapid’s is not stopping here. It is taking its steps to continuously modernize its facilities, develop more products, make its systems more effective, and most importantly, harness more the capabilities of its human resources with the end in view of serving its customers from the four corners of the Philippines and neighboring countries.
Awards and Recognitions
1997 – Mr. Rey Lapid received the “Gintong Sikap Award” for being “Outstanding Businessman” by the Federation of Filipino Consumer’s Inc.
1999 – “Certificate of Recognition “for consistent observance of cleanliness, safety and sanitation inside the lease area for the months of February, March, April, May and August 1999 – SM Foodcourt – Ortigas.
2000 – Mr. Rey Lapid received the “Gintong Pilak Award” for being an “Outstanding Business Executive” by the Federation of Filipino Consumers, Inc.
2003 – “National Consumer’s Excellence Awardee” for being the “Most Outstanding Chicharon Maker”
2004 – “National Consumer Excellence Awardee” for being the “Most Outstanding Manufacturer of Chicharon & Barbecue”.
– “National Shoppers’ Choice Awardee” for being the “No. Chicharon (National)”.
– “Consumer Choice Awardee” for being the Most Outstanding Chicharon Maker
– “National Buyers’ Choice Awardee” for being the Most Chicharon
2005 – “National Consumers’ Excellence Awardee” for being the “Most Outstanding Manufacturer of Chicharon & Barbecue”.
– “National Shoppers’ Choice Awardee” for being the “No. 1 Chicharon”.
– “People’s Brand Awardee” for being the “No. 1 Chicharon Brand”.
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