LYDIA’S Lechon is a household name here in the Philippines, But not many people know that its entrepreneur Lydia de Roca started her business by selling lechon in a small stall in Baclaran market.
In the late 60s, the family-owned lechon store—known as “Mang Turing and Aling Ingga’s Native Lechon”, was doing good business with a modest store located at the Our Lady of Sorrows Church in Baclaran. Lydia, helped out in the said store.
In 1969, after some courtship, Benigno de Roca (a son of another lechon business owner) and Lydia got married. The happy couple had a joyous occasion after their wedding and with PhP500 started their own lechon busiess–Lydia’s Lechon. In a television interview, Lydia related how she used to go with her father, who was a butcher, and how she started selling lechon in Baclaran at the age of 12. “Ito ang naituro sa akin ng tatay ko noong araw, hanggang sa nagtinda ako ng lechon. Twelve years old ako sa bangketa ng Baclaran,” she said. “Yung P500 na yon binibigay ko na sa tatay ko. Pinambili ko na ng baboy niya… Marami yun, P20 lang nun ang baboy eh,” she said. Aside from pigs, she used the money to buy charcoal and sauce for the lechon.
At that time, Benigno was a jeepney and bus driver, so they had to work hard to support their children. “Mahirap ang buhay namin. Pero nagtiyaga kami talaga. Pinagsumikapan namin… Naranasan ko pa yung bahay na nakatuntong sa ilog… Yun ang unang-unang inupahan ko, diyan sa may Tambo sa Paranaque, P35 ang upa sa isang buwan,” she said. Customer’s would flock to Lydia’s Lechon to sample the good food sold there. A big break for the couple’s business came along when one day when executives from the Hyatt Regency Hotel came along to buy some Lydia’s Lechon specialties. From that simple visit came daily lechon orders from the hotel.
“Maski nga di ko kinakaya kinakaya ko eh. Hindi pwedeng mahina ang loob mo. Sasabihin mo, ay ano kaya ang gagawin ko? Tatanggapin ko kaya? Mahirap kaya ito? Kaya ko kaya ito? Ako palaging yes,” she said.
The fame and praise for Lydia’s Lechon spread by word of mouth to many prospective clients, including other hotels and restaurants, and food caterers.
In the 1970′s, the Lydia’s Lechon boneless with paella recipe got the first prize in a competition for local chefs and it soon became one of the specialties of restaurant. It was a boost for the de Roca couple’s business.
After selling lechon from the market for 22 years, de Roca finally opened a restaurant–with a single table–along Roxas Boulevard in 1986.
“Talagang restaurant ang target ko. Kaya lang wala akong kapital pa eh. Hindi ko rin magagawang restaurant. Pero trying hard ako na maging restaurant, kaya naglagay ako ng isang lamesa at isang silya,” she recounted. Soon customers started coming to her restaurant and one of her frequent customers was mall tycoon Henry Sy, Sr., who always had lunch there on Sundays. “Nagkakwentuhan kami tapos meron daw siyang SM Food Court baka raw gusto kong magtayo ng ano… Sabi ko, oho gusto ko,” she said.
In April of 1989 the first branch of Lydia’s Lechon outside of the southern part of Metro Manila , in Timog Avenue, Quezon City was established. This was followed by other stores on the eastern part of the Metro. From there, fast food outlets of Lydia’s Lechon mushroomed within the popular malls of the metropolis. Although originally intended to be a close family corporation, the first franchise of Lydia’s Lechon was sold in 2005 for a fast food and retail outlet at SM Megamall in Mandaluyong City. Today, they are known as the biggest chain of lechon outlets in the country. Presently, there are 21 branches of Lydia’s Lechon located in the Greater Manila area and Cavite.
Now, Lydia’s Lechon has some 15 branches in SM Food Courts, which account for some Php30,000 in daily sales.
The couple is now the proud owner of a 1,500 square-meter property in Baclaran, with a mansion and several luxury cars. It also houses the restaurant’s commissary and roasting area.
The De Roca couple also have their own piggery in an 8-hectare property in Malvar, Batangas where they raise 800-1,000 pigs.
In 2011, De Roca was awarded by Go Negosyo as one of the most outstanding women entrepreneurs of the Philippines.
Despite her success, De Roca remains humble and thankful that her four children—who have all graduated from college—are not spoiled and have helped the business flourish.
“Seven years old pa lang sila dinadala ko sila sa bangketa, kaya ang pangaral ko sa kanila eh sinusunod naman nila ngayon,” she said.
Up to now, De Roca still wields a knife and deftly chops up a lechon at the restaurant.
“Dito nag-simula ang swerte ko sa buhay. Kung sa tingin mo di ako marunong mag-tadtad ng lechon, umasenso kaya ako,” she said.
The smallest lechon sells for PhP6,500, and the capital for each one is in the neighborhood of PhP3,000. Lydia’s Lechon is also famous for its signature sauce made using a special recipe, de Roca said, noting this is still something none of her employees know about. Lydia has kept her lechon naturally simple but with no short cuts. It’s slowly cooked for two hours over charcoal and flavored only with tanglad, pandan, and murang sibuyas.
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WHILE definitely Italian in origin, husband and wife food entrepreneurs Eduardo and Tess Ngan-Tian went into business branding their pizza as the “Genuine Pinoy Pizza”. The gimmick worked and their small business grew by leaps and bounds.
Co-owners of the successful franchise system Lots’A Pizza, this Pinoy couple started their business in 1987 renting out food stall spaces near the San Beda College campus in Mendiola, Manila. At that time, Eduardo was selling hamburgers, siopao, ice cream, banana cue, peanuts and other snack food items through R&W Foods, and Tess was working as finance and administrative director at San Beda Alabang.
When no occupants leased three of their stalls in Mendiola, Tess came up with the idea of offering a different fare to the students—their usual patrons. To add to the fare she added pizza which she made from her own recipe.
With a business now needing fulltime attention, Eduardo asked Tess to quit her job at San Beda. After some thinking, Tess packed her bags and went to the United States to study a course on pizza technology at the American Institute of Baking where the unique pan baked crust and signature sauce of Lots’A Pizza was developed. That was the beginning of Lots’A Pizza here in the Philippines.
With no background in the food industry, but armed with CPA backgrounds, the Ngan-Tian couple invested PhP250,000 into their venture and started out with 10 co-owned Lots’A Pizza stores in 1996.
From these humble beginnings, the Ngan-Tian couple started a franchise system in 2000 and today Lots’A Pizza has over 130 franchised outlets all over the Philippines and 39 company-owned stores.
In a newspaper interview, Tess shared her guideposts for business.
“First, make sure that the product you have is universal. Meaning, anywhere in the country, or in the world, that product is accepted,” Tess said.
“Second, make sure that the product is tailored fit to the taste of your clients. You cannot expect someone in the Philippines to eat the same way as Americans do. Even if it is the same product, there will still be differences,” she added. “Third, and most importantly, you should develop your own product. Make sure that your product has its own character to be a market stand out.”
Through the couple’s joint effort, they were able to create a market brand known for its affordability and high quality of ingredients used. Their signature dough, she said, “has the desired chewiness and crunchiness but without the toughness.”
“Moreover the crust is formulated with very low sugar and oil which makes it a good source of complex carbohydrates,” Tess said.
To continuously develop their product, Lots’A Pizza has successfully partnered with multinational food companies like San Miguel, Purefoods, Dole Philippines and Kraft Food Products to provide them with ingredients customized for their pizza brand.
To help their franchisees, the couple also introduced the Lots’A Pizza Academy, a five-level training and development program that covers business concepts and the areas of recruitment, methods of preparation, cost analysis and management skills. Franchisees spend some time in a classroom and on-site environment to develop proficiency in pizza making, counter service and business management.
Tess and Eduardo also developed a telco-powered inventory and ordering system that “reduces human error and provides faster turnaround.”
To service its operational needs in Luzon, the company has invested in the construction of three commissaries to make sure that franchisees get a steady supply of pizza ingredients. After putting up commissaries in Pampanga and Las Piñas, the company built an even bigger facility in Cavite to provide for expansion in the southern parts of Luzon and Bicol Province.
The company also expects to open more branches as Lots’A Pizza builds its presence in Visayas and Mindanao.
What started as a small food cart in Mendiola, a Filipino-owned pizza chain continuously conquers every corner of the nation. And Eduardo concedes that they owe much of their success to the hard work of Tess—who also sits as company president and treasurer.
And if there’s one secret to their success Tess says its their conservative approach to business.
“Conservatism is our approach to business. We may not be aggressive as the rest but we have maintained focus in the business, dedicated a strong passion for the product and adopted good money management,” she said.
Tess said Lots’A Pizza will always remain committed to providing Filipinos with the best affordable pizza without compromising quality simply because their pizza is prepared by people who love and know pizzas.
Awards and Recognitions
No pizza company in the same market segment can match Lots’A Pizza in growth and number of prestigious awards received.
In 2011, Tess became one of 20 Go Negosyo Women Starpreneurs which included Genevieve Ledesma-Tan, Founder and President of the Southville International School and Colleges; Zenaida Tantoco, President of Rustan’s Commercial Corp.; Nelia Siggaoat, President of Manels Leathergoods Corp.; Elizabeth Lee, chief operating officer of Universal Motors; Myrna Yao, founder and COO of Richwell Trading; Natividad Cheng, Chief Executive Officer of Uratex Group of Companies; Rosalinda Hortaleza, Chairman and CEO of HBC Inc.; Vicki Belo, Medical director of Belo Medical Group; Merle Alferez, Founder of MSA Academic Advancement Institute; Sara Black, Owner of Sara Black Photography; Lydia de Roca, Owner of Lydia’s Lechon; Mary Grace Dimacali, President Mary Grace Foods Inc.; Emma Guerrero, President of Bioessence; Grace Gupana, CEO of Abs Bitter Herbs; Marlyn Montano, Owner of Holy Cow Animations; Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos-Recto; Ruth Callanta, President of Center for Community Transformation; Pacita Juan, Founder of Echostore; and Alegria Limjoco, CEO of Francorp.
Here is a rundown of the awards received by the company:
2012Franchise Awards – Best Franchising Support; Special Citation, Research and Development; Special Citation, New Distribution Models
2010Entrepreneur Philippines Franchising Awards Most Promising Franchise (gold); Best in Franchising Support (gold); Best Local Homegrown Franchise (gold)
2009Entrepreneur Philippines Franchising Awards Best Local Homegrown Franchise; Fastest Growing Franchise; Most Promising Franchise
2008Entrepreneur Philippines Franchising Awards Best Franchise Support; Best Local Homegrown Franchise
Entrepreneur Philippines Franchising Awards Best in Franchising Support
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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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FOR Filipino-Chinese entrepreneurs, running the business is always a family affair.
The same is true with Ricardo Sy Po, Sr., founder of the 34-year old Century Pacific Group (CPG)—makers of Century Tuna and the country’s largest canned food manufacturer–who has bequeathed a huge responsibility of running the corporation to his son Christopher “Chris” Po.
Chris, President and CEO of CPG Holdings Inc., was the man at the helm when the Century food group teamed up with leading global tuna supplier Thai Union and local fishing giant Frabelle to build a US$20-million tuna processing plant in Papua New Guinea back in 2011.
By casting a wider net via a three-way partnership with global leaders in seafood processing and fishing, the Century Pacific Group (CPG) has built an overseas capacity especially for its private label tuna manufacturing business.
Apart from selling its own canned tuna brands like Century, 555, Blue Bay and Fresca, CPG exports to international buyers that, in turn, market canned fish under their own brands (the company also owns Blue Bay and Fresca Tuna, Birch Tree and Angel milk, Kaffe de Oro and HomePride). #OpinYon #FeatureStory
read cont | http://bit.ly/19MalAM
By: Miriam Fabian
WHAT’S in a name? Apparently, a lot.
Juander Lugaw, the name of a small eatery serving lugaw (rice porridge) and “binaklot” (Ilocano for binalot) in San Pedro, Laguna, was inspired by a popular primetime series featuring a local superhero of the supernatural kind–Juan dela Cruz.
The proprietor of Juander Lugaw, Jose Ian Aguilar, admitted his fondness for superheroes, but his search for the right name for his shop proved to be challenging. First he thought of “Super Lugaw”, but after browsing the website of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), he was disappointed to find out that the name had already been taken. Then there was “Lugaw Juan”, but a quick internet search showed that it was already being used by another business.
Luckily for Aguilar, who is also a father of three, one afternoon, his children were watching Juan dela Cruz on television. Thus, “Juan dela Cruz” and a Filipinized reading of “Wonder” (one popular moniker for certain superheroes like Wonder Woman) were merged to come up with “Juander” while their byline was, “Lilipad ka sa sarap” (the taste will make you fly). #OpinYon #business #JuanderLugaw Miam Tan-Fabian
read cont | http://bit.ly/17QHuOZ
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FRANCISCO “Frank” Reyes belongs to a huge family and his culinary roots span more than 140 years.
The grandson of the founder of the famous The Aristocrat restaurant, Reyes has 70 first cousins—but he is the only one in the clan to go into the barbecue business with the opening of Reyes Barbecue in 2002.
Frank’s maternal great grandmother was Luisa Gracia Cruz, who was born in the 1870’s in Navotas, Rizal. Luisa, though unschooled, was a highly-skilled cook who ran a small carinderia in front of their house.
Her specialty, kare-kare—a meat and vegetable stew with a peanut-based sauce—was so delicious, it earned her the nickname “Luisang Kari” in their neighborhood.
Luisa passed on her talents, skills and taste buds to her daughter, Engracia Cruz Reyes, who eventually became the pioneer restaurateur of the Phillipines, and the founder (in 1936) of one of the longest surviving restaurant in the counrty–The Aristocrat. #OpinYon #Business #ReyesBBQ Reyes Barbecue
read cont | http://bit.ly/19Uo60W
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by: Ramon M. Borromeo
MY wife and I received a last minute invitation from our dining partners to join them at what is practically a hole-in-the-wall restaurant called Happi Hen on Aguirre Avenue in BF Homes Paranaque. I forget the corner street it is on but it is right beside Panaderia Pantoja.
When we got there rather late, thanks to traffic, our hosts and their granddaughter had already ordered ahead. Since we tend to eat a lot more collectively, my wife and I ordered an additional order each of what was already on hand.
On hand was the house specialty, Hainanese Chicken (a whole quarter for P130.00), which is a complete meal in itself. Hainanese Chicken is simply simmered in initially boiling water with salt and ginger for a little less than 30 minutes. Thereafter the chicken is removed and plunged in ice water until it is no longer hot. Around 12 to 15 minutes should be adequate time. The chicken is then removed and hung to drip dry. Later on, the chicken is to be served at room temperature with hot flavoured rice and soup. #OpinYon #Living #food
read cont | http://bit.ly/19CJHuB
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