Month: August 2017

Goldilocks confirms talks with SM, sees strategic brand fit

By Iris Gonzales (The Philippine Star) | Updated August 31, 2017 – 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines – Goldilocks Bakeshop Inc., assured the public and its stakeholders that it would remain committed to upholding the same standards of excellence that have made it the country’s number one bakeshop.

Goldilocks president Richard Yee issued the statement amid ongoing talks with the SM Group for a possible acquisition or joint venture with the company.

“In light of media reports that the SM Group is currently in talks to acquire a controlling stake in Goldilocks Bakeshop, Inc., we would like to state that while we are currently engaged in discussions, we are not in a position to share any specifics as yet,” Yee said.

He said the company has been open to forging strategic partnerships with companies which share the company’s vision and values, while helping it become an even more formidable brand both here and abroad.

“Over the years, several groups have been interested and as of now we have narrowed the list down. We believe that the best strategic alliance is one that will make the brand stronger in its next 50 years,” he said.

He said any partnership or alliance with another company, if it proceeds, would enable Goldilocks to respond effectively to the demands of an ever-growing consumer base and to new markets.

“We reassure everyone our internal and external stakeholders, our employees, affiliates, business partners and most of all, our loyal customers that Goldilocks will always be committed to the same standards of excellence that have made us the country’s number one bakeshop,” Yee said.

The SM Group of retail tycoon Henry Sy has said that it is in talks for a possible acquisition or joint venture with homegrown restaurant chain Goldilocks.

In a disclosure, SM Investments Corporation (SMIC), the holding company of the Sy family, said it is in preliminary discussions with Goldilocks Bakeshop for “a possible equity investment, joint venture or other cooperation arrangement.”

The parties are still awaiting regulatory approval by the Philippine Competition Commission.

If the deal pushes through, it would mark SM’s foray into a new retail format, and for Goldilocks, it would provide a big boost to the company’s expansion given SM’s wide footprint nationwide.

Goldilocks started in 1966 when Filipino-Chinese sisters Milagros Leelin Yee and Clarita Leelin Go and their sister in law Doris Wilson Leelin opened the company’s first store along Pasong Tamo in Makati.

It is now estimated to have over 500 stores nationwide and abroad.

*This article is re-posted from the Philippine Star:

PRA’s Limjoco hailed in international awards

(The Philippine Star) | Updated August 28, 2017 – 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine Retailers Association (PRA) vice chairman Ma. Alegria Sibal-Limjoco was named as one of the awardees of the 2017 International Women’s Entrepreneurial Challenge (IWEC) Foundation.

Limjoco’s latest recognition has scored PRA another victory as an organization managed by multi-awarded women whose leadership are not only recognized locally, but also in the international arena.

IWEC is a New York-based non-profit organization whose mission is to connect and develop a global network of successful women business owners.

Last year, Limjoco was also recognized by the Philippine Council of Associations and Association Executives “Ang Susi” Awards as the ‘Association Board Member of the Year.’

*This article is published online at and was also published in The Philippine Star newspaper, August 28, 2017

UST grad turns thesis into diner in Manila

by Othel V. Campos, posted August 26, 2017 at 06:01 in The Manila Standard

While most students are doing thesis to comply with the requirements for a college degree, this young entrepreneur turned hers into a business.

Celine Tabia says her thesis has become a diner called Chiquitos, which caters to students passing along Laong Laan and Tolentino Streets near University of Sto. Tomas in Manila.

“Chiquitos was still a thesis in 2009. I started out the business in 2010 while finishing school at UST. My mom and dad helped me pull it through. Mom used to take orders while Dad washed the dishes and kitchen stuff. Our household help did the cooking. We used to operate a 10-seat capacity in our first branch in Asturias. It ran for two years,” she says.

Tabia says she did a thesis in compliance with her BS Commerce Degree, Major in Entrepreneurship.

Chiquitos was named after her late grandfather who was fondly called Quito and her pet Chi.

The diner’s main offerings are chicken chops—small deep-fried cuts of chicken breast topped with choice sauce from a select list of proprietary sauces, all crafted by Tabia herself.

She says meal choices come and go but the main attractions continue to be the chicken chops, hand-pulled beef and a select roster of student meal paired with drinks starting at an affordable P70 per meal.

After Chiquitos’ first branch was closed because of the renovation works on the building that used to house the diner, Tabia used her earnings to bring back Chiquitos at a better spot along Tolentino Street, now bigger with a 50-seat capacity.

With her boyfriend as a business partner, they also set out to open another branch of Chiquitos at a busy nook along Laong Laan Street.

“We did this so as to cater to the student crowd frequenting the area. But as I see it, the sales were sort of divided on both branches. Nevertheless, both branches are doing well especially during the school season,” she says.

The Tolentino branch can rake in as much as P25,000 in sales on a good day, she discloses.

A middle child, the second from a brood of four, Tabia has never felt the so called “middle-child syndrome” because of the love and attention her parents lavishly give her and her siblings.

With support from her parents, she still does most of the meal preparations at home like meat marination and sauce making.

Her entrepreneurial skills first manifested when she was still a high school student at St. Scholastica’s College where she used to peddle small cute notebooks to schoolmates.

“I bought those cute notebooks from National Bookstore at P2 each and sold them for P10 apiece to my classmates. Back then I thought that was a good price since the notebooks were really pretty,” she says.

In college, she dabbled in selling ladies apparel and opened a online store she fondly calls AntiFashion, where she sells her own creations. Collaborating with a dressmaker in Taytay, Tabia came up with a unique line of ladies’ wearables.

The shop now is an amalgamation of apparel imports from Bangok and personal designs of Tabia.

“For me, Chiquitos is a work I love but AntiFashion is the play part that I like,” she says.

Tabia won first prize for the Next Gen Entrepreneur Award during the 27th Franchising Expo in July 2017.

*This article is copied from The Manila Standard‘s website:

PFA’s Note (erratum): The competition is called “The NxtGen in Franchising Awards 2017”, with the elevator pitch held during Franchise Asia Philippines 2017 International Conference last July.

Shakey’s shakin’ up good times with opening of 200th store

MISS TECH By Kathy Moran (The Philippine Star) | Updated August 21, 2017 – 12:00am

Shakey’s is a restaurant I grew up eating at when I was in high school. I remember attending quite a few birthday celebrations of my barkada at Shakey’s Greenhills in the ‘80s.

Since we were high school kids we had a budget so the most popular meal we would order would be Bunch of Lunch, which had pizza, salad, chicken and spaghetti on one plate and I would pair mine with draft root beer. My other friends would order the ever-famous thin-crust pizza — Meat Lovers was a fave — and, after all these years, these two dishes are still part of the Shakey’s menu.

“It is great to have finally reached our 200th store,” said Shakey’s Pizza Asia Ventures Inc. (SPAVI) president Vicente L. Gregorio at the opening of the store in Paseo de Magallanes recently. “To make this milestone even more special, today is the first time we are launching this very new store design.”

Gregorio added that, “This is a good way to show everybody that despite being 42 years old, Shakey’s is still very robust and very relevant today.”

Shakey’s wants to bring its dining experience to a new level of “wow,” as this is the mantra behind the 200th Shakey’s.

The 200th Shakey’s branch takes casual dining up a notch with new elements like the piano, fun zone, and a more family-friendly ambiance.

“Our goal has always been to create wow moments with each and every one of our customers,” added Gregorio. “But, with the opening of our 200th store, which we believe is a major milestone, we came up with different ideas to even make the Shakey’s experience so much more memorable for our guests. Our 200th store is more than just a new Shakey’s branch — it is a sign that the brand continues to lead and blaze a trail in the industry.”

The 200th store takes the wow concept in family casual dining up a notch by adding new elements never before seen in other branches. This includes a piano as an ode to the early years of Shakey’s, when music became an integral part of the brand.

“Music is a universal language that creates energy and fun, so the 200th store is going back to the original Shakey’s setup,” Gregorio shares. “An array of cakes in the dessert bar is also offered to complete the menu. And new uniforms for the staff are seen to mark Shakey’s commitment to continuous innovation.”

For over 40 years, Shakey’s has stayed on track with these words in mind: fun, family, and pizza. This is evident in all corners of the 200th store, where one is sure to have a fair share of wow moments, from its friendly staff to its warm, inviting, well thought-out interiors, to its spacious dining halls and Fun Zone — an arcade area where friends and family can bond while they play. There’s also a bar with a wide selection of beverages that customers can enjoy as they watch a game on the wide screens, and of course, the well-known Shakey’s thin-crust pizzas made to share with family and friends.

“We are very consumer-focused,” Gregorio says. “We’re committed to wowing our guests, and we believe that consumers deserve more. We took it as our mission to provide them only the best in terms of product, quality, ambiance, and service.”

Shakey’s is blazing a trail in the industry with more stores opening not only around the Philippines but also abroad, specifically in Kuwait and Dubai in the coming months. Shakey’s’ expansion gained momentum in 2016 when Century Pacific Group Inc. acquired the controlling stake for the pizza parlor chain in the Philippines. During the event, it was announced that over the next five years, the company plans to grow the number of Shakey’s stores in the Philippines and abroad to 500.

“It will be a busy year for us moving forward and this is once again in line with our vision of becoming stronger and better as a brand,” Gregorio declares. “In being one of the oldest brands in the country we are still at our best — we are even getting better. We are the number-one pizza chain in the country in terms of revenues.”

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For information, visit, and follow Shakey’s onFacebook and Instagram.

**This article was first published by The Philippine Star on their website, August 21, 2017 and was also published in the newspaper on page E4.

7-Eleven shines at Franchise Asia

7-Eleven bagged the Best Booth Display Award at the recently-concluded Franchise Asia Philippines Exposition 2017 held at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City. 7-Eleven bested other booths because of visual impact, creativity and originality in brand marketing and promotions, as well as audience response during the three-day exhibit. Organized by the Philippine Franchise Association, the annual exposition is touted as Asia’s biggest franchise convention of the industry’s top players, hall of famers and emerging homegrown brands.

*This article is published in The Philippine Star newspaper, August 21, 2017, page B2.

Shakey’s explores overseas expansion

By Catherine Talavera (The Philippine Star) | Updated August 19, 2017 – 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines – Shakey’s Pizza Asia Ventures Inc. (SPAVI) is exploring opportunities in the Asia Pacific region as it continues to receive inquiries from overseas investors.

“There’s a couple of new markets in the works. But still exploratory,” SPAVI president Vicente Gregorio told reporters during Shakey’s 200th store opening at Paseo de Magallanes in Makati City Wednesday.

“We want to be careful in expanding international. The priority is to identify the right market and the right partner,” Gregorio added.

Gregorio said the company is set to open one store in Kuwait by December this year. This forms part of an agreement the company signed with a Middle Eastern partner to open 10 stores over a period of seven years.

Last month, the company signed a deal with Dubai-based firm Aljeel Capital to open at least 10 stores in the United Arab Emirates in the next five years.

“There’s been a lot of inquiries and we’re excited with the interest, which is why immediately we got two prime markets signed up, which are Kuwait and Dubai,”Gregorio said.

While the brand is known to Filipinos, the menu and concept of Shakey’s is Western, which gives it an advantage to cater to a wider market range, Gregorio said.

Gregorio said the company would continue to expand its presence outside Metro Manila.

“We’re definitely excited about the potential outside Metro Manila. There’s a huge runway for the Visayas and Mindanao and northern Luzon,” Gregorio said.

Gregorio said the company continues to receive franchise applications for areas outside of Metro Manila that are not even in its radar.

**This article is first published in the Philippine Star website, August 19, 2017.

A Glimpse of Generika’s Future Opens in Taguig

Public service is the heart of Generika Drugstore’s operations. Constantly driven to meet the healthcare gap in the country, it is continuously looking for impactful ways to help Filipinos stay healthy. Its newly opened affordable wellness store in Signal Village Taguig is one of these efforts. A sign of even better innovations to come, it is their very first store with almost all of the shopper’s needs in mind.

The affordable wellness store in Signal provides a wider product offering than the usual Generika outlets. While it still has quality, affordable generic medicines, it also has a full line-up of Nutrawell Nutraceuticals covering vitamins, food supplements, and personal care products. Nutrawell is Generika’s own Housebrand sourced and manufactured from reliable manufacturers here and abroad. The store will also have affordable wellness, baby care, and adult nutrition offerings. Customers can also purchase consumer goods in this new store.

But perhaps the greatest innovation in the affordable wellness store is its inclusion of ample space for Gabay Generika PLUS Services. Customers can now comfortably avail of value-adding services such as Libreng Konsulta with doctors, patient counselling, free blood pressure, and scheduled blood sugar testing, and the mobile laboratory. With this great addition, affordable wellness stores can help promote the preventive aspect of wellness – not just the curative.

“Our new Affordable Wellness Store at Signal Village Taguig is just the beginning of even more impactful public service efforts. At Generika, it is our goal to be the Filipino’s partner in achieving better health and wellness – and through our stores, we can serve an active role in our customer’s health”, says Generika COO Jay Ferrer.

Inside the new Generika Affordable Wellness Store at Signal Village Taguig.

The new store in Signal Taguig is in line with Generika’s efforts to have over 1000 stores by 2020 – especially in underserved communities and locales. More public service efforts are slated for this year, helping Filipinos avail of the affordable and quality medicine and healthcare they need. To learn more about Generika Drugstore, simply visit

Shakey’s eyes 500-store network in five years

The country’s leading pizza parlor chain, Shakey’s Pizza Asia Ventures Inc. (SPAVI), plans to grow its footprint to reach a network of 500 local and overseas restaurants in the next five years.

After opening recently its 200th store in the Philippines at Paseo de Magallanes in Makati, SPAVI is debuting in the Middle East with the opening of a new store in Kuwait and Dubai next month.

“In the mid 1980s, there were 21 stores and all the while, I thought, Shakey’s could have 100 stores. After a while, it got to 150. Now we’re on our 200th store and I’m very proud to tell you that the operations and business development team is looking at 300 stores and we’ll probably end with more than that,” SPAVI president Vicente Gregorio said during the 200th store opening ceremony on Wednesday.
Ricardo Gabriel Po, SPAVI vice chair, said the 300-store goal could be achieved in three years, adding that the network could further be scaled up to 500 stores in five years, including those that will be opened overseas.

While Shakey’s is an American brand, SPAVI is completely independent from its US “mother” after earlier acquiring the trademark and the intellectual property rights. It does not pay royalty or licensing fees to the US company, resulting in good margins.

Apart from the Philippines, SPAVI owns perpetual rights to use the Shakey’s brand in the Middle East, Asia (excluding Japan and Malaysia), China, India, Australia and New Zealand.

Established in California in 1954, Shakey’s operations in the Philippines are now bigger than in the US. The Philippine market is also Shakey’s biggest market in the world.

The expansion program in the next three to five years could be funded by internally generated cash and proceeds from SPAVI’s public offering, Po said.

Each new store costs P15 million to P25 million to put up, Gregorio estimated.

This year, SPAVI expects to open at least 20 new stores. Gregorio said SPAVI would like to open more stores in the provinces but would still take advantage of expansion opportunities in Metro Manila.

*This article is copied from the Philippine Daily Inquirer and can be found online at

Pepsi-Max’s partnership: 15 years and counting

PEPSI’S partnership with Max’s Restaurant remains strong as top executives of both firms recently sealed the renewal of their tie-up, led by Max’s Chairwoman Sharon Fuentebella, and Max’s President, CEO and Executive Director, Robert Trota, (3rd and 4th from left, respectively), Pepsi Philippines President Samudra Bhattacharya and PepsiCo Country Manager Maricelle Narciso (4th and 3rd from right, respectively). Also in photo are (from left) Max’s Executive Director and Vice-President for Marketing Jim Fuentebella, Max’s Executive Director Carolyn T. Salud, Pepsi Philippines GM for Modern Trade Marvyn Taningco; and PepsiCo Commercial Director Chiqui Palileo.

Aside from Krispy Kreme, the partnership was expanded further with the inclusion of Yellow Cab Pizza. Max’s has over 190 branches while Yellow Cab has 137 outlets nationwide. On the other hand, Pepsi’s growing beverage portfolio offers well-loved drinks like Pepsi, Mountain Dew, and Lipton Ice Tea, among others. “Starting in 2002, Max’s and Pepsi Philippines have worked hard to keep this partnership strong, serving up refreshing goodness that customers have grown to love over the past fifteen years.

We remain as the proud beverage partner of such an iconic company that can perfectly capture the flavors that Filipinos love,” Bhattacharya said. “Starting in 2002, Max’s and Pepsi Philippines have worked hard to keep this partnership strong, serving up refreshing goodness that customers have grown to love over the past fifteen years. We remain as the proud beverage partner of such an iconic company that can perfectly capture the flavors that Filipinos love,” Bhattacharya said.

*This article is copied from Malaya Business Insight and can be found online at

PCCI Announces Francorp CEO Ma Alegria Sibal-Limjoco as 2017 IWEC Awardee

Considered as one of the most prominent names in the Philippine franchising sector, Ms. Limjoco is a two-term President of the Philippine Franchise Association (PFA) and is currently the Vice Chairman of the Association. She spearheaded the first Philippine hosting of Asia’s biggest franchise event – “Franchise Asia 2011”, which successfully brought into the country notable names in the international franchising community as well as the world’s top franchise brands. Ms. Limjoco has represented the PFA in various international franchise events including the World Franchise Council as well as various international franchise shows in the US, Europe and Asia. Ms. Limjoco has been conferred with numerous recognitions.

Bing will be attending the 10th Annual IWEC Conference, held on Nov. 12-14th in Redmond, Washington, to accept her award.

The 2017 IWEC conference, whose theme is “Connecting Women Businesses Globally: Accelerating Growth through Innovation & Technology”, celebrates a milestone: IWEC’s 10th anniversary. The conference is sponsored by Microsoft and hosted at their corporate headquarters in Washington state. The theme of the conference is very fitting not only for the venue, but for the emphasis that IWEC places on mentoring, education and cross-collaboration across borders. The conference agenda is a thought-provoking set of panels and presentations covering threads such as “Doing Business in the U.S.”, “Artificial Intelligence” and “Cybersecurity and Blockchain”, among others.

Congratulations, “Bing!”! We thank our partners at the Philippine Chamber of Commerce for their participation and engagement with IWEC.