Families behind famous wine, cupcake
On April 18, exemplary family businesses were recognized by the Ateneo de Manila University’s Family Business Development Center and Unionbank in the first Philippine Family Business Awards. We featured six of 10 winners last week: Alingog family of the Ropali Group, the Buhain-Fontelera family of the Rex Group, the David family of the House of David Group, the King family of the Asia Glass Group, the Mercado family of Tarlac Electric, Inc., the Sio family of Sanitary Care Products Asia, Inc.
We now conclude with the remaining four awardees, all involved in food and drink.
House of Lechon
The Pages family of Pages Holdings, Inc. runs some of the top food brands in the country. Founded in 2003 by Bunny Pages, the company is a leader in Cebu’s growing food industry. Starting with Thirsty Fresh Fruit Juices and Shakes and Moon Café, Pages Holdings has grown to 11 brands, and still counting. Some of their brands include Lantaw, Café Racer, Shaka, Kan-anan, and House of Lechon.
From the start, all five children of the Pages family have been involved actively in the decision-making process. They are close-knit as a family, trying to move and decide fast, looking for opportunities, while maintaining respect for all members of the company, treating every single one with dignity and care. The Pages family is proud to have grown the business in the past decade, starting with a handful of employees growing to over a thousand. The company aims to serve great-tasting food and beverage in a fun and friendly atmosphere to people who crave quality dining experience.
The Quimbo family of Calabria Company, Ltd. and Bel Mondo Italia Corporation believe that wine is not only a beverage, it is an aspiration. More than just a wine business, the company aims to fulfill consumer aspirations.
There is a big gap between the aspirational appeal of wine and the low actual consumption of this iconic product in the Philippines. This is the challenge the Quimbo family aims to bridge to allow customers to enjoy the lifestyle and the health benefits of wine. They aim to produce the highest quality wine that combines innovation and tradition, and today, Novellino Wines has become an example of excellence as a proudly Filipino brand of wines.
The family also strives to be a beacon of biblical Christian values to the company, consumers, partners and the community.
The Urbina family of the Laguna group aims to be curators of Filipino legacy and blending of cooking cultures through its native and fusion restaurants Café Laguna, Lemon Grass, Parilya and Ulli’s.
In 1979, Julita Urbina opened Café Laguna as a 10-table “carinderia” (eatery) in a rented apartment, aptly called Mother’s Best, a venture that was fully supported by her children and quickly became popular in Cebu through word-of-mouth. People came back for more of mom’s home cooking. The “puto bumbong” was especially popular.
Today, the Laguna Group has expanded to seven brands that let us “experience the flavors of the world,” garnering numerous awards for retail, sustainability, and, of course, culinary excellence locally and abroad.
The Vergel de Dios family of Big E Food Corporation is behind Lemon Square. In 1985, couple Nina and Errol Vergel de Dios produced cupcakes from their kitchen, then delivered and sold to markets of Malabon and Sangandaan. Currently, Lemon Square is a growing company focused on the development, manufacture, and distribution of “always real goodness” snacks.
More than just a business, Lemon Square is a family enterprise that aims to lead by example and inspire more Filipinos to establish their own businesses.
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