Food business bounces back with BPI
Business was booming for Joey Espiritu, who put up 621 FOODCHOW OPC in 2018. Back then, it served bulalo to customers in the town proper of Silang, Cavite. Soon after, the company went on an aggressive expansion. Aside from serving more Silang residents, the company supplied crew meals, which the business eventually became known for.
Aside from 621 FOOD CHOW OPC, Joey was managing three other businesses: Tent King tent rentals and sales; Forrent chair rentals and sales; and Manang A catering services.
Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic took a toll on all his businesses since they involved food service and live events that heavily required face-to-face interactions. With the sudden stop in business operations, some assets had to be sold. Worse, some employees had to be let go.
But giving up was not in Joey’s vocabulary. Having a heart for the people who worked with him, he decided to repurpose his businesses by making them pandemic-responsive – particularly by pivoting into food delivery and distribution. This meant his personnel had to undergo training to acquire new skills.
To enable Joey to change the way he does business, he needed to recapitalize to acquire new stocks and pay for his personnel’s wages and training. He went to several banks to secure a loan but was unsuccessful because he didn’t have any collateral to offer.
Fortunately, BPI offered Joey a collateral-free Ka-Negosyo business loan, which gave him hope and motivation to move forward. Joey recalls how the Business Banking loan adviser listened attentively to his predicament and visited his businesses’ warehouses and other sites, which only BPI did.
The bank’s lifeline certainly paid off. 621 FOODCHOW OPC was not only able to survive but also thrive amid adversity, with the company’s distribution business particularly winning awards for garnering high sales volumes such as the 2022 Food Service Distributor of the Year, and 2022 Agility Award from suppliers in the food industry. Joey’s other businesses also prospered.
Joey’s enterprises became successful, thanks to the way BPI cares for small entrepreneurs like him. Inspired by his achievements and the bank’s support, Joey now targets to quadruple the value of his 2022 sales in ten years in 100 towns across the country with the help of 1,000 employees.