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Homegrown bakeshop sets eyes on national expansion

By: Victor Anthony V. Silva September 27,2017 - 10:26 PM

San Jose Bakeshop President Niñi Jose Tiongko Jr. shares to reporters his plans for the company in the next five years.

MORE than three decades after it was established, the homegrown family-owned San Jose Bakeshop is now ready to conquer the rest of the Philippines.

Niñi Jose Tiongko Jr., San Jose Bakeshop president, said they want to focus on expanding in the Visayas first, particularly Leyte and Bohol, in the next one to two years.

“We have always been considering opening in other parts of the country. We move where people move. Now, we are prepared to go nationwide,” he told reporters on Tuesday.

Tiongko said the Philippines is a nation of bread-eaters and the demand for bread across the country is higher than what existing bakeries can produce.

The entrepreneur said this need is what anchors the company’s confidence to expand outside Cebu City, pointing out that anywhere in the country, there will always be people who eat bread.

After the Visayas, Tiongko said they would go full blast in expanding nationwide within three to five years.

Beginning 2018, San Jose Bakeshop is set to open 10 branches every year, both company-owned and franchised. Tiongko said they project to spend P15 million annually for this expansion.

San Jose Bakeshop will hold its first franchise introduction this Saturday, September 30, in a bid to attract more franchisees.

The company first offered the business concept for franchising in 2014, but it was only this year that they became more aggressive.

Franchisees can get their hands on their own San Jose Bakeshop outlet for P1.7 million, inclusive of the franchisee fee, equipment, staff training and marketing support.

Tiongko said they target to partner with retirees, overseas Filipino workers (OFW), and OFWs’ relatives living here, all of whom have huge disposable incomes.

“I believe in franchising because I also franchise,” he said, referring to a franchised international home-school business that he also runs.

For the entrepreneur, it will be easier to market franchise concepts because everything has been developed already.

According to the Philippine Franchise Association (PFA), food-related businesses remain a hit among potential franchisees, followed by services.

During the “Franchising Negosyo Para sa Cebu 2017” exhibit in Cebu City last March, 35 percent of the businesses featured were from the food sector.

San Jose Bakeshop was founded by Engineer Niñi Jose Tiongko Sr. and Dr. Estrelita Tiongko in 1983, becoming one of the most popular bakeries in Cebu City during the ‘80s and ‘90s.

In 1993, Señor Jose Panaderia Incorporated was formed to operate 10 branches located all over Cebu City.

At present, the company has 30 branches across Cebu City, six of which are franchise outlets.

The younger Tiongko joined the company in 2002, taking the reins from his father after the latter became ill.

Tiongko said it took a while before they opened the business to franchising because they wanted to set the foundation first and make sure the supply chain was already seamless.

It was in 2010 when San Jose Bakeshop introduced its self-service concept to the public.

In the last 15 years, the company has opened 20 branches and a 400-square-meter central commissary that can produce 5,000 loaves of bread every day. From three people when it started, the bakery now employs 80 workers.

Being in an industry where competition is tough, with more than 30 local players and bakeshops present in almost every corner of the city, Tiongko said they try to set themselves apart from the rest.

He said San Jose innovates as much as possible, not just in the products they offer but also in the way they market their brand through widely used social media platforms such as Facebook.

San Jose Bakeshop currently has 40 in-house offerings, 10 specialty loaves, and 25 varieties of celebration cakes, mini-cakes and cupcakes.

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TAGS: bakeshop, expansion, eyes, homegrown, national, sets

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