why did you start your business and what was your business mission at the outset?
I grew up cooking the traditional Filipino dishes with my mom and grandma, but enjoyed the creativity of the street food. I wanted to bring those inspired Filipino dishes to the people of Des Moines. My mission is to share the love of my Filipino roots through the dishes I serve customers.
do you have employees?
My fiance, Kristi, has been with me from the beginning. We have been fortunate to have family volunteers to help us with events. We hire workers for specific events if necessary.
what service or product do you offer?
We are mainly a farmer’s market vendor, and love to do pop-ups at local breweries. We also offer catering for events, and family style meals.
how do you market your business?
We mainly use social media (Facebook & Instagram) for advertising.
to what do you attribute success?
First, we give all the Glory to God, we’ve been so blessed with everything. Second, our success has come from the unique cuisine that we offer the Des Moines area. Filipino food isn’t very common in the restaurant scene, so we have found an area that the people want more of. We are also very fortunate to have a loyal following of customers that come to our events!
name 3 unique things about your business that differentiates you.
- The combination of Filipino flavors that people are interested in trying
- The personal touch of getting to see the same people serving you the dishes at every event
- We want to keep the touch of family in our food!
what has been the hardest part of becoming/being a business owner?
Trying to balance time between family, full time jobs, and our business!
how does your company embed itself in the community?
We have become a family run business, which truly makes our customers feel like family.
one of the big things we talk about at love local is collaborations + contribution to the broader city. how do you do this?
We LOVE the relationships we have built with the vendors at the farmers market. When you see the same business owners, you get to learn about them and work through problems together! We also love visiting the neighboring towns (especially Gezellig Brewing Co., in Newton). We have a regular monthly pop up with them, and have loved getting to know the people in Newton!
what advice do you have for others who want to open their own business?
Follow those dreams that you have! I have taken this idea that I wasn’t sure would ever become a reality, into more than I ever imagined!! Also, make a plan and study your area that you live in to find out what will do well!
what do you love most about the current community you are located in?
We love how supportive they are with all of the small businesses around the city. They make sure to always show their support whenever they can and we love that about them. I think it’s the idea of looking out for one another especially in tough times like we’re experiencing right now. We love how our community are standing up for racial injustice and showing support to our Black brothers and sisters, supporting the LGBTQ community, and minority-owned businesses.
what else should people know about you?
We will be participating at the Small Bite Celebrations happening in September so please stay tuned for more details.