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This Filipino Couple Started The Pinoy Version of Takoyaki—Sumo Takoyaki

Bong and Cholly Magpayo—who are both takoyaki lovers—saw an opportunity in the market to start a takoyaki brand that will match the taste palate of Filipinos.

“We thought of doing a business that has lower product cost. Actually, our product cost is just Php 30 because the ingredients we use are primarily vegetables and the butter which holds the vegetable.”

Both with a background in Business studies, they started their own business they called Sumo Takoyaki.

“We like takoyaki but we didn’t like the fishy aftertaste. So we thought of a product that will cater to the Pinoy taste.”

Before Sumo Takoyaki

Image Credits: Sweet Corner

Bong and Cholly, before venturing into their own business, started in the corporate world.

“We started out as employees, so at first, we didn’t have any idea of doing business. So what we did then since we were starting a family was to try franchising first.”

“Through that, we somehow the feeling of a franchisee; the problems, crisis and need that come within. And then slowly after we learned the rules of the business, we came up with our own product.”

In 2009, they started Sweet Corner that offers organic corn products. From a single stall, it grew to 89 outlets nationwide, including one in Melbourne Australia.

Sumo Takoyaki: Sumo-sobra Sa Sarap

Image Credit: Tiffany Tolones

After the success of Sweet Corner, they thought of another concept that will be liked by the Filipinos.

“Sumo Takoyaki is not really the authentic Japanese takoyaki. What we have is the Pinoy version. One that has not any after-taste. It doesn’t have the fishy taste.”

Bong added that the ingredients are all from the Philippines, which also makes the product different from any other takoyaki.

Its toppings are made of pork and chicken flakes, while the fillings are made with vegetables such as carrots and cabbages.

Through the help of his wife, they were able to create sauces that appeal to the customers.

“All the carrots, vegetables, onion leaves, all of them are local ingredients and we have sauces like sweet and sour, and chili that really suits Filipinos.”

Another factor that makes Sumo Takoyaki a successful brand is its affordable price, which is only Php 28 for three pieces.

Strategies For Success

Image Credit: Tiffany Tolones

Since the business’ capital is comparatively small, and the profit big, Bong said that takoyaki is a good food product for first-time franchisees.

Starting business is really about on your interests. If you don’t have any background in business, I would suggest you try franchising first since there is a system there already, there’s a brand value.

He also added that aspiring entrepreneurs should always look from a businessman’s point of view and think of products and marketing strategies that are sure to earn.

“You have to choose the right market for your product. Sometimes the product e hindi nagshoshoot. If you notice food carts, you take out the most saleable products. We focus on a single product since the concept of food cart is to concentrate on one product.”

If you want to be an entrepreneur, you should start small but dream big. Start with a single product or cart then multiply it.

Featured Image Credit: Tiffany Tolones

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