The original owners of Razon’s got married to their passion for cooking—so they remained single for the rest of their lives.
Sisters Virginia, Severina, and Elena Razon started their business in 1972 and little did they know that they would become one of the most known stores when it comes to Halo-Halo and other Kapampangan food.
Razon’s started as a simple business, a mini-stall situated in front of their ancestral home. This humble beginning soon became known and garnered customers from other local places in the Philippines.
Their version of Halo-halo, which literally means “mix-mix”, was a hit to Filipinos because of its unique and excellent taste.
This recipe didn’t only boost their store’s name, it also made Guagua known to the Philippines as the place for the best Halo-halo.
And because of the success of their products, by the year 1996, they already started expanding to different locations.
Soon in 2003, they established Razon’s Food Corporation (RFC) and brought their food to Metro Manila under the brand Razon’s of Guagua.
Razon’s of Guagua serves Pampanga’s famous halo-halo, pancit luglug and ensaymadas, with assorted tarts, chicharon and taba ng talangka.
The three sisters personally trained their nieces on the secret of their recipe. These nieces pursued their aunts’ passion for good food, and soon opened their own brands that are now famous for their authentic Filipino desserts.
Their Only Secret—Quality Ingredients
Jose Razon, executive vice president of RFC said that the true secret of their products lies within the compatibility of each of their ingredients.
Unlike the usual halo-halo, the Razon’s recipe only consists of 3 main ingredients: macapuno, saging na saba and leche flan. Also, one of the noticeable uniqueness is seen in its finely shaved ice and creamy milk.
He said that the secret is actually making sure that these ingredients are the best quality to amp up the taste of the treat.
“We make sure the milk is compatible with our halo-halo so we did test tastes to come up with the perfect aging process and just enough stickiness,” he said to Manila Bulletin.
“When it comes to Filipino merienda or light snacks, the very first to come to mind is our very own halo-halo.”
Also, its ingredients are cooked without preservatives. The macapuno, banana and leche flan are not store bought but are manually cooked to by the Razon’s themselves.
The ingredients are stirred nonstop so that the sugar will not be burnt, while the bananas are cooked within two to three hours using a custom-made pressure cooker because the regular steamer cannot produce the consistency and texture they want.
All Razon stores are being managed by nieces and nephews of the three sisters.
Now, it already reached 66 branches.
Their Other Side Branch
Since Razon’s take pride in the cooking skills and passion of the family, it’s no wonder that with the expansion of their brand also came an offshoot of its famous halo-halo and other products.
In 2002, Teresita’s of San Fernando was established. In their menu are some of the original products of the first generation of the Razons.
Teresita’s is being managed by Paulo and Ryan Razon, who are members of the fourth generation of Razons.
Ryan is currently the president and CEO of Nozar’s Inc., the operator of Teresita’s chain of restaurants.
“My mother Teresita, from whom the business trade name was derived, comes from a family well known for their cooking skills. Catering was their primary means of livelihood.”
“They also branched out to the delicacy business. My mother’s heritage combined with the training and teachings imparted by the three sisters who started Razon’s brought forth a fusion that gave rise to what Teresita’s of San Fernando is today,” he said to Phil Star.
Teresita’s now runs 11 branches in Metro Manila and Cavite.
The Brand’s Venture From Local to Global
This year, RFC will be having their first foreign venture.
They will be bringing their famous products to the Middle East and will be a 60-40 joint business with the Dubai group Edris Alrafi, Walid Abdullah, and Razons Middle East LLC.
They will start their brand in Dubai, which is the center of Middle East’s tourism industry.
“We will do some new products for Dubai that are not pork-based,” Jose Razon said.
And since Filipino restaurants in Dubai are mostly run by foreigners, Razon’s of Guagua will be the first Filipino-managed restaurant.
“There are other Filipino restaurants operating in Dubai but these are either not owned by Filipinos or not serving Filipino dishes. We will be an all-Filipino crew restaurant and we are very enthusiastic about developing non-pork meals.”
One good factor that will help boost their business is the climate of the country. Since the Middle East is warm, he said that their products, especially halo-halo, will have a very good potential in the market.
Also with more than half million registered OFWs, their main customers will be Filipinos.
“Of course, our primary market will be our kababayans who are surely missing home-cooked food. But there is also good potential for secondary market because our food is not just for Filipinos but we want to cater to the mainstream market also.”
Featured Image Credit: Teresitas of San Fernando