CEO Series

This Filipina Mom Just Started Her Bakery From A Small Town—Now It's Operating All Over The PH

“(My) first bakeshop opened on January 6, 1981, a day for gift-giving. I asked God to give me this, to make it work, to make it succeed. I asked God for only one, but He gave me more than I ever dreamed of.”

Julia Gandionco never expected to be able to build a corporation. She just for wanted to help her husband with their expenses.

Julie’s Bakery started its brand from a small town in Mandaue City, Cebu. Now, it is a household name that runs more than 500 stores all over the Philippines.

Before the success of Julie’s Bakery, Julia worked as a canteen concessionaire in a large factory in Cebu. It was a huge company that caters to thousands of employees.

The number of bread she served in the canteen needed to be enough for a big crowd.

So in order to keep up with her daily bread distribution, she had to farm out her daily orders to small bakeries.

Joseph Gandionco—her son, and CEO of Julie’s Franchise Corp.—shared how he was there since the start of their business.

“From day one, I was there helping. I was the one available at that time. The older ones were all working, the younger ones were studying. During that time, I just graduated.”

Then, one of the bakers of the bakeries Julia sells to asked her to open her own business and get him as an employee.

This idea led to her first bakeshop in Wireless, Mandaue, Cebu.

Start Of Julie’s Bakeshop

Image Credit: Business Inquirer

With Julie’s offerings of hot bread every hour and a wide variety of quality products, her first bakeshop was a hit to the Filipino masses.

Soon, her second store opened, then followed by a number of branches around Cebu.

In 1988, the first Julie’s Bake Shop outside of Cebu opened in Iloilo City.

All of the branches were run by their family members together with their partners.

Their company is said to be the one that revolutionized the baking industry in Cebu.

This revolution came from their idea of providing training and uniforms to their staff and showing customers the process of how their products are made.

“Our core competency was a clean environment bakeshop. At the same time, you can see the production from the customers’ side. It has to be clean because they are in full view of the customer.”

Within the years of service, the company grew and required a much more organized management.

In 1998, Julie’s registered Julie’s Franchise Corporation (JFC) with the Securities and Exchange Commission to provide Franchise Management Support.

Roberto Gandionco, the eldest, then stepped in to run the business until March 2010 when Joseph assumed the top position.

From then on, the company became known, garnering awards and recognition.

Image Credit: Go Negosyo

Some of Julie’s Bakeshop awards include a Plaque of Recognition as “Success Story of the Year” from the Cebu Business Month Grand Chamber, “Outstanding Countryside Investor” from the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and  “Outstanding Small and Medium Scale Entrepreneur Award” from the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Philippine Chamber of Commerce.

Also, with the opening of warehouses in Luzon and Mindanao in 2002, the company’s market position was further known to the public.

It was Julie’s Bakeshop franchise model and marketing strategies that made this expansion momentum.

In 2004, “Orchestra,” its first national television commercial was aired, boosting the brand’s name even more.

Now, Julie’s Bakeshop is known all over the Philippines, with its numerous branches scattered all over the country.

Further Expansion

Image Credit: Ruben Licera

In 2013, Julie’s Bakeshop had its first international venture.

It opened its outlet in Tangerang, a city near Jakarta Indonesia. This step in the overseas expansion was a part of the company’s growth plans.

“We have prepared for this and we are confident we can realize our dream of making Julie’s Bakeshop a global brand,” Joseph Gandionco said.

They also eyed an expansion to countries like Malaysia, since they have the same diet as the Filipinos.

In 2015, it opened another outlet in Alberta, Canada. The store was operated by Filipino franchisee Eric Pecson and his Canadian wife Marla.

A further international expansion is being eyed by the company, and for the years to come, will still continue giving its mantra, “Kasama natin araw-araw.”

Featured Image Credit: Lemon Sito 

 

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