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FROM CLICK TO BRICK 
Pinoydelikasi.com opens first brick-and-mortar-store 
to complement online sales 


by: Eric Ayrton S. Soriano - IlocosTimes
September 27 - October 03, 2001 Issue

THERE'S a newly built bahay kubo along bustling Shorthorn St. in Project 8, Quezon City. 

Well, okay, it may not be a real bahay kubo. But Jovel Cipriano, the maverick founder of Pinoydelikasi.com, designed his first full-sized brick-and-mortar store (more like bamboo-and-mortar, actually) to evoke images of the Philippine countryside-and the good food most Pinoys associate it with. Inside, the store's nooks and crannies are adorned with baskets, woven mats, sinamays and other indigenous decors. 


Upon entering the store, customers are greeted by native racks containing the website's best-sellers such as danggit, pusit, cebu lechon, barquillos, piaya, sinamak (vinegar), tuba, and lots more. On one side of the store is a freezer brimming with tapang usa, vigan longanisa, lucban longanisa, bagnet, panga ng tuna, and boneless bangus. 

In all, there are over 100 different food items-many of them having popular brand names-on sale, a far cry from the nine items Cipriano started with when he first went online in March 1999. 

Affordability is still Pinoydelikasi's main selling point so Cipriano made sure his store's facade didn't look too elegant that potential customers might turn away. Cipriano is confident, for instance, that the same brands of dried mangoes he sells are not available for less anywhere else in Metro Manila. 

Was the brick-and-mortar store put up in reaction to the collapse of the dotconomy in the US? Not at all, says Cipriano. In fact, the website is doing well, grossing over P30,000 a month. He says he put up the store "to give customers what they are asking for." 

"Customers want a physical store where they could touch and see the products," the former IBM executive explains. 

Having both a brick-and-mortar and an online store makes perfect sense when one comes to think of it. Customers who feel the need to touch and see the products they are buying could drop by the Quezon City store. On the other hand, those who want to simplify things could just point their web browsers to http://www.pinoydelikasi.com/ and click away. Cipriano says he has shipped pinasugbo, dried mangoes, danggit, and pusit to customers in Hawaii, Hongkong, Germany, and mainland US. 

In addition to the steady sales from both his brick-and-mortar and online store, Cipriano has another reason to smile about. The website was chosen as a semi-finalist in the Business Online and Visa Asian Internet Awards in the Visa Award for the Best Business to Consumer e-commerce site category, a premier competition for acknowledging and celebrating the achievements of Asian talent and expertise on the Internet. 

While his store was undergoing renovation, Cipriano says many customers and passersby kept asking whether they may eat inside the store. And so he decided that the store's second floor will eventually double as a dining area where customers could sit down and enjoy their favorite squid balls, halo-halo, leche flan, Cebu sylvannas or even have a hot meal of rice, danggit, atchara, and fresh buko juice. A fruit stand selling Davao pomelos, durian, Guimaras fresh mangoes, Kalinga sweet oranges and other fruits from all over the country is an upcoming addition to the store. 

Cipriano has plans to open stores cum restaurants in the Makati and Ortigas commercial centers, BF Paranaque, and along Katipunan Ave. Selling Pinoydelikasi franchises is another one of the 33-year-old "netrepreneur's" future plans. 

To satisfy those who crave for bibingka, suman, kutsinta, puto bumbong, palitaw and other delicacies that do not have long shelf lives, Cipriano says he'll probably serve these in his stores only on certain days of the week such as weekends to ensure freshness. 

The Pinoydelikasi store located at 18-C Shorthorn St., Brgy. Bahay Toro, Project 8, Quezon City will have its grand opening on December - just in time for the Christmas shopping. 

   
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