FROM CLICK TO BRICK
Pinoydelikasi.com opens first brick-and-mortar-store
to complement online sales
by: Eric Ayrton S. Soriano -
September 27 - October 03, 2001 Issue
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.
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
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
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.