You know you want dim sum this big
The onslaught of pandemic has paved a way for the rise of at-home food entrepreneurs. Filipinos bravely took on the role of the captain and became bosses of their own enterprise with dishes straight from their recipe archives, and some are iterations of today’s food trends.
While survival is the main factor that pushes Filipinos to foray into the food business, for couple Alyanne Tan and Asher Lu, their entrepreneurial vision came from their love of food and each other.
“Our start up business began this lockdown when Asher (my fiance) and I were suddenly separated from each other to follow quarantine regulations. It was quite a big change since we used to see each other every day from our corporate jobs,” Alyanne tells Manila Bulletin Lifestyle. “To cope, it was our love language to send each other food randomly throughout the lockdown period. We both love sending each other our own best finds, specifically the best dim sum which is our favorite!”
That is where the idea for their brand Shiok Shack PH enters the scene. But unlike others, they want to feature beloved Chinese dishes, like dim sums, jumbo-sized. Dim sums or siomai have simplicity in them but aren’t shy when it comes to good flavors, making them the ultimate to-go meal among college students and busy laborers in the metro, leaving wanting for more—or something bigger.
What makes Shiok Shack PH’s products stand out is their adaptation to the Filipino preference without shedding the identity of the dishes. After a couple testing, the entrepreneurs have come up with products that tick what Filipino dinners are looking for in their Chinese meals, especially this time of food delivery: big and chunky without using extenders, consistently tasty, and something that is satisfy and make the people who receive it feel the love sent over.
“Every piece is proudly and preciously handmade,” Alyanne says. “The important piece of being homemade is that we are able to protect the quality of our products. We also keep it healthy by not having extenders or preservatives added in.”
Apart from the brand’s dim sums (16 pieces fro P459), people must also try its hakaw (8 pieces for P399), beancurd rolls (6 pieces for P399), kikiam (400 grams for P399), and tai pao (2 pieces for P399), all are equally big and satisfying.
But behind the joy and adventure that comes from their products, the couple admits that pursuing a business in this pandemic climate is not as easy as folding wonton wrappers. But beyond the obstacles, Alyanne and Asher attest that their brand has strengthened their bond, especially during the days when they are forced to be apart.
“It usually becomes a challenge among family members or friends to keep a healthy relationship especially when business challenges start to come in, but for us, we even became closer to each other, discovering strengths and skills sets we didn’t know the other person had all along,” Alyanne muses. “Of course, there are still those days when some conflicts come, ideas not always aligned, business issues like the meat supply concerns that happened several months back. But those challenges definitely only makes us stronger together and even allows us to appreciate and listen to each other more.”
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