Mr. Rey Lapid is from the famous chicharon clan of the Lapids. The clan has
had numerous offshoots in the Lapid chicharon business, but it was Rey who
made it big and whose name became synonymous with good chicharon. His
company is named after him: R. Lapid's Chicharon & Barbecue.
Rey, the man behind the name, is a raconteur, and from him we learned how
they started so modestly, with only Rey and his wife buying, cooking,
packing the chicharon and selling the simply packaged bags of chicharon
everywhere. Now, his children are all grown and he has expanded his
Their first processing plant was in Manila back in the early 80's. He
rented two of the twelve-unit row of apartments as his make-shift
processing plant. Before long, he was already renting eleven of the twelve
units, some of which housed his employees.
This is indeed one of the woes of start-ups. Because the business is just
starting out small, there is usually no permanent assets to speak of and
renting is the only option. Being tenants, they are usually at the mercy of
From two large cooking vats or what we call "kawa" in the vernacular, Rey
know that he has almost forty of these giant kawas now currently in use in
his large processing plant, in a building which he already owns, in an area
where he keeps expanding his permanent assets.
And this is the giant chicharon that he is talking about. From this short
piece of meat, it grows to this long, long whole chicharon, a novelty items
ideal for get-togethers. Because he is in the food business that involves
frozen meat, there is always a need for cold storage facilities, but Rey
has learned his lesson about renting. Now that the company can well afford
it, he has built his own cold storage so he does not depend on other
facilities, much less rent space from them. He also continuously upgrades
From his modest start, Rey now has 100 outlets, 85 of which are
company-owned, and the rest as franchises. He supplies pork to many other
companies, and because he already has 400 employees and counting as of now,
he has decided to build a condo building for his growing crew.