How A Determined Man’s Innovation Saved Their Failing Family Business, Eng Bee Tin Hopia

Are you a big fan of hopia, tikoy, mooncake, and other Chinese delicacies? If you are, surely you have enjoyed some Eng Bee Tin treats. This popular store in the heart of Ongpin is the home to the best hopia and tikoy in the country.

Image by Meralco

But before they reached success, Eng Bee Tin was once a failing family business. The success story of Eng Bee Tin will remind us of the importance of determination and innovation.

In 1912, Gerry Chua’s grandfather Chua Chiu Hong built their first Eng Bee Tin store. Unfortunately, the business didn’t find much success. When the business was handed down to Gerry to manage, he knew he had a difficult task at hand. The business was in debt and was failing.

“At that time, our checks were bouncing and we barely had enough to pay for sugar and flour, so I had to do everything by myself to cut costs,” Gerry shared in an article about their humble beginnings on Meralco’s website.

Determined to succeed, Gerry realized that if he wanted to change things, he needed to innovate. Gerik, Gerry’s son, recalled how his father came up with the idea to improve and work on their ube hopia.

He shared in an article on Philstar, “One day, my father saw an ice cream vendor and asked her what flavor customers like. When he found out it was ube (purple yam), he had this brilliant idea of mixing six jars of ube into a batch of hopia.”

Gerry worked hard and introduced their bestselling ube hopia. He experimented and made use of ingredients to ensure Eng Bee Tin’s hopia was a cut above the rest. Soon, customers started pouring in and enjoying their treats. The rest they say is history.

Image by Eng Bee Tin

According to Gerik, their best marketing strategy is through “word of mouth.” Eng Bee Tin gained popularity not because of hype but because of its good quality products that customers enjoy.

“In our business, it’s not all about money. We want to be able to produce something that our customers will enjoy. Again, it all boils down to the quality of our products,” he said.

Today, Eng Bee Tin is the popular go-store in Binondo for delicious and fresh tikoys, hopia, mooncakes, and other Chinese delicacies. Even better, you can now grab Eng Bee Tin treats from your favorite grocery stores anywhere in the country or shop online.

There are advantages and disadvantages to managing a family business. Like Eng Bee Tin, Max’s Restaurant is also a family-owned business. If you want to learn more, you can read the 3 business tips from Max’s Group Chair Sharon Fuentebella.

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