Perhaps no other name is as synonymous to lechon as this woman’s.
Lydia de Roca, founder of the famous Lydia’s Lechon, rose from rags to riches with the help of a Php 500 capital.
ABS-CBN’s My Puhunan recently featured Lydia and she shared how she was able to achieve success through hard work. She shared that her father was a butcher and that she started selling lechon in Baclaran back when she was still 12 years old.
Lydia later married at age 17 and when their first child was baptized, she decided to use the gift money to start her own stall. With the Php 500, she was able to buy pigs, charcoal, and sauce. Her husband, on the other hand, worked as a jeepney and bus driver. Despite the hardships of life, the family persevered.
Eventually, she had the surprise of her life when a local hotel said they will order 10 lechon per day. Not one to shy away from such an opportunity, Lydia jumped on it although it sounded overwhelming.
Making It To SM
In 1986, the first Lydia’s Lechon restaurant was opened in Roxas Boulevard. Back then, they only had a single table and a single chair. Customers started pouring in and that’s how she met Henry Sy, the owner of SM chain of malls.
Henry offered Lydia a spot on his SM Food Court and, as always, she did not hesitate to say “yes.”
Current Business Status
According to their official website, Lydia’s Lechon already has 14 branches, 1 kiosk, and 10 restaurants. Her family, now composed of four children, lives on a mansion located in Baclaran. Along with that, she has an 8-hectare piggery in Malvar, Batangas where they take care of 800 to 1,000 pigs per week – or possibly more, during peak season.
Great things indeed come from small beginnings.