If you are a big fan of good soups, you shouldn’t miss out on Jim’s Pares and Mami, located on Maria Orosa Street in the Malate, Manila. This ‘mamihan’ is considered “legendary” because it is said to earn over P100,000 a day! What’s the secret to this blockbuster food business? Let’s find out!
Jim Delos Santos, the owner, worked as an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) for many years before returning to the Philippines and beginning a food business. In 1999, he started his business selling pares with a simple “sidecar” along the streets of Manila. A big part of his success was definitely hard work and perseverance. Back then when he was working alone on his business, he hardly slept.
He said in a vlog on Tikim TV, “Magtitinda ka ng madaling araw. ‘Tapos mamamalengke ka, wala kang tulog, wala kang matutulugan sa bangketa.” [I would sell until dawn, then I would go to the market. I don’t have any sleep at all, especially because there’s no place to sleep while you’re on the streets.]
In an article on the Hive, Mang Jim shared what makes his product stand out from the rest of the competitors. For one, he uses traditional firewood rather than LPG, he says this helps make his pares meat super tender. Because of this, his signature soup and meat dish is referred to as “Pares Usok,” and the reason for this is that the smoke from the firewood gives the dish an extra special quality, unlike others. Plus, his pares is made of pure beef meat. Additionally, Mang Jim gives generous servings, both pares and rice, so you get your money’s worth!
Soon, his hard work paid off, and many people discovered his delicious pares which became a big hit. He moved to a more permanent place where people would flock 24/7. He said, “Walang piling oras, e. Wala akong nakikitang mahina, e—mapaumaga, mapatanghali, mapagabi, mapahapon. Continuous ang tao. Hindi nawawalan ng tao.” [There are no slow hours. May it be morning, noon, afternoon, or night, people continue to visit. There’s no time when there’s no customer.]
Jim’s Pares is not only giving good food to hungry customers; it also provides jobs. According to an article on Pep, Mang Jim now has 32 employees since they have to keep the business running 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. What an inspiring story about starting a business from the ground up!
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