Behind the success of Conti’s chain of restaurants and bakeshops are three sisters who started a small food business in a makeshift kitchen in the backyard of a house in BF Homes in Paranaque City back in 1997.
Sisters Cecille Maranon, Carole Sumulong and Angie Martinez, whose maiden name is Conti, started the food business with only “talent and sweat” as their capital. While Cecille and Angie served as the tasters and order-takers, Carole served as the chef.
Carole, who is a Certified Public Accountant, has always found herself drawn to cooking and baking classes. After getting much encouragement from house guests and friends amazed with her cooking, Carole and her sisters began taking phoned-in orders and kept the day’s earnings in a small tickler box.
Despite doubts on their business name which one relative said sounded like “konti” and restaurant location, Conti’s first branch located in BF Homes Paranaque quickly became successful. The sisters served generous portions to disprove the “konti” fear and placed a water feature inside their restaurant to pacify Feng Shui believers.
To date, Conti’s has 20 branches and 850 employees.
According to the sisters, the quality of their relationship, just like their bestselling Baked Salmon, has remained “solid and consistent” over time.
“We are proud that we are still working happily together as a family. Out long-time employees are still with us and we are still able to make our customers happy with the food we serve,” Carole told the Philippine Star.
So what made Conti’s successful? Carole believes the business’ success didn’t solely rely on giving customers their best. They also take in consideration the welfare of their employees as well as suppliers.
“The secret of Conti’s success is that we give our best. When we create a dish, it has to be at its best because by being successful we are looking after the welfare of not just people working for us but even our suppliers.