By Gian Franco, Socio-Political Editor; Catherine Joyce de Leon, Eana Maniebo, Eliza Dineros; Staff Writers |
This is fairly not a doughnut country, but you’ll find Filipinos trying to squeeze in queues to get the flavor they have always loved. America’s influence to the country might have probably brought the love for these sweets. It’s not actually what we have in mind, but at least we find our seats comfortably with the thinking that we bite into the same All-American doughnut.
Surprisingly, there’s nothing more that we pay for. It gets to the bottom of the idea that we don’t realize we pay for the sugar, not on the taste and quality of a pure doughnut. It is always the invariably bread topped with candy sprinkles and gathered in chocolate or strawberry paste, or just a plain sugar-coated pastry which our taste buds absorb.
No worries, the cutting-edge in Japanese doughnuts will surely excite our senses—from the appealing aroma down to just the right sweetness of its delectable chewy dough. Filipinos are used to the bread-like treatment for fried doughnuts, but Gavino’s mochi texture will take us by surprise. “For Japanese doughnuts, it’s more of like a mochi texture. Mochi is a dish delicacies made of rice bar which gives the sticky texture. So when you put that into doughnut it becomes chewier,” Andrew Que, owner of Gavino’s Japanese Donuts and More, said.
From Taiwan to Philippines
Mr. Que is not a newbie in the doughnut franchising industry, he also tried marketing Happy Haus Doughnuts which became rewarding. Just like any doughnut franchise in the Philippines, Gavino’s had its humble beginnings which emerged from the idea that Taiwan and Japan sell the celebrated mochi doughnuts. The mocha ingredient as an delicacy, Andrew and his wife, Michelle, opened the business last November 2011 after an eye-witness of how mochi doughnuts in Taiwan were being sold out box after box.
They started making their own mochi doughnuts for Gavino’s at The Mercato Centrale in Taguig City. It became a huge hit because its sticky texture was new to its first batch of customers. The prime mover of its inviting sweetness is the mochi ingredient which came from Taiwan, baked into doughnuts the Japanese way.
Although Gavino’s do not skimp on the ingredients they use, the prices of Japanese doughnuts are reasonable. Their bestsellers include the Glazed flavors (their sweetest), Choco Almond and Ensaymada. The prices range from 25 to 29 pesos per piece for regular mochi rings, and 35 to 39 pesos for premium mochi rings. Regular mochi balls cost around 15-20 Pesos per piece, and 35 Pesos for premium mochi balls.
Mr. Que told The Manila Times that this is one product that doesn’t get much of an advertisement, yet a lot of average Filipinos are craving for the alluring taste and increasing demand for franchise. Still, Gavino’s keep on adding new flavors to its range and asks for suggestions from its valued customers.
Diabetic or not, leave it to them
Health concerns are always the priority in their business; they won’t allow diabetes get in your way from taking even a lick on their mochi sweets. You can eat as much as you like without worrying about diabetes. This is because they don’t use glaze to emphasize its sweetness, instead, they let the real flavor of the doughnuts come out by itself.
“Actually, that’s the big difference (from the others), the feedback of our customers we get is they aren’t exceedingly sweet. I mean, our doughnuts are just right. There’s someone who posted on his blog and says at least you won’t find diabetes in every bite,” Mr. Que said.
If it was an instant hit, why not bring it to the Philippines?
“We have tried them in abroad, Taiwan, in Japan, that’s what the big doughnuts chains sell. That’s why we’re wondering here in Philippines, the same doughnut chains do not sell them,” he said. Surely, customers responded to the call of curiosity and taste for something new—mostly mothers and company gatherings which buy boxes of it.
They offer Plain Glazed, Choco Glazed, Green Tea Glazed, Choco Crunch, Choco Sprinkle, Strawberry and Vanilla Sprinkle, Cookies and Cream, Nutty Choco. Premiums like M&Ms, Strawberry Gummy, Choco Almond, Ensaymada, Green Tea Cheesecake, Triple Chocolate were added later on to entice consumers of the growing market for Japanese mochi doughnuts. They also have mochi balls with fillings to choose upon: Bavarian, Strawberry, Chocolate, and Green Tea. Gavino’s is also an after-day spot for milk tea and coffee break, since they also sell a huge variety of it. They also have unlimited coffee for those who stay long during their store hours.
There are things in this world which are hard to choose upon, and definitely one of them is picking the best for your first-hand experience to look for. So here, we have taken down all the possibly known best products that they offer fresh in the display glass.
The first bite on this regular Glazed doughnut (P29) will be the most interesting and the relishing part you can’t imagine unless you give yourself the surprising kick of its flavor. The whole sense of its zesty sweetness and textured mochi dough will make you a loss for words—we actually just said “wow” to give the word. Just forget its simple appearance, close your eyes and pray to God you always have the money to buy this Glazed doughnut again.
To give a major twist to the typical Pinoy Ensaymada—embellished with margarine and white sugar—found in bakeries, Gavino’s made their version of premium Ensaymada (P39) creamy topped with generous servings of grated cheese. The cheese is not that overpowering, but its aroma alone can arouse your senses and suggest the hint of a balanced sweetness and saltiness—plus its chewiness.
The milky taste also goes well with their Gavino’s Signature Blend coffee (P69) to hype up your mornings, whether in rush at office or at home. For any celebrations, whoever the person is, give him the biggest smile with these doughnuts in boxes. Well, you’ll find this your favorite and everyone does. It’s next on line after the Glazed version when it comes to the Gavino’s biggest sales and customer’s feedback.
Road to Expansion
“We started our business in Luzon area, typically SM Malls, particularly in Metro Manila areas like SM Megamall and SM Paranaque,” Mr. Que said. “But we are planning to expand our business elsewhere in Cebu, and most likely franchise stores in Canada, among other countries.”
Competing bigger doughnut franchiser is not Mr. Que’s main concern, believing that good feedback from customers is more important. “Importante yung sustainable yung business saka ayoko yung magse-serve ng product na para maka-serve lang ng product. Ibig sabihin, yung gusto kong kainin yun yung ise-serve lang naming talaga.” (What is important is we have a sustainable business, and I don’t want to serve products just to say that we do. What I mean is, what I want to eat is what we are going to serve.)
They have currently seven branches in Banawe, II Terrazo, Robinsons Ermita, Robinsons Galleria, and SM Megamall within Metro Manila. Its main branch is located at Unit 5 Greenhills Town Center, 2 Granada Street Quezon City. It is open from 12 noon to 11 pm on weekdays and 10 am until 12 midnight on weekends.
Gavino’s Japanese doughnut is more than a business franchise; it is the couple’s desire to entirely change what a typical doughnut is all about. They cater a twist and turn on old-fashioned doughnuts which come as a treat to your tummy with its gooey goodness. Chewy and has everlasting flavor that is, you don’t have to worry about increasing your blood sugar risk for every bite. Any day, this might be a new catch of doughnuts in the merienda plate.
Granada (Main Branch)
Unit 5, Greenhills Town Center, 2 Granada St., Brgy. Valencia, Quezon City
(T) +63 2 477 9275
(M)+63 922 853 8076
808 Banawe Avenue, Quezon City
(M) +63 925 808 5785
Ground Floor, II Terrazo, Tomas Morato, cor. Scount Madrinan, Quezon City
4/F Pedro Gil Wing, Robinsons Place, Ermita, Manila
(M) +63 925 808 5787
Lower Ground Floor, Robinsons Galleria, Ortigas Avenue, Mandaluyong City
(M) +63 925 808 5789
Lower Ground Floor, Building B, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City
All photo credits are from gavinosdonuts.com