Founded in 2006, Soy Yummy has proven the viability of offering taho (soybean custard) via food kiosks despite originally being a street food. Five years into the business, however, founder Henry Gomez experienced difficulties attending to both the commissary and the kiosks. As a result, some of the Soy Yummy branch owners were at a loss on how to handle daily operations.
With a limited number of personnel attending to franchisees and suppliers, Gomez needed to do most of the work. Typhoon Ondoy in 2009 also created major problems for the business, as its commissary was initially located in Marikina, one of the worst-hit cities by Ondoy.
During this challenging time, Gomez was already having long talks with Albert Tyrone Ty, one of his franchisees, on how to manage the company. Ty, then a sales agent at a tire and rubber company, opened his own Soy Yummy stores in June 2010 (one in SM Pasig and another in Quezon City Sports Club) to supplement his income. “Our family has always been involved in the food business so having Soy Yummy is something familiar to me,” shares Ty. Not long after, he opened branches in SM Mall of Asia and SM Marikina.
Gomez initially offered Ty the whole company, including the commissary. “I told him that I’d take all the branches first and see how it goes,” says Ty. Talking to franchisees, however, led to a different result: they were selling their kiosks back to the company.
When Ty bought Soy Yummy in January 2011, an existing branch in SM Fairview in Quezon City was turned over to him. Three months after, the owner of the SM Megamall store in Mandaluyong City sold his kiosk to Ty. Asked what might have caused this, Ty says: “It may be a mix of mismanagement, lack of time, or lack of interest in the brand. Some were just checking the sales, getting the money, and they’d be okay with it. As much as I wanted to keep the franchisees, most of them wanted out,” recalls Ty.