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Noble House: Helping entrepreneurs find their treasures

Noble House aims to offer more than just franchises to its business partners, but to help make a successful entrepreneur out of every Filipino
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Are business people born or made? Reymont Choachuy, President of Noble House--a company which helps other companies build their brands--believes some businessmen are born to be that; however, aspiring entrepreneurs can also be made into successful businessmen.

"Every Filipino can be a successful entrepreneur," says Noble House's current advertisement under the campaign "Treasure Troves." The campaign refers to the different businesses which the company has made available for franchising: Sam's Everything on Sticks, Itlog on Sticks, Sumomai and Ferino's Bibingka. The first three brands were founded by Choachuy himself. On the other hand, Noble House is the exclusive marketing arm of Ferino's Bibingka, which is owned by Francisco Foods Corporation.

Choachuy explains the company's campaign: "We have a vision of helping Filipinos achieve the Filipino dream of one day owning a successful business. We compare them to treasure hunters--people who are trying to find a business venture--and the franchisees of our brands are those who have finally found their particular treasure in our business concepts."

Sam's Everything on Sticks, a food cart business established in 2003 after Choachuy got hospitalized due to diarrhea caused by eating street food, offers various kinds of food on sticks such as dimsum, egg products and flavored bananas. Noble House was established two years after Sam's, and then Itlog on Sticks was launched. Itlog is a spin-off of Sam's, and sells egg products such as tukneneng (deep fried battered quail eggs), kwek-kwek (deep fried battered hard boiled eggs) and others. Sumomai's main products are dimsums.

If one would think about it, these businesses offer products also sold by sidewalk food vendors. Choachuy not only transformed people?s perception of these food products by making them clean and served in decent environments such as malls and schools. The next step, franchising these to aspiring entrepreneurs, also meant teaching them to do inventories, accounting procedures, management, etc which vendors don't do--therefore transforming them from being vendors to being businessmen.

Franchisees living up to the company vision
Lyneth Cadiente is one of the "treasure hunters" who found success in Noble House. She worked as a service crew in a Sam's Everything on Sticks food cart located inside Perpetual Help University in Binan, Laguna. After two years of working hard and saving her money, she acquired a Sam's franchise with the help of her parents. Although she could have chosen to franchise other brands--since Sam's is one of the pricier ones--she still invested in Sam's as she believed in the value of its brand equity. "I learned that running a food cart business is not too difficult, of course under a franchise. My dream to be a franchisee has become a reality," says Cadiente.

For Choachuy, it is important to believe in the concept. "As we mature in the business, we begin to understand more and more that it is a business of partnership. So we don't sell franchise concepts now, but we AWARD our franchises to deserving applicants. Meaning, someone who comes in with the money is not necessarily (going to be approved)... (because) the value lies in the partnership, rather than the initial amount they pay as a franchise fee," explains Choachuy.

To continue on the "treasure hunter" metaphor, Choachuy says finding the business that's meant for you is not exactly like finding the most precious gems all the time. For instance, Veronica Cardenas who is a franchisee of Ferino's Bibingka, used to be a high-ranking department manager at the Development Bank of the Philippines. After retiring, she opened a branch of Ferino's Bibingka in Robinson's Galleria and six months later opened another one in Walter Mart Sta. Rosa. She says she's working on a third franchise by next year.

Choachuy shares that he thinks Cardenas might have earned more as a DBP employee; however, at the end of the day, her business is something she can call her own, and which she works on at her own time.

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