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Julie\\\'s Bakeshop honcho shares business lessons

Tips straight from the Julie\\\'s Bakeshop boss
By Carlo P. Mallo |

In every Filipino community, there was the quintessential neighborhood bakeshop until Julie’s Bakeshop came along and raised standards. Now run by Joseph Gandionco, son of the founder and namesake, Julie, the bakeshop continues to grow on the same values that started it all.

Currently, Julie\\\'s Bakeshop has more than 600 branches nationwide, making it the largest bakeshop chain in the country.

Gandionco shares the same lessons that he learned from his mother as she was putting up Julie’s Bakeshop from the ground up.

1.    Conceptualize
“Before you even start your business, think of ways that you can stand out from the crowd. Think of a concept that you can work your whole store around,” Gandionco said, adding that the concept his mother had in mind was simple: it had to be clean and transparent.

Visit any Julie’s Bakeshop branch and you will see that its stores are clean and you can see how bakers prepare your bread.

2.    Be willing to get dirty
“Get your hands into the business. It is the only way that you will learn how to run the business,” says Gandionco. When his mother started the bakery business, Gandionco was the designated driver who would accompany his mother when sourcing ingredients and make deliveries.

3.    Think of the customer
If there is one other thing more important than the product, it’s the client. “You have to always think of the customer – be service oriented. Make sure the people manning your stores are trained to cater to the needs of the customer,” says Gandionco.

4.    Develop your product
Just because you think your product is already great you can already rest on your laurels and enjoy the fruits of your business. It does not stop there. “Continue developing your products. Make sure that you are only giving the best, and you can only do that with constant product development,” says Gandionco.

5.    Be consistent
“In every branch of Julie’s Bakeshop, we have to have the same topnotch quality of breads and service. It cannot be different in each branch,” says Gandionco, stressing that consistency will give you repeat customers. “No matter where they are, if they see a Julie’s Bakeshop, they know it offers good breads.”

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