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Tinapayan Festival offers best Christmas treats at 40

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Hail to the King! Forty years and counting. Tinapay King of the Philippines, Lucito “Chito” Chavez looks forward to the golden anniversary of the Tinapayan Festival. He is committed to redefine the art and science of making breads palatable to the Filipino palates through his innovation projects with an end in mind of giving hope to a nation battered by the pandemic and sustaining the livelihood of bakers and farmers.

By Monsi A. Serrano

There’s a celebration of life-beginning-at-40 coming up, and it’s one meant for a classic Filipino brand – the Tinapayan Festival.

Established in 1982, “Tinapayan” is a local bakeshop in the heart of Sampaloc, Manila that features the best in soft and sweet baked products. But it wasn’t just a street-corner “panaderya” that sprouted up in a neighborhood to claim the tag, “Ang Tinapay ng Maynila.”

Tinapay King of the Philippines, Lucito “Chito” Chavez involves everyone in the family in understanding the vision and missions of Tinapayan Festival for the bakers and the local farrmers. His wife Belen, sons Luis and Potpot, and daughter Liberty are all aware of the legacy that Tinapayan Festival wants to leave behind and pass on to the next generations.

Tinapayan Festival’s foundation was built on a noble formula by Lucito “Chito” Chavez – that of training the skills of Filipino bakers and making use of home-grown agricultural products. This one-plus-one formula that produced the most vibrant in bread color and taste spectra was Chavez’s dream of uplifting the local baking industry “one bread at a time.”

And now that his brand conquers its fifth decade in business, it’s no wonder that this Chavez who nurtured young man’s dream from the traditional “Home of the Bakers” in Cuenca, Batangas, now owns the title “Tinapay King of the Philippines.”

“Many of us Filipinos do not realize how bread has become a staple in every household. And I want Filipinos to realize that. A lot of us, most especially the bakers in Cuenca, Batangas, produce really great quality baked goods that we should all be proud of,” he told THEPHILBIZNEWS when we caught up with him last November 28 at the Tinapayan Festival along Dapitan Corner Don Quixote Street, Manila.

At that time, Chavez and his Tinapayan Festival were busy preparing for a great Christmas treat to welcome the first joyous season Filipinos will actually have since the debilitating crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Through all the initiatives and projects led by Tinapayan Festival over the past years, I am hopeful that we are once again uplifting the status of the baking industry in the country,” Chavez said, noting that this innovation project in breads is not just a promotion of the Tinapayan brand but a gift of hope to a nation battered by disease but drawn to the dinner table to celebrate our savior in Christ.

Of Humble Beginnings and Long-Term Goals

It is not enough that Chavez built a firebrand in Tinapayan Festival. For him, building his business, helping the whole baking industry and sustaining the livelihood of bakers and farmers producing his raw materials have pushed him to serve the public even more.

“It’s not all about making money for me and my family. It is also about sustaining the livelihood of bakers who are truly the heroes in the industry. Our goal as bakeshop entrepreneurs is to uplift the industry, not bring it down. This is why for decades I have fought for the rights of bakers, voiced out the concerns of those in the industry, as well as shared the plights of consumers when it comes to the concerns of price increase,” Chavez said.

“This is also the reason why my wife and my children understand that until now, I am still very much involved in the operations. My wife and myself are supposed to be retiring but the pandemic hit our country and as the founder of Tinapayan Festival, I feel the strong need for me to set aside our plans to retire and step up to the plate,” Chavez explained.

“I am so blessed that my family is very supportive to me and my dream for the industry. They all share my values and mission for our bakers and farmers through what Tinapayan Festival has been doing. My wife helps me in our day to day operations and I also consult with her in many decisions we need to make,” he said.

“Then my eldest son Luis continues to focus on product innovations. He is brilliant and very creative. He thinks very fast, but he is a perfectionist. He always tells me about what else we can offer to the Filipino people to our loyal customers and other customers we will gain in the process. Then my son, Potpot is handling the administration. He is also very committed as he is juggling his law school studies and administration. He is our link and coordinator to suppliers, managers and people who work with us to facilitate smooth operations. Like my son Luis, he is also brilliant, and his strength is documentation, planning and implementation. Then our youngest and only daughter Liberty. She is a nutritionist, and as we also eye to export Tinapayan Festival products, she will certainly be a big help in ensuring our nutritional facts are compliant and accurate. Mind you, all my children know how to bake, and that I made sure. So we have a great team within the family and also within our employees,” Chavez narrated.

He added, “We have a goal as a business – and that is to ensure that the local baking industry becomes at par with the standards of international markets. Our exceptional and skilled Filipino bakers can make it in the global scene, I’m sure of that.”

Having come from Cuenca, it was his birthright to contribute to the growth of the industry not just with his Tinapayan success in Manila, but moreso as the head and spokesman of the Philippine Bakers’ Association since the late 1990s. And it was never a one-man-show for Chavez. In fact, he has rallied his family members and industry partners to continue uplifting the baking industry over the next years.

“We will always work towards the continued improvement of our industry and the livelihood of our bakers. But what is important right now is to also give thanks and celebrate Christmas with our family and friends, choosing to look at the bright side amidst the pandemic,” he said.

Celebrating Christmas with Special Treats

Christmas is made more special this year as Tinapayan Festival readies its holiday products created to make the “Season of Family” much more enjoyable.

Make Christmas all-year-round when you serve Tinapayan Festival’s Holiday bread that is made with the bakeshop’s signature soft bread and topped with glazed fruits. Give in to your sweet cravings!

Tinapayan Festival’s Holiday bread

An all-time favorite is Tinapayan Festival’s Cheesy Loaf that is a must-try. It offers the softest and cheesiest flavors of quick melt and cheddar cheese in every slice.

Tinapayan Festival’s Cheesy Loaf

Bite into this ultimate mouth-watering experience. You are in for a treat with the Queso de Bola Ensaymada that is soft and sweet, topped with butter and Queso de Bola, another Filipino favorite every holiday season.

Tinapayan Festival’s Queso de Bola Ensaymada

If you’re looking for a festive take on Christmas, your go-to choice is Tinapayan Festival’s Fruitcake, which is made with candied fruits, nuts, and spices, all soaked in brandy for six to eight months, baked three months before Christmas, and enriched with brandy and sugar syrup every month to make it even better. Revel in that fruity deliciousness all in one bite.

Take the celebration a notch higher with the Black Forest Loaf, its chocolate-marbled loaf that makes a great centerpiece for your holiday table. Indulge in chocolate fudge icing with red and green cherries in every bite.

Don Chito’s Triple Cheese Roll is also a sure favorite with Tinapayan Festival’s signature cheese roll made much more special because it is made with three types of cheeses. Enjoy every bite of this triple cheese roll topped with parmesan, Quezo de Bola, French butter, and sugar. The best part? It’s filled with cream cheese to give you that ultimate cheesy experience.

Tinapayan Festival’s Ensaymada Mallorca with Cabello de Angel filling is an heirloom recipe from his late mother, Adelaida Chavez or more known as Nanay Diday, who used to bake this for her family back in the day using a Dutch pot or “kaldero.” Bite into a softer and fluffier ensaymada bursting in a sweet jam composed of brown sugar, squash, and secret spices.

You can also visit Tinapayan Festival at 1650 Dapitan St. corner Don Quijote, Sampaloc, Manila or call +02 8732 2188 or +639617152714 to place your advance orders. Send them an email at sales@tinapayan@gmail.com. Tinapayan Festival is also available in GrabFood and FoodPanda. To learn more about Tinapayan Festival’s new Christmas products and treats, follow them on Facebook or Instagram.

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