Siomai Love: A fun love story with street food and sari-sari stores
Who says a vision needs to be complicated?
In this day and age of high-tech and fashion based business, art and craft entrepreneurs and cupcakes, muffins and artisanal everything, it is interesting to find a fun social enterprise built on a basic necessity: food.
Regular food. Sold in sari-sari stores and neighborhood carinderias.
Siomai Love, launched on Valentine’s Day this year, is a down-to-earth, practical business that challenges the standard siomai cart franchise model. According to Myra Butac, one of the founders, it based on one simple belief: children are going to find a way to eat street food, so you might as well find a way to give them nutritious versions.
Siomai Love dumplings (which come in three sizes, Mwah, Beso and Kiss) are made with vegetables in place of the regular fillers found in commercial siomai sold in carts. Made with no chemical preservatives and reduced salt and sugar content, their siomai is comparable with the big brands. (Bonus: vegetable hating individuals can’t tell there are vegetables inside, along with all the yumminess.)
Even more interesting is their distribution model. They cover sari-sari stores, and neighborhood food sellers, leaving their trademarked XOXO bags on consignment, with a very minimal deposit for the steamer.
With a good product, an advocacy of health and nutrition for children as well as livelihood generation for small neighborhood stores and vendors, Siomai Love ‘s name may be fun, but it’s serious business.