Mang Tinapay eyes to revive 35 stores lost during pandemic

THE company behind homegrown Mang Tinapay is eyeing to restore 35 of its 65 branches that closed at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. It is also opening a commissary facility this year in Mandaue City.

“Having gone through the Covid-19 pandemic that decimated half of our numbers, we are really working hard to get back to that number and learning from the lessons of the Covid crisis, we are thinking that we will go beyond and move as fast as we could,” said Mang Tinapay founder Dr. Jose Enrico Gandionco of Cebu Primera Food Industries Inc. in an interview Tuesday, March 7, 2023, during the opening of Mang Tinapay’s first upgraded store branch along Escario St. in Cebu City.

Gandionco assured that the plan to restore the pre-pandemic number of 65 branches will be done in a thorough and careful manner.

“The Covid-19 pandemic made us realize that we must grow faster. The more branches, if something of that sort, God forbid, happens again, there is a high chance of survivability if you have the number. In our case, we had 65 stores when Covid hit us, we were left with 35. We realize that if you have 100 then you’ll be left with 50… but these stores should be managed well,” explained Gandionco.

Gandionco said they have until next year to restore the 35 branches but he hinted they could go beyond, “even opening more,” especially since they will go into commissary operations to support the expected robust growth of the bakeshop business.

A bakeshop with a size of 100 square meters costs P3 million.

The new Mang Tinapay store located on Escario St. is the first branch in Cebu City to wear the latest design and new logo.

“This is part of our promise to excite our customers and to entice them to visit us more often and patronize our products,” said Joan Paula Zanoria, business development manager. “We are putting in more tables and chairs and also more choices in terms of products.”

Apart from the well-loved bread, the bakeshop sells other snack items such as local delicacies, ice cream, and also meals from breakfast to dinner.

Zanoria said they’ve positioned Mang Tinapay as “more than a bakeshop,” already selling 60 percent of non-flour-based products. “Mang Tinapay is a one-stop-shop that is selling products that are all complementary to bread,” she said.

Soaring inflation

Such initiative, according to Gandionco has helped them cope with the effects of the rising inflation on business and consumption.

“We have been working on getting the best and high-quality raw materials at better prices. Rising inflation has affected us. Actually, it is a double whammy. There’s a high demand but low supply, and then there’s inflation but our focus on non-flour products has helped us,” said Gandionco.

February inflation rate marginally slowed down to 8.6 percent from 8.7 percent in January this year as price increases of certain food commodities and energy eased.

But the inflation rate in Central Visayas inched up a bit to 7.4 percent in February from 7.2 in January.

Amid the rising prices, the favorite pan de sal now priced at P5, bread consumption in Visayas remains high.

Citing a recent market study, Gandionco said consumers in the Visayas buy bread every day while consumers in Mindanao buy three to four times a week and Luzon consumers buy twice or once a week.

Zanoria said this has something to do with the inherent culture in the Visayas, with most consumers opting to buy bread that is freshly baked. “It doesn’t matter to us if we visit the bakeshop every day because we want pieces of bread that are fresh from the oven.”


The ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine has further aggravated the supply chain problem caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“It is a repetitive challenge. The number one challenge is the supply, particularly with flour because the prices have gone up. It (pandemic and ongoing war) triggered increases in other complimentary items like sugar, oil, LPG, and others. But later on, this will die down and will stabilize. We are hoping that there will be no more pandemics because that one is really killing all businesses,” said Din Corbita, chief operating officer.

Mang Tinapay is present in Zamboanga, all regions of Visayas, north Luzon, and the National Capital Region. The company is celebrating its 13th year in business this year.