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This 22-year-old entrepreneur is the mind behind the viral cheesy takoyaki

The quarantine has greatly aided the creation of experimental cuisines in the Philippines. The newest one to go viral is the cheesy takoyaki, which everyone seems to be obsessed with.

This tasty Japanese dish had gained traction in the Philippines as a go-to snack or appetizer way before the pandemic, but with the Filipinos’ incessant craving for new flavors especially during lockdown, more and more people are drawn to the irresistible taste of cheesy takoyaki made by Kazoku Takoyaki.


Warning: This BACON CHEEZUS Platter photo will make you drool! 🤤Here’s the cheesiest and yummiest way to enjoy…

Posted by Kazoku Takoyaki on Monday, January 4, 2021

Bacon Cheezus starts at Php 90 for 4 pieces

This frenzy all began when the 22-year-old co-owner of Kazoku Takoyaki posted a picture of their product, Bacon Cheezus. The post has earned around 29k reactions, 18k comments, 80k shares as of writing, and is continuously making waves on Facebook.


Cheesy Takoyaki Lance Santos
Meet Lance Santos, the man behind the viral cheesy takoyaki.

“Honestly, I still can’t believe we went viral on the internet. It was very unexpected,” said Lance in an interview.

He continues, “Sa unang araw po ng post, nakakuha ito ng 50+ reactions at [ilang] mga shares mula sa mga customers. Satisfied na po ako ‘don. (On the first day of the post, it got 50 reactions and [some] shares from our customers. I was already satisfied with that.) But two days later, we were astonished and overwhelmed with the sudden increase in likes, comments, and shares. Our [Facebook] notifications were full of reactions and inquiries.”

For Lance, the virality of the Bacon Cheezus photo paved the way for the success of their business.

“That night, our stores were jam-packed and we sold out all the Bacon Cheezus. Personally, ilang araw ako[ng] walang tulog noon (Personally, I had no sleep for a few days ) [because] I have to answer all the inquiries from the customers and I also have to be there at our stores. But it was a fulfilling moment for me, knowing that all my sacrifices had paid off. ”


Kazoku Takoyaki
Via Kazoku Takoyaki

Lance came up with the idea of starting his own enterprise, formally starting his business at age 20 while he was a third-year Business Management student at Far Eastern University.

According to Lance, his cousin had asked him to try takoyaki, a dish he didn’t even know existed. After tasting, Lance became interested in franchising a takoyaki branch in Manila. His father, also Lance’s business mentor, advised him to start his own takoyaki business instead of franchising.

“I wasn’t really alone in running Kazoku Takoyaki. The idea of setting up a takoyaki business was mine, but I decided to share it with my family members.”

Lance’s father operates the Kazoku Takoyaki Branch in Galas, Quezon City while his uncle manages the Sampaloc Branch. Lance and his cousin operate the main branch in Herrera, Sta. Cruz. ‘Kazoku’ means ‘family’ in Japanese.


Lance Santos and family
Via Lance Santos

Just like other entrepreneurs when they were just starting out, Lance also struggled in building Kazoku Takoyaki.

“The lessons I learned from [my] college years weren’t really enough. Thankfully, my father was a great mentor to me. He equipped me with the skills I needed in running a business. Lack of connections was also a disadvantage. Most of my friends and acquaintances were still students at that time. Competitions were also stiff as there are many takoyaki businesses out there.”


Lance Santos
Via Lance Santos

Riding on the formula that made his business well-known in the first place, he plans to continue aligning with the ongoing trends to continually improve his products.

“My current dream is to have more stores in Metro Manila and to explore more possibilities for Kazoku Takoyaki,” Lance added.


Craving for takoyaki today? Kazoku Takoyaki offers a selection of delectable takoyaki! It's up to you to choose from. We recommend you try it all! 🐙#takoyaki #japanesefood #cravings

Posted by Kazoku Takoyaki on Sunday, August 1, 2021

Price starts at Php 50

As Lance’s vision for Kazoku Takoyaki continues to push the brand further into new markets, he shared a few words of encouragement for the youth who would like to start their businesses:

“This is the perfect time to start [your business]. At a young age, you’ll definitely experience failures [as] things may not go our way. We have plenty of time to start again, learn from every setback, and enjoy trying new things. Your business ideas are just an idea until you make them happen.”

You can visit Kazoku Takoyaki at their three branches: 1509 Herrera Street Sta. Cruz, Manila, 1121 Maceda Street Sampaloc, Manila, and 27 Bayani Street Galas, Quezon City. To order, you can message their Facebook and Instagram Page.



DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this post are solely those of the contributor/s and do not represent those of POP! and INQUIRER.net. The POP! staff assumes no liability for any error in the content of this material. Got something you want to share to the world? Get a chance to publish your awesome creations and share it to the world through our POP! Creator Community program. Send us your stories, videos, photos, fan fic, and even fan art at pop@inquirer.net

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