Brands We Grew Up With As An Ilonggo #1: Wewin’s
In the early 70’s, Lydia Layson-Sanchez just used to make homemade sandwiches and sold it door-to-door. At the same time, she had a boarding house in Ybiernas Street at the back of UP Visayas. Eventually, she was able to save up some money that allowed her to come up with enough capital for another business venture. It was in 1976 when Lydia started Wewin’s bakeshop in the same location as her boarding house. Mamon and Barquillos were among the first products she sold. After the business showed some potential, she went to a bank and loaned some money and put up another branch in Iznart Street which, together with Ybiernas branch, still exist up to the present day. And as they say, the rest is history.
With the expansion of the business, short orders were also served and Wewin’s became a household name in Iloilo. Not only did it become known for its barquillos, biscocho, toasted mamon and other pasalubong products but it also gained more and more customers because of its Hamburger, Siopao and Pancit Lomi.
In February of 2001, Wewin’s became a corporation with Lydia’s children getting more involved in the business. Just like any other establishment in Iloilo, Wewin’s has also had its downtime especially when other bakeshops and delicacy shops started to sprout in Iloilo. Wewin’s was not also spared from the wrath of Typhoon Frank back in 2008. Their warehouse and bakeshop got flooded and many of their supplies and equipment were also damaged. But this did not stop the business that has long been a part of Ilonggo food tradition. Wewin’s recovered after that crisis and got back on its feet with a vengeance. They continued making high quality food products and even switched to a new and better packaging.
Today, Lydia’s grandchildren are slowly taking up responsibilities in the business. Sherry Anne is knowing her way around the paper works that need to be done for the business operations. Shaun Dave, a graduate of International School for Culinary Arts and Hotel Management (ISCAHM) is also planning to get his hands on the family’s food business. Though they have received inquiries on franchising, it is still something that the family has not seriously considered at the moment.
If you think of a pasalubong center in Iloilo where you can buy favorite Ilonggo delicacies, Wewin’s is always at the top of the list. Even though there are a lot of alternatives these days, one can’t deny that Wewin’s had been a part of their childhood and will always be a part of the Ilonggo tradition.
As Sherry Anne said in the interview, Wewin’s will continue to strive to stay on top as they continuously innovate in their marketing strategies without sacrificing the quality of their products which has been the focus of the business for decades. After all, it is how their products taste that made them a constant part of every Ilonggo and tourists alike.
*This is not a paid advertisement