“Taho! Taho!” As this call from a vendor aboard a sidecar or traveling by foot echoes on the streets, buyers rush to get their own fill. Made of silken tofu, arnibal or sugary syrup, and tapioca pearls, the taho is one of the most beloved Filipino snacks.
While it was traditionally found on the streets, taho has also found its way inside malls and restaurants. One of the purveyors of this taho movement is Soy Yummy. Established in 2006, Soy Yummy is actually a derivative of Banawe Soy Bean, which offered soy products in the 1980s.
“Our grandfather started it. We used to sell tofu along Banawe, which started as a small neighborhood operation. Our customers would buy our taho and tofu products as they were cleaner and more premium. We learned that the market is willing to pay more if they know that their food is better prepared,” says Henry Gomez, General Manager of Soy Yummy.
Henry and his cousin then entered into a partnership with SM. One of their first branches was at the SM City North Edsa. Aside from their non-GMO taho, which comes in both hot and chilled varieties, Soy Yummy also offers Soy Milk in different flavors, tofu bites, tofu sisig and soy refreshers. Admitting that it was a challenge to introduce their product to a new market, they also experienced growth later on.
“At first, people thought we were selling soy sauce. But our operation at SM was really a big help. Without good foot traffic and generally uniform retail environment, it will be more difficult for us to grow,” Henry says.
From a small neighborhood operation, Soy Yummy now has 51 locations including franchises around Luzon. It also supplies tofu to restaurants, bakeries and gyms. It also continues to be a source of livelihood for the people and communities it works with—farmers, food handlers, franchisees, sales crew, and food safety consultants. Some of them have also grown with the company including Marife Nelmar.
“Nagsimula ako bilang sales crew six years ago. Kahit hindi ako nakatungtong ng college, pinagkatiwalaan nila ako. Tinuruan nila ako ng office work, at ngayon ay isa na akong operations officer,” Marife says.
For more updates, visit Soy Yummy’s official website, https://soyyummy.com.ph/.