“Don’t lose hope and you have to know what you want. You cannot reach your destination if you don’t know where you want to go” – Felipe Dy
A humble beginning that turned into a power house food business in Naga and Bicol’s major town and cities. Felipe and Felicidad Dy started the legacy of Graceland, with their willingness to try anything to help them meet the objectives of their growing family. Both didn’t finish schooling back in the days but that did not hinder them to become successful entrepreneurs. Year 1976 when the couple started their small “garage canteen” outside the plaza of Naga, operating with only 4 tables and with a “turo-turo styled” menu.
Because of their strong drive to learn different things, Dy family became one of Bicol’s pride. Creativity, Innovation and Hard work made them who and where they are now. Everything came to place for Graceland when big competitors came into Bicol, this triggered them to level up their game and expand their reach to different provinces in Bicol region. It was the biggest turning point for Graceland as they have been received well from these provinces. Graceland had become a “must-visit” food outlet in Bicol region with 28 stores (as of February 2017) including three other food outlets that caters different taste in the market (Baker’s Plaza, Geewan and Red Platter).
With Felipe’s perseverance and faith he knew the business can grow and it did grew, along with the help of his wife and 9 children who in young ages had different roles in their business; one acts as cashier while the others acts as waiters and so on. They would attend free baking demonstration to learn and to adapt to changes in the food industry.
For 40 years in the business, variety had become Graceland’s strength; they have offered different products and menus to satisfy the fast changing trend in the market. As an entrepreneur, Dy family continues their success by innovating new products, upgrading their menu and expanding their reach. Up until now, they still look back as to who they are before Graceland, to keep them motivated to work hard and pass the legacy to their next generation.
As Graceland grew through the years, they’ve started to find suppliers that will sustain the quality of their products and will attend to the needs of their production. Graceland and Hicaps have been partners for 17 years. With this partnership, Graceland found Hicaps very reliable not only with the quality of the products but with the continued support from the company. Having good relationship with your business partners or suppliers is one of the important factors in being an entrepreneur, one should build good foundation not only on the products but also on the service they are giving to their customers.
According to Ben Dy, the 6th child of Felipe and Felicidad Dy, when starting up a business one should be passionate and persistent, always strive for excellence. But through the process, never expect everything to be perfect, always keep in mind that there will always be obstacles and failures. If you are truly interested in what you do, you would try everything to improve it and will do anything to exceed the needs of the market and to reach one’s vision to grow.