Just before former King Archer Jeron Teng and former DLSU Courtside Reporter Jeanine Tsoi graduated from DLSU, the two decided to put up a food stall in Agno, called Pandesal ni JT. The LaSallian sat down with Francis Tiempo, one of the people who Teng and Tsoi trust the store with, to talk about the newly opened kiosk on campus.
Setting themselves apart
Bearing the same initials, this became the couple’s inspiration to name the store Pandesal ni JT, which could mean either Jeron Teng or Jeanine Tsoi. With numerous competitors such as Ate Rica’s Bacsilogan and Good Munch, the two made sure that students can get their money’s worth while having a fulfilling meal by selling their products for just below 100 Pesos.
At the same time, they tried to distinguish “Pandesal ni JT” from the vast stalls available in Agno by selling different kinds of meals and refreshments such as a variety of stuffed sandwiches (Porky Pandesal, Corned Beef Pandesal, and Chori Pandesal), rice meals (Chori Rice and Porky Gravy Rice), and fresh sugarcane juice.
Having only been open for about a month, the store of Teng and Tsoi has become popular with students because of the variety of food that it sells. Tiempo tells that before deciding to put up the stall, the two alumni studied the place to see what kind of food and drinks have not yet been sold in the area, to make sure that their products are fresh and unique to the Lasallian student body.
The sugarcane juice is the main product of the kiosk since the two former Lasallians decided to sell authentic juice with the use of a sugarcane juice machine. “Pinagaralan nina Jeron yan dito, parang ang nalaman nila eto talaga yung wala, especially yung sugarcane,” Tiempo explains.
(They studied and learned that these were the ones really missing, especially the sugarcane.)
Aside from playing basketball and reporting for sports channels, respectively, Teng and Tsoi thought of going outside their comfort zone by opting to go into the food world. Being recent graduates of DLSU, they decided to begin by opening up a kiosk in the campus to see if it would flourish before deciding to branch out. Still, though, Teng continues to pursue a career in basketball, specifically in the Philippine Basketball Association, while Tsoi continues to make sporadic appearances on ABS-CBN Sports.
In the first few weeks of opening, the store became a huge hit after people saw the former star player and courtside reporter manning the booth and serving food to their customers. After getting a positive response, Tsoi mentioned that they will be adding more choices to the menu to offer more options to their customers.
While this is just a new venture for the two recent graduates, the two are hoping that this could be the start of something bigger if it really hits and becomes something students flock to. Tiempo explains, “Gusto nila mag-business, i-try yung pang-masa na negosyo. Gusto rin ni Jeron, at syempre pareho silang La Salle, gusto nila muna dito mag-start so if ever siguro maganda yung result pwede sila mag-branch sa ibang school pero dito muna sila sa La Salle.”
(They want to go into business and try something for the mass market. Jeron also wants, and of course they are both from La Salle, so they want to start here first but if the results are good, they may branch out to other schools, but for now, La Salle.)
For them, the place that taught them all they know about business, La Salle, is the perfect place to start something new.