By JV Villar, ABS-CBN North America
Septermber 25, 2013
HOUSTON, Texas–What started in 1975 as an ice cream parlor in the Philippines, became one of the most successful FIlipino fast food chains worldwide.
Jollibee is now operating at least 791 stores in Philippines and over 90 stores in eight countries outside home. In the US, stretching from the West Coast to the East and now in Houston, it has become a tourist destination for Filipinos.
“It’s a perfect opportunity to open a store here in Houston because it brings everybody together, Jollibee is able to bring back that nostalgia of what Jollibee is all about back home,” said Jollibee Foods Corporation USA vice president Maribeth Dela Cruz.
The first Jolibee in the south broke records in opening sales. Last week more than 5 thousand filipinos came to its opening day in Houston, a thousand more than Hawaii’s opening day record, all excited to get a taste of their favorites like Chicken Joy, spaghetti, and burgers.
I’ve been here 1 hour, it’s worth it. Oh yeah! Masarap kasi ang Jollibee!” said Alaric Evan Arro.
A week after its opening day, the hype hasn’t fizzled out. Curious patrons including those who have up after waiting in long lines last week had to come back.
“Last week I camped out here since 6 o’clock but the line was still long so me and my mom went back home so i told her after church let’s go back to Jollibee coz I wanna taste and want their burgers,” said Lance Sy Changco.
Surrounded by kababayans, Filipinos here say eating at Jollibee is like being transported back home great food and great company. Jollibee Foods Corporation says this is just a beginning in the south, with more Filipino stores possibly coming to Houston, next to Jolibee. “To all those who stay here in Texas we have something even more really exciting that we from Jollibee foods corporation can bring over here so abangan niyo yan,” said Jose Minana, president of JFC Group.