MANILA, Philippines – Chinese deli Eng Bee Tin has been a household name in Binondo for many years thanks to its mooncakes, glutinous balls and hopia.
But business soared for owner Gerry Chua when he mixed Chinese delicacy with a Filipino favorite: ube.
Chua said a visit to the supermarket was all it took to come up with the idea of filling his famous hopia with ube.
“Lahat sila sinabi na hindi magki-click, kasi walang hopiang ube noon, dati monggo lang tsaka baboy. Sabi ko, ‘Itutuloy ko ito, gusto ko maging iba ako,’” he told “My Puhunan.”
Chua shared on “My Puhunan” the secret to his famous product, which earned him the nickname “Hopia King.”
From a small kitchen, Chua has moved his business to a factory in Paco, Manila.
Eng Bee Tin is now producing 1,000 packs or 4,000 pieces of hopia everyday.
Photo from My Puhunan Facebook page
'Hopia King' with a heart
Aside from providing the best Chinese delicacies in Binondo, Chua is also doing his part to help the community through Café Mezzanine, dubbed the “Fireman’s Coffee Shop.”
Profits of Café Mezzanine, located above Eng Bee Tin, are donated to the Binondo Paco Volunteer Fire Search and Rescue Brigade, which have resulted to 10 fire trucks and equipment for fire volunteers.
Chua said that even before he came up with the idea, firefighting has always been his advocacy.
“Every time kasi may sunog, magta-traffic ako para makalabas na ‘yung fire truck,” he said.
Café Mezzanine profits have also funded a control room to monitor fire incidents in Me ro Manila.
“Mas mayaman ako sa kaibigan at sa mga natutulungan ko. ‘Yung pera ko hindi ko naman madadala ‘yan eh, the mere fact na may natulungan ka, masaya siya, masaya na din ako,” he said.